Tycen Blucher, of Black Knight Tactical, is a 21-year U.S Army combat veteran, born and raised in Vermont, a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and avid hunter.
EH: What is your favorite thing about hunting?
Tycen: “Reintroducing those that love the outdoors and hunting but either haven’t had the time or resources to hunt, as well as introducing the sport of shooting and or hunting to those who have never done it before. Though I really hate to use the word sport in association with hunting.”
EH: Why is that?
Tycen: “Sport sounds as if you are supporting killing for fun, rather than the technique of killing an animal to provide food for yourself, your family or community.”
Choosing a Hunting Location
EH:What did you look for when you purchased your hunting property?
Tycen: “It took me two years to find a property that had everything I was looking for. The reason that I chose my property is that it has all the environment necessary for wildlife to thrive and flourish. Things like woods, water, grass, brush, and thickets (cover for animals). Young pine trees make nice bedding areas. Also, there is a year-round stream, Ducker’s Creek, that runs through the property. Hardwoods on the property also make a good food source.”
EH: Was the location important to you?
Tycen: “I chose the geographical location because I liked how it sits in a small valley. This is important for hunting with rifles because it provides a safe backstop. Also, seeing that it is over 50 acres, it is enough property to introduce new hunters and invite veteran hunters. It allowed me to set up different zones to efficiently hunt the area safely.”
Setting Up a New Location
EH: What was the first thing you did when you purchased the property?
Tycen: “We cleared the logging trail from front to back so that we could drive all the way through the property. I spent a lot of time walking boundary lines and game paths, learning what wildlife was there and their patterns and habits.”
EH:What wildlife did you find?
Tycen: “Different types of birds, foxes, bobcats, whitetail deer, dove, bear and evidence of turkeys”
EH: How did you choose where to set up your stands?
Tycen: “I set up three different stands at different parts of the property. Two are within 75 yards of major game trails and the stream. The ‘Across The Stream Stand’ and ‘Rock Wall Stand’ are at opposite ends of the Ducker’s Creek. ‘The Big Oak Stand’ is at a higher elevation on the property, and near popular game trails, crossing on and off our property onto neighboring farms.”
Know the Rules and Regulations
EH: What is one of the biggest factors about deer hunting in Virginia?
Tycen: “You cannot hunt over bait in Virginia so you need to spend a lot of time scouting to find the right area to hunt. In Vermont, we could not either because we were hunting mostly on state and public lands. I have hunted recently in Maryland and North Carolina, where you can hunt over bait which brings the deer into the area you are hunting.”
EH:What do you have to do differently since you can’t hunt over bait?
Tycen: “You have to be a smarter hunter and use your due diligence to figure out where to find the deer on the property. Use time in the woods and game cameras to figure out where the deer travel and when.”
EH: Do you hunt out of tree stands or ground blinds?
Tycen: “I do not feel one technique is better than the other. I grew up stalking deer from the ground in Vermont. Since we were on public land we couldn’t use tree stands or blinds. When I bought Hunter’s Paradise Farm, I set up ladder tree stands at each of the places I told you about, at 22 feet off the ground. Buckingham County code requires that when shooting a rifle, you be at least 10 feet up off of the ground. It is more about learning to adapt to your environment than whether you are up a tree or on the ground.”
EH:Where at Hunter’s Paradise do you put a guest hunter?
Tycen: “Either the ‘Across the Stream’ or ‘Rock Wall’. Being near the water source provides a higher probability of seeing deer. On my property, all three stand locations are more reliable in the morning than in the evening.”
Advice for New Hunters
EH: What are three things you would advise new hunters with?
Tycen: “Your safety and the safety of other hunters is of utmost importance. Ensure that your weapon is mechanically sound and sited in, if you don’t know or need help, ask someone. Don’t forget the importance of scent control, you don’t necessarily need expensive clothing, just use unscented soaps and detergents. Be very aware of trying not to bring any unusual scents into the woods. Also if you are in a tree stand, be up higher than the deer’s average sight line. To prevent movement detection.”
EH: Would you give different advice to returning hunters?
Tycen: “Yes, first thing practice in the offseason and get familiar with your weapon, especially if you are a little rusty. Scout the area where you plan on hunting beforehand in the offseason. Most importantly, review proper shot placement for the animal that you are hunting.”
EH:Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to send us off with?
Tycen: “It is important that people understand hunting and preserving it for future generations to enjoy. It is also extremely important to learn how to feed your family, in the event that it would become necessary.”