By Mark Kenyon
Last week, while listening to The Wired To Hunt Podcast, my wife started chuckling and said to me “why the heck do you refer to deer as “toads”? What does that even mean?” And in that moment, it dawned on me. We (meaning us whitetails addicts) use some strange terminology when talking about deer. It all seems normal to you and me, but to someone on the outside listening in, we probably sound crazy. That’s why I realized we needed to create The Whitetail Addict’s Dictionary. A single comprehensive resource encompassing all of the strange deer-speak that we use, available to anyone interested in better understanding how to communicate with a whitetail nut (or just for us to laugh at).
Today, I’ve taken a stab at starting this dictionary, but I’m thinking this is a group project. I want you to help me fill in the gaps. So if you can think of any other commonly confused deer related terms or funny slang you and your friends use when talking about whitetails – I need you to share it! Post your additional whitetail addict terms in the comments section below (with a definition) and I’ll start adding them to the official post.
Once we get this dictionary well developed, all you’ll need to do before going on a first date (or hanging with a group of non-hunters or going to your in-laws, etc) is email them this link and tell them to study up. Once they’ve done that, you’ll be all set to speak in your native tongue. Enjoy!
All Day Sit: Believed by some hunters to be merely legend, the all day sit is defined as the painful, butt-numbing activity of sitting all day in your treestand during the November rut, in order to get a shot a buck moving at mid-day.
Axe: Popular slang term for your bow, if you’re a bowhunter.
Baldies: Antlerless deer – most often this would be a female deer
BBD: A popular acronym for “Big Buck Down”, which is what you text all your buddies after shooting a big buck OR what you say after shooting a deer on camera if you are Tiffany Lakosky.
Bedding Area: Contrary to popular belief, this term has nothing to do with human mating rituals, rather it is in reference to an area that deer spend the majority of their daytime hours in a bedded position.
Big Woods: An area of terrain lacking farm fields and other typical openings, consisting mostly of heavy timber, making for tough hunting and occasionally ornery hunters.
Bingo-Bango: The appropriate verbal reaction to finding a giant shed antler, most often used alongside several expletives and at a high volume.
Boogered: What happens when you spook deer out of an area with human presence. For example, when used in a sentence you might say, “John boogered the whole dang property up when he walked through the middle of that bedding area, who invited him to hunt with us?!”
Busted: A term to use when describing what happens when you screw up and the deer discover your presence.
Bump and Dump: Commonly mistaken as a bathroom ritual, the Bump and Dump is actually a hunting tactic defined by bumping a buck out of his bed, to then set up a stand above his bedding area and await his return.
Card Pull: The high stress process of entering a hunting property to remove the SD card from a trail camera and then returning home to check that card for photos.
Chronic phone display-aphilia: A condition commonly seen when three or more deer hunters congregate in one area, in which they all are compelled to show each other pictures of deer they have trail camera photos of on their phones. Learn more about this and other trail camera dangers here –> 7 Greatest Dangers of Trail Cameras
Climber: Not a mountain athlete and definitely not to be confused with a clinger, a climber is a portable treestand that allows you to ascend a tree using nothing but the treestand itself.
Dandy: A quality buck, one that’s worth getting excited about, but maybe not quite as exciting as others. A dandy is to whitetail bucks, as Justin Moore is to country music. He’s a great musician, but not quite selling out stadiums yet. That said, dandys have lots of potential.
Daylight Walker: A mature buck who is active during daylight hours. These are rare animals and typically will cause any hunter in pursuit of them to drop all other priorities and focus solely on hunting.
DWD: This stands for “driving while deer-watching”, a common ailment effecting whitetail addicts during summer and fall evenings in farm country.
Dink: An off-hand term for a small buck that you have no interest in shooting or to use in reference to the deer your best friend shot.
Dirt Nap: The final, never ending nap a dead deer takes after making a hunter very happy.
Dope: This term is sometimes used to refer to deer pee or some other kind of scent attractant for deer.
Flag: The white underside of a deer’s tale, which raises up and flags back and forth when retreating in alarm.
Flat Tops: Slang term for a female deer.
Forkie: A small four point buck.
Garhole: A treestand you typically reserve for your buddy to hunt, so as to keep the pressure off your hit-listers (typically a field edge observation type set)
Getting Blown At: This saying is used to describe when a deer “busts” you, realizes you’re there, and then proceeds to snort or “blow” at you, alarming other deer of your presence and effectively both pissing you off and ruining your hunt.
Ghost buck: A buck that moves almost entirely at night, making him ghost-like
Glassing: This has nothing to do with wine, juice or water. Rather glassing is simply the act of scanning an area with binoculars in search of a deer.
Goonie: A big mature buck
Hawg: A darn big mature buck.
Hit-List: A hunter-created list of all bucks on a property that are of interest to hunt.
Homebody: A mature buck who spends an especially high amount of time in a small area. These deer have exceptionally small home and core ranges, and for this reason can be easier to hunt, if hunted the right way.
Hot: A word used to describe a female deer that is ready to mate, please noteI said – female deer. It’s an important distinction.
Horn Porn: Deer hunting DVDs, TV shows or online videos featuring big bucks. Horn Porn is typically consumed when a group of avid deer hunters are together enjoying cold beverages and greasy food, or any time the wife is gone.
Jimmy buck: Popularized in the Whitetail Adrenaline DVDs, a Jimmy buck is an embarrassingly small buck that your friend killed, and for which you will heckle him.
Kill Plot: A plot of land planted in some type of forage that deer are attracted to, specifically for the purpose of killing deer while enjoying their breakfast or dinner. Not a bad way to go, all things considered.
Killin Stand: A treestand that is just about as perfect as you can get.
Loins: This has nothing to do with human anatomy, so don’t worry. It’s simply a term for the best cut of venison on a deer.
Match Set: When you find both antlers from a deer after he has shed them in the winter.
Mega-Toad: A very big buck. (You can never have enough words to describe big bucks)
Michigan 11 Pointer: A spike buck, see later definition for spike.
Mossy Horns: Unrelated to plant growth, Mossy Horns or “Old Mossy Horns” is a legendary old buck.
Mount: A word with multiple uses, it can be used to refer to the taxidermied remains of a deer you shot, which is hung on a wall OR in reference to what a buck does when it finally catches up to a frisky female during The Rut.
Nannies: Popular reference for female deer, we would never shoot a babysitter.
Old Long Nose: A very old doe.
Pretzel Head: A yearling buck with a small, compact rack
Pumpkin Patch: A large group of gun hunters, possibly grouped together before going for a deer drive, all decked out in blaze orange.
Quarter Pounder: An aggressive buck, always looking for a fight.
Resident Bucks: A buck that lives on your property or spends an inordinate amount of time there. These are deer that will typically show up on trail camera, and that are likely to be around during the hunting season.
Run-N-Gun: A style of hunting in which you move often, carrying a treestand and climbing sticks (or climbing treestand) and setting up in a new spot for each hunt.
SD Card Envy: A feeling brought to life after seeing the many trail camera photos your friends have of giant bucks, while you have nothing but dinks at your place.
Shed Hunting Line: When shed hunting with a group, each hunter typically is given “a line” which is a general path or direction for which they are responsible for walking and checking for sheds. To cross over too often onto someone else’s line would be grounds for calling you a bad shed hunting partner. More on that here –> 8 Steps To Being An Awful Shed Hunting Partner
Shed: Non-hunters commonly assume a shed is a wooden shelter used to store lawn mowers, rakes and shovels – but in the whitetail addict vocabulary it is used as a term for antlers that have dropped off a deer’s head in the winter.
Shooter: An identifier for a buck that meets your minimum threshold for targeting a deer, this could be age, body size or antler characteristics. If a buck is a shooter, it is one that you would kill if given the opportunity.
Skippers: A term used to reference fawn deer
Slick heads: Another slang term for a female deer.
Slob-knocker: A ridiculously big buck.
Spike: A buck deer with only one point on each side, also known as Michigan 11 pointer (see earlier definition)
Smoke Pole: Slang for muzzleloader, which is a type of primitive (sort of) firearm using black powder
Stink Pig: Another phrase to describe a nasty, huge, impressive buck.
Stone Cold Killer: A very effective hunter, most likely with a reserved personality, ominous stare, and intimidating facial hair.
Stooopid: A descriptive word used typically when speaking about a big buck or shed. For example, when used in a sentence, “Dude, that buck is stoooopid!”
Stick-n-String: Your archery set-up, AKA your bow and arrow.
String Music: The process of harvesting a whitetail with archery tackle. It is sweet, sweet music.
Swamp Donkey: A big old nasty buck, potentially living in a swamp, but not necessarily.
Sweet November: The best month of year, this is when “The Rut” and “Vacation” take place.
The Rut: A time of year when both male deer and hunters (male & female) go crazy. Bucks are going crazy chasing does and hunters are going crazy chasing bucks, all hoping for a mount. (See the earlier definition of “Mount”)
Toad: Yet another term for a big buck.
Tornado Set: A treestand where the wind blows hard all day
Trash: Extra points found around the bases of antlers, also commonly referred to as junk or stickers.
Vacation: Can be defined as any one to two week period during the month of November
Velvet: Unrelated to whiskey or out-of-style clothing, velvet actually is the network of blood and nerves that covers deer antlers during their summer growth phase.
Velvet Drive: Summertime drives in the evening, just before dark, to look for velvet bucks in the fields
Velvet Footage: Video footage captured of summertime bucks, with antlers still covered in velvet. The pursuit of velvet footage is a common addiction for many avid whitetail hunters in search of impressive deer to hunt or simply to enjoy watching.
Velvet Rut: The period of time from late July through August in which deer antlers are mostly grown and bucks become consistently visible during evening hours in open food sources such as soybean and alfalfa fields. This is the best time for velvet drives and velvet footage!
Wall Hanger: A big buck worthy of displaying proudly on your wall as a shoulder mount.
White Gold: A slang term for a shed antler, the object of our spring “treasure hunts”.