By Mark Kenyon

Hunting season is still a few months off, but already the excitement  is ramping up to fever pitch (at least for me). Giant velvet bucks soon will grace farm fields, trail camera pictures will begin filling my imagination and final preparations for the 2014 season are under way. I kid you not when I say I go to bed every single night thinking about deer hunting in some way.  But in addition to all of this, one of my favorite things about the beginning of summer is the release of each year’s new hunting DVDs.

Some people love them, some people hate them – but I definitely fit into the first camp. I thoroughly enjoy a good hunting DVD, BUT there are a few keys to properly watching and enjoying these videos. That said, today I’m sharing my secrets.

Here are the 5 steps to properly watching a hunting DVD. Make sure you read through these instructions thoroughly and then head out to pick up the latest release of your favorite big buck flick. Then sit back, enjoy the parade of antlers, and dream of what might come to pass in just a few months…

1. Invite Over Some Friends: Watching a big buck DVD can be great on its own, but it’s a heck of a lot more fun when you’re joined by a few good hunting buddies. That said, the first step to properly watching a hunting DVD is to call over a few friends to enjoy the new vid with you. Over the years, my buddies and I have formed a tradition of having a handful of nights each year where we get together and enjoy a hunting DVD or two together. It’s a great time to talk deer hunting, enjoy a little “horn porn”, imagine the possibilities of the upcoming season and enjoy some good laughs.

buck night

2. Choose The Right DVD: The next most important step to any good night of big buck debauchery is choosing the right hunting DVDs. When it comes to your video choice for the evening, shoot for entertaining, not educational. There is sure to be lots of talking, laughing and plate refilling happening throughout the evening, so don’t expect for you or your guests to learn too much from your video of choice. Avoid a lengthy educational documentary and stick to a film filled with big deer and call it good. I’ve had good success with videos from Drury Outdoors, Realtree Monster Bucks, White Knuckle Productions or Whitetail Freaks. The newest editions of Drury Outdoors’ Dream Season and Whitetail Madness, which I just watched, are particularly good options in my opinion.

3. Stock Up On Cold Beverages: Of course, any good big buck night needs some refreshments. If you’re under 21, grab a 12 pack of Mountain Dew or your favorite soda – sugar goes great with big deer. And if you’re of age, feel free to indulge in your favorite domestic, light and cold 12 ouncers. There’s nothing like tipping back a cold one while watching a 170″ giant whitetail ruttin across the screen.

pizza

4. Have Lots of Food: If you’re watching a hunting DVD with your buddies, you’re going to need some good grub and lots of it. Watching someone hunt a full 12 hour day during the rut can stir up quite an appetite in a viewer, so be sure to have the necessary supplies. My favorite meal of choice for a big buck night is pizza. Everyone loves it, it’s fast and affordable, and easy to eat while sitting around the TV. A few bags of chips, cookies or other finger foods are solid options as well.

5. Enjoy Some “Activities”: It’s great to just watch a hunting DVD, but our group of buddies have devised a few “activities” to ramp the enjoyment factor up a couple notches. Here are a few of our favorite games to play while kicking back and watching bucks.

– Before each hunt and before even seeing the deer that’s going to get shot, we’ll each guess the score of the buck the hunter will end up shooting. We make these guesses based on the state, who the hunter is, time of year, etc.

– Once we see the buck that’s shot, we again like to guess the score of the buck. Winner gets bragging rights.

– Again, judging the buck that gets shot, we try and age the deer on the hoof and debate various aging criteria

–  Whenever it becomes apparent a buck is going to be targeted, we’ll each go around and say whether or not we would shoot that buck. Sometimes the “shoot or don’t shoot” decision comes along with some qualifiers, such as “In Michigan, yes. But in Iowa, no” or something along those lines.

Anything else you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments!