Operation Mature Buck: A Tip for Big Bucks
Getting a photo of a big whitetail buck on your game camera before hunting season is a lot easier than putting him on the ground, and your tag on him. For new and experienced hunters, the one big tip that I’m going to share with you is to be patient and choose your time. Always make sure the wind is in your favor before busting into “big buck country,” ie. the place where your brute is hanging out. In fact, stay out of there all together until you are ready to kill him.
There are usually a handful of days when everything comes together, early in the season when bucks are still pattern-able. When the time is right, sneak in early in the afternoon and hang your stand, when the buck is most surely bedded. Though many hunters set up and clear shooting lanes well in advance of their first deer hunt in an area, I believe this activity is nothing more than a calling card to a mature buck that says, “Hey, I’m going to be hunting right here, so avoid the area.”
Successful Whitetail Hunting Means Being a Ghost
Instead, uses a strap-on stand and climbing sticks to set up your whitetail hunting hot spot. Go in quiet and scent free. This all but ensures that you are not tipping the buck to how you will play your hand. Get in your stand by mid-afternoon and wait it out. Many mature deer will not move until just before dark, if you’re lucky. If you are sure you’re within ear-shot of where the buck can hear, then just before sunset grunt softly, wait 5-10 minutes and rattle for 10-20 seconds so that you sound like a pair of bucks.
Often times, the buck will jump up out of bed and make it to you in short order. He sure the hell does not want two other bucks in his bedroom!
In closing, use your game camera to monitor what’s happening in your neck of the woods prior to the hunting season. Whitetail bucks can be patterned up until just prior to the rut, so pay attention to where the buck is coming from, feeding and going. A hunter’s best bet is to set up between a buck’s bedding area and where he will go feed that evening. If you can plan ahead and sneak it undetected, then you just have to hope the deer starts moving while there is still enough light to shoot. That’s my deer hunting tip for this week, so use it wisely!