Steve D

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Full Article is here: https://www.fieldandstream.com/54-expert-winter-whitetail-deer-hunting-tips

 

The Closer: Joe DiNitto

Method: Big-Woods Tracking
Primary Hunting Area: Adirondack Mountains, NY
Credentials: In the past 30 years, DiNitto has tracked and killed 28 Adirondack bucks averaging 6 years old each. Almost all were taken on public land, and most in a single day of hunting.

The DiNitto family farm in central New York is 1,000-plus acres of alfalfa and corn broken by hardwoods and honeysuckle thickets. A deer nut’s paradise. And Joe DiNitto hasn’t hunted it in 31 years.

“I started hunting the Adirondacks with my dad and brother as a young teenager, but when I was 22, I tracked and killed my first big-woods buck.” That was it, he says. “Since then, I can’t shake the allure of big new country—and knowing there’s a buck up ahead of me.”

joe dinitto whitetail buck

Joe DiNitto

Joe DiNitto

There’s also a practical reason: “Show me an easier way to get close to a mature whitetail buck, and I’ll do it,” DiNitto says. As a dairy farmer with four kids, he gets little time to hunt and zero time to scout. “I don’t own a trail camera.” But give him three days on snow and he’ll get a chance at a brute. Tracking is so effective, he says, that he almost feels guilty, and he can’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it. “There’s nothing more exhilarating than sneaking to within yards of a wilderness buck. I think about it 365 days a year.” —D.H.

joe dinitto whitetail buck snow

Joe DiNitto

Joe DiNitto

Here's How He Scores

  • Ninety percent of the bucks I kill are carbon copies, in terms of how I hunt. I need snow, but I don’t care what snow—2 inches, 10 inches, fresh or not. Then it’s a basic formula that most deer hunters are familiar with: You cover ground quickly on foot until you find a good buck track, then you follow it until it hooks left or right and starts to meander, which tells you that the buck is just up ahead, either
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I believe him to be the real deal . 

Others  not so sure about that  I have read about .

Edited by Storm914

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The big issue is finding a good buck track to start with.  That could take days.  Even if it's a fresh track, that buck could be a mile ahead of you when you start.  Larry Benoit was the first hunter to achieve fame tracking deer like this.  His sons were all successful at it too.  They wrote a couple of books to teach others how to do it.  I see Joe even uses a scopeless Remington pump rifle the Benoit clan preferred for it's quick shooting ability.  It's productive deer hunting if you learn the skills and are willing to put in the work, but you also have to be willing to cover a lot of land, even sleeping in the woods to keep going in the morning.  I just never want to drag a deer as far as might be necessary when this hunting style is employed.

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I've seen a ton of tracks in snow and mud, I for one can never tell buck or doe track ...To those that can you have my praise...

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I've been reading and watching [utube] what I can find about joe dinitto and his group. This is the way I want to hunt for the rest of my life.I made the decision this passed hunting season.

thanks for post it steve good stuff.

I also ordered there book

 

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Joe is a great hunter, very skilled and knowledgeable.  I do agree that it seems like cheating when snow is on the ground, only issue I have is I can't plan for it but always pray for it.  I do agree this is by far the easiest way to get a buck yet those last 40-10 yards is what is key and Joe is a stealth ninja in this department! 

Other good advice is from the Salerno brothers who do similar type hunting.  Benoit books are awesome also.  Love Joe's articles great info!

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:18 PM, Buckmaster7600 said:

I’ve met Joe in the woods and at a few seminars and other Adirondack gatherings. As nice of a guy as you’ll ever meet!


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You ran into Joe DiNitto in the woods?? Thats awesome.

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I met Jim Massett in Moose River when I got the 2010 buck.  Was nice meeting a legend in deer hunting.  Still remember wanting to ask him so many questions but I just fumbled.  I know him and Joe have done seminars together and have done video as well.  Great info!

 

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I love to track , problem is private lands are not big enough to do it constantly.  Driving to kill a deer in big woods just isnt my thing. Or driving anywhere for that matter

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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You ran into Joe DiNitto in the woods?? Thats awesome.

Joe and I hunt some of the same areas, I’ve ran into him and his group a bunch of times.


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13 hours ago, NFA-ADK said:

I met Jim Massett in Moose River when I got the 2010 buck.  Was nice meeting a legend in deer hunting.  Still remember wanting to ask him so many questions but I just fumbled.  I know him and Joe have done seminars together and have done video as well.  Great info!

 

I like how jim m. explains how deer started walking with the wind to smell anything coming up behind it.Me and my older brother started noticing it years ago.If they can see far a head of them they'll come in with the wind at there backs especially when approaching a field. 

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On 2/22/2019 at 6:47 PM, NFA-ADK said:

I met Jim Massett in Moose River when I got the 2010 buck.  Was nice meeting a legend in deer hunting.  Still remember wanting to ask him so many questions but I just fumbled.  I know him and Joe have done seminars together and have done video as well.  Great info!

 

That video gets me excited about doing some tracking up there this year.   I finally have a couple of "proper" guns just about ready to go.   I sighted in my father in law's scoped Marlin 336 30/30 last Thanksgiving weekend, dialing it right on at 50 yards with 150 gr ammo.   All it needs is one of them little hammer extensions to make for faster shooting with the scope. They are less than $ 20,  so I will order one and put one on it prior to hunting with it.  The scope is a cheap Marlin 3-9X.   He bought this gun and scope just after Remington took over production but had never taken it out of the box and shot it.   The fit and finish looked pretty good on it and it cycled and shot very well.  I will only hunt with that gun when the weather is dry and the scope will likely never come off 3X.

I replaced the factory iron sights on my own Marlin 336BL 30/30 with fiber-optics earlier this year.  Last fall, I was unable to get those factory sights dialed in quite low enough at 50 yards with 150 gr ammo, but that should not be an issue with the fiber-optics.   I will find out about that as soon as we get a break in the weather on a weekend.   I plan on doing a lot of practice with it prior to hunting season.   By hunting season, I want to be able to pop a gallon water jug in the woods with every shot at 50 yards, offhand while half out of breath.    

That should not  be a problem if I can get in a few thousand practice shots before then.  The bulk of those practice shots will be taken off our back deck with my daughter's Daisy Red-Ryder.   I modified that bb-gun with a "big-loop", and adult sized stock to approximately match the Marlin dimensionally.   I may try to drill and pour some lead into the fore-grip and stock to match the weight a little closer (it currently weighs less than half of what the Marlin does).  The trigger draw length is nearly identical.   Practice with that consists of cutting beverage cans in half with bb's as they are suspended by a wire between the tab and a tree branch.   The suspended can makes for great practice at moving targets as it swings from the wind and/or previous bb impacts.   The best things about this kind of practice is that it is cheap, silent, and convenient.      

Edited by wolc123
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