He hunts exclusively from the ground. Scheffler shoots a longbow, and he uses heavy arrows that are tipped with stout cut-on-contact broadheads. He wants his shots to be so close that they’re measured in paces.
“From the ground, with the right arrow setup, a head-on shot is the deadliest, quickest killing shot I’ve ever seen,” he says. “Since we started killing them like that, we’ve never lost one with that shot angle.”
Scheffler, 36, takes about an hour to explain all this to me while we’re standing in the living room of his home in western Wisconsin. He’s pointing out shot placement on a full-body mount of a 198-inch buck that he killed from the ground in Kansas. It’s a deer that helped make Scheffler and hisWhitetail Adrenalinevideo series famous in the deer-hunting world. I can almost hear bowhunter education instructors across the country grinding their teeth as Scheffler talks. His philosophy goes against one of the hard-and-fast rules of bowhunting for deer: Take broadside or slightly quartering-away shots only.
Radical territory is familiar to Scheffler, who has found himself on the fringes of popular deer-hunting tactics—until now. Through 15 seasons ofWhitetail Adrenaline, Scheffler and his crew of hunting buddies have shown what it looks like when regular guys set out to hunt mature bucks from the ground, almost always on public land, and often in the open country of Plains states like Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.
现在，似乎几乎每个人都在谈论从地面上狩猎成熟的雄鹿。以前，人们对狩猎公共土地白尾鱼有一定的可惜（those sorry bastards have nowhere else to hunt), but now hunting on public land is done with pride, sometimes even a little pretentiousness. Not to mention there’s arguably more interest these days in spot-and-stalk hunting and hunting with traditional archery equipment, and less interest in scoring the racks of those private-land giants.Whitetail Adrenalineis having its moment.
The very best parts ofWhitetail Adrenaline就像猎鹿版本的版本Free Solo, that climbing documentary featuring Alex Honnold attempting to become the first person to scale El Capitan without a rope. With even the slightest mistake, you know the climber will fall to his death. This makes for a thrilling, even uncomfortable, viewing experience. Before you know it, your hands are sweating.
如果您是鹿猎人，那么看着Scheffler爬过膝盖高的草朝着巨大的白尾鹿buck爬的方式也会有同样的感觉。即使是丝毫失误也会导致悲剧。另外，镜头非常坚韧。（他们使用的是与唐尼·文森特（Donnie Vincent）和吉姆·肖基（Jim Shockey）这样的狩猎名人拍摄的相同摄影师。）但是战术是最疯狂的部分。
Scheffler’s general strategy is to drive around areas with plenty of accessible land. He’ll keep covering miles until he spots a buck he wants to target. If the buck isn’t in a good position for a stalk, he’ll watch it for hours, or even days. But if the buck is in a good position, he’ll make his move immediately, parking where the deer can’t see or hear him, moving quickly when there’s good cover and moving painfully slowly when there’s minimal cover. He tries to approach the deer straight on so it can’t catch his side profile.
While he’s telling me this, Scheffler is crouched in a stalking position and sneaking toward me from across his basement like I’m an unsuspecting mule deer fawn.
Scheffler’s intensity, plus the relatability of his crew, makes for good content. And now theirvideoswill be available to a digital audience on iTunes. The initialWhitetail Adrenaline显示,然而,看起来很像homemade hunting videos you might have tried to make as a kid.
集团的信息印在背面的冷杉st DVD reads: “All footage filmed as close to real life as possible. Some footage may seem harsh. It was not our intent. We would like to harvest all animals cleanly and efficiently. We show our mistakes and believe that failure is part of the process that leads to success in anything in life.”
换句话说？We’re going to show some misses and bad hits (along with all the good stuff) because that’s part of hunting.They sold 2,500 copies that first year.
“I’ve probably missed more deer on camera than anyone,” Scheffler says. “It’s not because I’m not a good shot. It’s just because I show all of them.”
This genuine, unpolished approach to deer-hunting content comes from the way Scheffler grew up hunting on a family farm in western Wisconsin.
随着Scheffler年龄的增长，他迷上了Deer Hunting和Standard Big-Buck游戏。他开始更频繁地从Treestand狩猎。他对气味控制变得狂热。他获得了在威斯康星州西部的传奇大型地区布法罗县（Buffalo County）狩猎一些私人地面的许可，并致力于以这个地方为目标。他正在尝试拍摄狩猎。
“I just felt trapped on private land,” Scheffler says. “I knew every deer that was out there.”
然后有一天，谢弗勒开车去狩猎鹿，他的汽车崩溃了。他认为，随着靴子的喷洒，他的靴子上喷了Screw it, I’ll go hunting and fix the car later.On the walk in, he spotted a nice buck moving along the edge of a creek bed. Scheffler figured that if he hustled, he could cut the deer off. And sure enough, he was able to duck out of sight, sprint ahead of the buck, and shoot him at close range with his bow—from the ground.
“我当时想,Whoa, that was fun.实际上，这是我在那个农场上杀死的最小的钱，但我不在乎。它让我想起了我小时候的狩猎。”
That encounter, plus some out-of-state trips hunting on public land, reinvigorated Scheffler. He and his cousin Jim Scheffler decided to film their next deer season. They would film their friends and family and focus entirely on DIY deer hunting. They released their first DVD in 2007, when Scheffler was 22.
As Scheffler and his crew filmed more seasons, he noticed that they were getting more encounters and more footage during their ground hunts, even though they were burning most of their time in treestands. So in 2010 they decided to do all their hunting from the ground, and they had their most successful season yet.
Ramping Up the Pressure
Scheffler and his crew didn’t invent bowhunting whitetails from the ground. Rewind to Fred Bear, Saxton Pope, and the countless Indigenous hunters who thrived in whitetail country long before European hunters set foot on the continent. But they’ve definitely helped popularize it.
主持人的马克·肯尼恩（Mark Kenyon）说：“在现代，我想不出任何人，这确实优先考虑这种风格的狩猎风格，并证明了它可以起作用。”Wired to Huntpodcast and creates deer-hunting content for MeatEater. Kenyon is arelatively new starin deer-hunting media, and much of his content comes from DIY public-land hunting.
He says that when he first sawWhitetail Adrenaline, “I was probably 21 or 22, and the only things that seemed possible at that point in my life were all the things that pros told you. Pretty much all you were seeing was sitting in a treestand or sitting in a box blind,” Kenyon says. “You saw [Whitetail Adrenalinehunting on the ground] and at first you thought,这些家伙很疯狂。他们很有趣，很疯狂，但是它无法正常工作。然后，您观看了足够的剧集，并意识到他们不仅仅因为贾里德（Jared）无法应付坐在树上而在地面上狩猎。他们之所以这样做，是因为它有效 - 好。他们所做的是激发人们对许多人的信心，因为这种狩猎很有趣，而且实际上非常有效。它允许人们实验。从地面上狩猎是从您必须做的事情中进行的，因为您负担不起Treestand，因为它奏效了。”
The Hunting Public是最受欢迎的媒体团队，促进公共土地上积极的白尾狩猎策略。每年秋天，它都会通过各种状态燃烧，这在此过程中表现出成功（和失败）。在哪里Whitetail Adrenalineis reserved for the folks willing to pay for it,The Hunting Publicis free to anyone with internet access. It has 404,000 YouTube subscribers, and its top videos earn between 500,000 and 1 million views.
AsThe Hunting Public该节目的创始人之一亚伦·沃布里顿（Aaron Warbritton）说，看到更多的成功，他们不得不谈论越来越多地谈论不燃烧景点或对特定的公共土地施加太大压力。
“To be honest, we talked about this when we first startedTHP. If this gets really popular someday, it’s going to increase interest [in hunting] on public land, and what are we going to do then?” Warbritton says. “My concern now is that at some point we as a hunting community have to address the access problem.… I feel like we’re getting a lot of people fired up to go deer hunting, and a lot of them are going to public land because they see us do it, or it’s their only option.”
Scheffler, Kenyon, and Warbritton all avoid mentioning specific hunting areas or counties or showing landmarks. But even so, they’re all noticing more deer hunters trying a variety of tactics on public ground. In other words, people are hunting the way they do. There’s plenty to like about that, but there are some downsides too.
Take the popularity of hunting public land and add thebump in hunting participationduring the coronavirus pandemic, and you get crowding in much of deer country.
“After all these years of keeping my area [in Kansas] quiet, word finally got out,” Scheffler says. “I could tell something was off last year because I was just meeting people on the road and in gas stations [who recognized me]. And I was driving a piece-of-crap van that had never been in any videos, and people were still picking me out. It’s turning into a zoo out there, which has made hunting that prairie ground much more difficult.”
数字证明了Scheffler在现场看到的。在堪萨斯州，非居民猎人必须申请鹿标签。在2015年之前（巧合的是，舍夫勒杀死了他的巨人堪萨斯·巴克（Giant Kansas Buck）北美白尾巴），该州总是比申请人拥有更多可用的非居民标签。但是到2019年和2020年，该州正在发布其所有非居民标签（约22,000个），约有2200个不幸的非居民未绘画。在2021赛季，申请增加了21％，这意味着希望在堪萨斯州打猎的7,900人被拒之门外 - 至少要直到明年。
谢弗勒对他的去向很奇怪Whitetail Adrenalinenext, but he says he’s planning to come back East to target states with underrated public lands and try hunting mature bucks in woods. And no, he won’t be hunting them out of a treestand.