Tag Archive for: deer hunting

Stringing Up: Top Tips for Early Season Bow Hunting

Top 5 Early Season Bow Hunting Tips

Get a jump on the whitetail season and plan to hunt during the opener – no need to wait for the rut when some simple planning can get you that Ohio trophy whitetail in the early season. Don’t simply count on things to fall into place – mother nature can be a fierce foe, and combined with lack of preparation, losing sight of the details, and faulty gear, the odds are stacked against you.

Our team here at Briarwood Sporting Club, a premiere Ohio deer outfitter, has compiled these 5 top tips for early season bow hunting that are critical to maximizing success.

Carefully choose and map your hunting site.

Without a doubt, where you plan to hunt is the most important factor assuming you have done your preparation otherwise. Look for well-used deer trails and mineral sites, food and water sources, and note the bedding to feeding routes. Look for travel patterns and plan for both a site entrance and exit strategy to minimize spooking deer. And you must remember prevailing wind patterns as well as tree cover around your stand to minimize your presence. Lastly, know your orientation of north, south, east and west so you can check wind direction prior to entering the field.

Plan your stand location with all factors carefully considered – especially sight lines, wind and cover.

Use a game cam, or multiple cams.

Pictures don’t lie. Game cams will not only tell you where your trophy animals are, but can tell you time, direction and movement patterns. Minimize site disturbances by only checking cams and changing SD cards when necessary. When possible, use cameras which send images to your phone or computer.

A perfectly positioned game cam can make the difference between hunting and harvesting  

Don’t assume your equipment is hunt ready and safe.

Nothing could be worse than getting to your hunting site and learning something is wrong, unsafe, or missing relative to your gear. Hopefully by now you have checked your bow, broadheads, quiver and sight for optimal function. Check your tree stand, harness and ratchet straps for function, safety, and stability. Camo gear still fit? Scent masker plentiful and fresh? Field dressing kit ready? And don’t count on your memory – make a list and check it three times before each hunt.

Shoot, practice, shoot and practice some more.

Nothing can replace shooting time with your bow. Nothing. Make a habit out of practice and try to master the long shots of 10-20 yards further than what you think you may have to make for that trophy shot. Also, practice for that ‘quick aim and shoot’ since the chance for the perfectly still and positioned deer are not likely, or not likely for more than a couple seconds. Practice shooting situations, angles and stances now and it can pay off later.

Use a rangefinder and map your shot distances.

A rangefinder replaces speculation and even the best estimating skill. After all, the cost is well justified when you consider your investment of time and money to this point. Use it at your site pre-hunt and map out landscape markers for various distances. Make a written note of what those markers and distances are rather than counting on memory at the critical shot moment.

Come hunt with us at Briarwood for Ohio trophy whitetails. We will make your bow or gun hunting experience one of a lifetime and reduce a great deal of the planning, safety concerns, and guesswork!  Unique experiences coupled with the perfect natural habitat create the ideal setting for whitetail deer hunting. Many years have been invested in compiling the best whitetail genetics to provide our clients with the largest whitetail in North America. On our guided hunts, one can expect to see several bucks in excess of 200” and have the opportunity to harvest the “Buck of a Lifetime”. Visit https://www.briarwoodclub.com/or contact drew@briarwoodclub.com for complete details and a special offer.

EHD Outbreak Forcing Midwest Outfitters to Cancel Hunts this Season

2019 Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Outbreak: Where to Hunt to Avoid EHD Impacts this Fall


If you would have talked to most deer hunters in the Midwest 15 years ago, they would have looked at you cross-eyed if you asked if they had heard of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease – or more commonly called EHD. In the 2000s, the disease seemed to be a rare occurrence in the region. Though more common in the southern US, the term EHD was not something that many deer hunters would have been familiar with. Fast forward to the last 10 years and watch a Midwest deer hunter’s face when you mention the disease. Since a major outbreak in 2012, it seems that the Midwest deer hunting meccas have been hammered by the high-frequency fatal disease. Though not “always” fatal like some other diseases, EHD tends to hit fast and hard. Often leaving specific farms in areas devasted and others untouched.

Deer found on Indiana Farm from suspected 2019 EHD Outbreak.

Seemingly a more occurring event than not, 2019 is shaping up to be no different. With deer herds being hammered by the disease from Missouri to Ohio staring in late June, some of the country’s prime deer herds are left in shambles. The Mississippi River Valley for Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois has been blasted after a severe flood event left behind standing water drying to mud flats – the prime breeding ground for the Culicoides midge, a known carrier of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.

From the fertile river valleys to the heart of Indiana and Kentucky, hunters are finding their targets on the ground long before the season has even opened – and we aren’t out of the woods quite yet. Though we have definitely reached the peak, unseasonably dry and warm conditions will drive whitetails to congregate at waterholes and flats where the midges feast, infecting more and more whitetails each day.

For many hunters, the once “Christmas Eve” like feeling has turned to complete sickness. A trip that they may look forward to each year to hunt Midwest giants is now in jeopardy of even happening, as many outfitters may be forced to cancel hunts this year in order to preserve the remaining herd.

Reports from across the Midwest that some outfitters in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, western Kentucky and Indiana may be forced to cancel their bookings for the 2019 season with the impacts of EHD preventing the harvest of more deer without destroying their local herd – and ultimately their business.

Fortunately, one of the Midwest powerhouse whitetail states, Ohio, seems to be spared or at least reporting significantly less EHD cases. This is great news for the state’s whitetail hunters for 2019 as great ag growing conditions has produced some absolute monsters.

Healthy buck on Briarwood Sporting Club’s Property shedding velvet.

On the Briarwood Sporting Club properties totaling more than 3,000 acres, the bucks have been plentiful and big this year. Briarwood Sporting Club owner and operator Chris Daniels states, “We have seen tremendous antler growth this summer, with several properties holding mature bucks, I can only see it getting better the closer we get to the season.”

To date, Briarwood Sporting Club is happy to report that the deer herd is in great health with not a single EHD deer discovered on any of the properties. “We have cellular trail cameras running on all of the properties, and the overall condition of the herd appears to be in excellent condition.” Daniels adds. “Hopefully this is a sign that our intense habitat, food plot, and feeding regime have been successful in order to ensure our hunters are chasing the best bucks this area of Ohio can produce.”

In an area known for producing multiple Boone and Crockett caliber whitetails, Briarwood Sporting Club is looking forward to an amazing 2019 season for its hunters.

Reach out today for any available spots for 2019 and ask about the “EHD Cancellation” promotion for those who had to cancel a booked hunt where EHD has hit hard, Briarwood Sporting Club will look to accommodate those hunters to ensure the season is still one to remember.

Out of State Hunting | Ohio Deer Hunts

Getting Started with Ohio Deer Hunts

Deer hunting is one really addicting obsession and lifestyle choice. Depending on how much effort you put into it, the end result can be dramatically different. For example, if you routinely hunt the same tree stand on the same property for decades, you’ll learn a lot about the local deer herd and their patterns over time. But to really grow and expand your whitetail knowledge, have you ever considered an out of state hunt? If that is an item on your wish list, you might want to consider Ohio deer hunts. Depending on where you come from, deer hunting in Ohio could be a major game changer for you because bucks can get so big and the hunting is great. Here are a few reasons you should consider an Ohio deer hunt.

Why Ohio Has Big Deer

Although it might not be familiar to you, there is no denying that Ohio has some of the best deer hunting in the country. Some truly giant bucks have been taken here over the years, and the secret seems to be getting out. But what makes Ohio so special for growing big deer?

Simply put, there is great deer habitat and food here. Ohio offers an ideal mix of the forest types and structures that whitetails love to hide in and browse. Oak and hickory forests provide a lot of hard mast each fall, which deer absolutely devour. Younger tree species, such as those growing back after a timber cut, are extremely attractive for deer fawning and browsing. Of course, the state also has abundant agricultural food resources to help deer pack on the pounds and grow some impressive headgear. Many farms grow row crops, such as soybeans or corn, which are two of the best food sources for summer nutrition and late season deer hunting. When you pair all of that along with good natural water sources and varied topography (e.g., hills and fields), you’ve got a recipe for big buck potential.

In addition, Ohio has an excellent deer management program. You can only take one antlered deer per year, rather than multiple bucks per year as in other states. Since many hunters here know of the true trophy potential, they are more willing to pass on younger bucks. That means that many bucks make it past the hunting season to grow into mature deer. To help matters even more, there are some incredible genetics of deer in the state. So if a buck can make it to 3.5 years or older, there is a great chance that with good genetics and lots of quality food that they will get your trigger finger itching when they step out in front of you.

Ohio Deer Hunting

So now you know why our state is so good at producing big deer – what about the hunting side of things? That’s ultimately what can make or break a hunting trip plan.

  • License Options and Costs – compared to many other states, especially those with known big buck successes, Ohio has very reasonable hunting license options. You can buy non-resident tags over the counter for Ohio deer hunts instead of applying and waiting to be drawn. And they are very affordable Ohio deer hunts for most people. For the 2018-2019 season, for example, the deer license was $141.50 and an either-sex deer permit was $41, bringing the total to $182.50.  
  • Ohio Deer Hunting Regulations – as mentioned above, you are allowed to take only one buck in the Buckeye state, so hunters need to choose wisely. Luckily, the Ohio deer season runs from late September through early February, which gives you a great chance of taking a buck with a bow or firearm. 

Best Regions for Ohio Deer Hunts

While much of the state has good habitat and food resources for whitetails, that doesn’t mean you are likely going to tag a giant buck anywhere you go. Some regions are better than others when it comes to the odds of encountering a trophy buck. The more pressure a given area gets and the lower the habitat quality, the lower the likelihood of seeing multiple big deer. Generally, your best chances would be in west-central, central, east-central, and southern Ohio. You have a couple options for your Ohio deer hunts in these regions. Briarwood is situated right in the midst of the best ranking big buck counties in the entire state of Ohio. Located in Logan County in the west-central region, this area is annually a producer of trophy whitetail deer.

If you’re really looking for a DIY hunting trip, you could choose to hunt Ohio public lands. Ohio has much more publicly available land to hunt than most people assume, and the often vast timbered areas are great spots for reclusive bucks to hide away. The trick is finding areas without a ton of existing hunting or human pressure. However, that’s tough to confirm without some in-season and in-person scouting, which might seriously stall you on an out of state hunt.


A better bet is to choose a hunting outfitter that specializes in Ohio deer hunts. A good outfitter will have extensive local knowledge of the area, manage their properties for maximum nutrition and security, and give you the best chance of shooting a Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young buck as possible. Depending on your specific goals, Ohio deer hunting outfitters could be a great option for you, which brings us to the last point…

Ohio Deer Hunting Outfitters 

If you live to deer hunt or just want to try it for the first time, it’s clear why Ohio is such a good choice. And if you want to tag a record-worthy buck, choosing an outfitter is probably the way to go. There are many to choose from in the state. But before you blindly pick a hunting outfitter, it’s important to know more about them. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to compare outfitters. Here are a few things to find out before you decide:

  • What kinds of properties are available and what is the habitat like on them?  
  • What is their success rate and the average deer size on their properties? 
  • Are accommodations included, and if so, what are they like? Is food included? 

If you are hoping to harvest a truly giant buck, you should look into Ohio deer hunting preserves, as they offer the most control over the deer herd. But as for open range Ohio deer hunts, Briarwood Sporting Club has access to several private properties in Logan County, Ohio that are great for big deer. You stay on our property with access to some amazing amenities, and we provide a semi-guided deer hunt by pre-scouting the area and helping you decide where to hunt for the best chance of success. But you still get to hunt on your own in these areas. If that sounds good to you, reach out to us to reserve your spot. 

The Experience of Hunting at Briarwood Sporting Club

The Experience of Hunting at Briarwood | What Separates Us From the Rest?

Are you looking for a trophy whitetail hunt of a lifetime? Any whitetail outfitter’s website will tell you they offer the biggest deer in the state or even the world! That is not surprising…but are they missing their mark? Is that really what you are looking for? Whether you are chasing that buck of a lifetime alone, hunting with a group of lifelong friends, or looking for that elite level corporate hunting trip, the experience is the thing that you are looking for. Sure 200”+ whitetails are the target, but the experience of the hunting trip is what actually makes the memories. While offering the biggest deer in the world is common, offering the best trophy whitetail hunting experience is not. At Briarwood Sporting Club, we not only have the largest whitetails but hands down the best first-class hunting experience amongst whitetail outfitters.

Understanding the Price of a Trophy Deer Hunt

When it comes to shopping for a trophy deer hunt, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. While the prices can vary from outfitter to outfitter, the difference will often be noted not in the quality of deer, but the experience of the hunt. This is why Briarwood Sporting Club brings added value that no other outfitter can fulfill. What is this added value? While the experience, setting, amenities, and accommodations might be hard to sum up with words and pictures, the experience itself will be realized after just a few short hours in Briarwood’s estate. Hunters experiencing the first-class hunting and service understand what set’s Briarwood above other outfitters. This is evident when most hunters become repeat hunters, booking the next hunt within the first year after leaving the estate with trophy in tow!

Know that the experience alone will pay for the trip, and you will leave overly satisfied and excited for your next trip at Briarwood!

First-Class from the Beginning

If you are searching for trophy whitetail outfitters, then you are looking for a top-notch experience right out of the gate. We know you are searching for the best habitat and properties hunting has to offer, the biggest deer, the most luxurious transportation, the most personable whitetail guides, exquisite food, and modern yet rustic lodging accommodations.
Briarwood Sporting Club satisfies these needs and goes beyond expectations in every aspect of the hunt, including pick up and drop off service. The trip to Briarwood is absent of long drives to the airport, checking in, security lines, wondering if your gun will arrive with you, and paying for drinks. Your hunt starts when you climb aboard a corporate jet piloted by none other than the owner of Briarwood, Chris Daniels. He will provide your private transportation that sets the tone for your entire three-day luxury hunt. When you are ready to head home, Chris can have you on your way within an hour!
The hunt and interactions with your guide will be one-on-one, the accommodations of Briarwood are finely honed for your pleasure, relaxation, and experience of adventure.

After the journey, you arrive at Briarwood. Once there, you immediately become immersed in a natural and pristine habitat. You will notice secluded nooks of food plots and wildlife openings, mature hardwoods, wilderness meadows, lakes, streams, and of course private rustic lodges.

The feeling of wilderness will continue as you arrive at your lodging accommodation. Pine Lake Lodge sits tucked away in opines overlooking a private lake. The lodge offers all the comforts of home with the addition of a rustic feeling of adventure and wilderness hunting.
After settling in, you will be treated to a quiet evening around a fire. The lodge provides a quiet and relaxing outside fire pit as well as a fireplace inside the lodge.
Just when you start to feel hungry the Briarwood staff will bring out expertly crafted food. The laughter and comradeship over the crackling wood will quickly fade into the night as you prepare for the first day of hunting.

Your first impressions of Briarwood will quickly be confirmed as you head out on your first day of hunting. While heading towards your stand or blind with your guide, you will quickly notice the scenery while traversing across a spectacular environment. As the hunt continues the realm and presence of trophy whitetails in the ideal setting for the hunt of a lifetime will be realized.

For the second day of hunting, you quickly explore options for other stand locations, or ponder the idea of a spot and stalk hunt for a face-to-face encounter with a giant whitetail!
As you hunt climaxes in an unbelievable adrenaline filled moment with a 200”+ whitetail, you will be surprised at the detailed end of hunt standards your guide will take care of. In addition to the after hunt pictures, ramblings, and gloating, you will enjoy continued first-class service.
If you need a break from hunting, or wish to enjoy the other opportunities of Briarwood, hunters are given access to world-class fishing and bird hunting. The opportunities complement your experience of Briarwood well, giving access to the full scope of what Briarwood offers.
Briarwood Sporting Club takes pride in successful hunts, happy hunters, and remarks on an experience that exceeds expectations. Again, owner Chris Daniels complete your trip home on a corporate jet, ensuring you and your trophy arrive home safely. Don’t be surprised to hear back from guides and staff as the service continues after the hunt to ensure your memory stays with you for years to come.
Briarwood not only offers to you trophy whitetail hunts, but more so a total experience that will shock even the most experienced sportsmen. The experience will leave you satisfied, and excited to book your next hunt! The invitation is always present to book a hunt with Briarwood or become a fishing club member to enjoy the scenery, lakes, and streams.
For more information on trophy whitetail outfitting, or private fishing club membership, click the link below.

What Does It Take To Produce Trophy Whitetails?

Trophy Ohio Whitetail Outfitters | A Look Inside Briarwood’s Estate

When it comes to producing trophy Ohio whitetails it’s oddly enough quite simple, involving only three factors: genetics, age, and nutrition. These three factors have been managed for intensively here at Briarwood Sporting Club. The right genetics, letting bucks advance into older age classes, and a healthy and productive habitat are all our top priority. When combined, high caliber deer, unmatched hunting, serene wilderness habitat, and stunning amenities produce a trophy Ohio whitetail outfitter experience that can’t be beat.
Briarwood Sporting Club is home to a trophy Ohio whitetail estate. Unique experiences coupled with the perfect natural habitat creates the ideal setting for the hunt. Several years have been invested compiling the industry’s best whitetail genetics to provide our clients with the largest whitetails in North America. On our guided whitetail deer hunts, one can expect to see several whitetails in excess of 200″ and have the opportunity to harvest the Buck of a Lifetime.” On the other hand, Briarwood also offers open range hunting with the same amenities and lodging offered. Simply put, Briarwood Sporting Club is the total package, it is a trophy Ohio whitetail outfitter with top-notch lodging, a hunting experience, and a setting that can’t be beat!

How We Produce Trophy Ohio Whitetails


What is important to understand about antlers is that they are considered secondary sexual characteristics. In other words, in order of importance in a buck’s life, annual antler growth doesn’t rank as the number one priority. Instead, survival and maintaining a healthy body does. Now within this relationship of the three, they are bound together, each requiring the benefits of the others. For instance, without the genetics for trophy antler production, the factors of age and nutrition provide little assistance in acquiring a level of exceptional antler growth. Thus when we have these three factors working together this creates the opportunity to produce the best antler growth possible. Now, of those three, let’s first look at how genetics influences the production of trophy whitetails.



Undoubtedly what attracts hunters to whitetails is the sheer diversity in antler growth which is the result of antler genetics. We want to produce and hunt bucks that possess trophy antler characteristics. At times antler growth, especially trophy antler growth, appears to be a roll of the dice. But is it? When speaking of antler genetics, there are regions within all states where whitetails reside that hold pockets” some large, others smaller, of genetics that consistently produce good numbers of large antlered deer. And on the flip side, there are areas within those states that produce an abundance of average antlered deer that will at times find themselves with an outlier that exhibits exceptional antler growth.
In this case, it is a roll of the dice” that a trophy will be produced. Such is the fascinating world of genetics. But in those aforementioned trophy” areas, they simply have genetics shared by both the bucks and does that create the opportunity to consistently produce high numbers of trophy class bucks, year in, year out. Therefore within the populations that contain exceptional antler genetics they obviously have the best odds of producing trophy bucks in any given year. When it comes to trophy antler production, we have to pursue them where they exist. What does it take to produce trophy whitetails? The foundation begins with the right genetics but once again, without age and nutrition, even superior genetic qualities will not be fully expressed.
With understanding the important role of genetics in producing trophy antlers and why some areas produce more trophy deer annually than others, what can we do with the genetics we have in our given hunting locations to provide them with the best opportunity to fully express their potential? This is where age and nutrition come into the equation.



Age plays a fairly large role in trophy whitetail production. It is known that allowing a white-tailed deer to mature gives them the greatest opportunity to maximize antler growth and body size. The question often asked is, why is this? Bucks are in the process of growing and developing their body structure, therefore calories are prioritized to those areas, not to antler growth. In addition, through these early years, young bucks will be “pushed out” or dispersed by their mother and thus moving quite frequently in an effort to establish a new home range. Considering these events of their early years, bucks face the daily stress of potential predation (internally and externally), perhaps less access to quality nutrition and frequent movement, all of which impact their physical well-being. As stated earlier, antlers are secondary sexual characteristics….they receive the “leftovers” of antler building materials from the body, once the body is taken care of.

This is why, as deer managers, we try to manage the age structure of the buck portion of our deer herd to ensure we have healthy numbers of mature deer. At maturity, bucks have an established home range – thus they have fewer factors working against them that would inhibit maximum antler growth. This is the time in a buck’s life that they can begin to efficiently maximize the quality and quantity of nutrition that is available to them and allocate more resources (calcium, protein, fats, etc.) to antler growth. What does it take to produce trophy whitetails? The foundation is the right genetics. From the right genetic foundation, the structure has the opportunity to achieve its genetic potential upon reaching maturity. The potential growth is now only limited by nutrition. In the case of Briarwood, having the perfect balance in herd dynamics coupled with a pristine habitat and access to quality food sources, deer are allowed to express their full genetic potential!


Nutrition plays a very important role in the production of trophy whitetails and that starts at conception and continues through development in the womb to maturity. It’s quite simple, there is a reason why your mom wanted you to eat your fruits and vegetables in addition to meat and a glass of milk…she knew the importance of proper nutrition in the development of your mind and body at an early age! Deer are no different.
Bucks can have the best genetics in the world in regards to trophy antler production, but if they do not have access to sufficient quality nutrition, preferably throughout life, they can struggle to ever fully express their genetic potential. As secondary sexual characteristics, antler growth can and will vary from year to year based on the quantity of quality nutrition that is available to a buck throughout the year.
What does it take to produce trophy whitetails? The foundation is the right genetics. From this foundation, the structure has the opportunity to achieve its genetic potential upon reaching maturity. The quantity of quality nutrition that is readily available will dictate the extent to which trophy antlers are developed. With a mix of habitat, mature timber, proper deer densities, the right genetics, and around 80 acres of highly nutritious deer plots we are able to produce world class whitetails.