Tricks, Tactics and Secrets
Big Buck Hunting Strategies
Big bucks will seek out the smallest of areas with the least amount of human intrusion. They are like a walking myth ( ghost like) compared to any other deer and are usually loners except when tending a doe. Most of the time they are very close to the rest of the herd but at the same time they keep there Distance. You can usually recognize a big buck without even seeing his horns, you can tell just by his movement ( body language).
First time stand hunts ( sitting on stand for the first time of the season) is absolutely the best time for hunting Big Bucks.
Using satellite and terrain maps to locate the Draws, cover, food source, benches, roads, urban sprawl, pinch points etc. Pinch points are a favorite stand set of mine for catching big bucks moving from one large piece of woods or cover to the next. Some pinch points are caused by roads or even the land owners out buildings. Finding intersecting trails close by these pinch points is usually another productive spot to hang stands, while all along keeping clear of disturbing their bedding area.
Signs to look for are those big gigantic foot prints when you see one you will know it. Rubs can tell you a lot, if its on a big tree and the rub mark seems high and shredded that's a great sign of a big buck. Rubs can tell you which direction he is traveling and cover and food source can help in determining morning or evening. And for me Scrape hunting is a must for first Frost.
Trail cameras at last will help in telling you exactly what kind of quality deer you have on you property. REMEMBER not everyone has 200 inch deer running around on their hunting property. Set your standard of a big buck on what is available for you to hunt.
Weather plays a big part on how deer are moving, keep a close eye on fronts, when there coming and especially when they are moving out. One of my all time favorite times to hunt is when i am sitting in the tree waiting for the rain to stop, because if its been raining hard for a while and you are perched in your stand, when the rain stops it doesn't take long before deer movement will pick up.
Paying attention to land owners input, where and when they are seeing the deer, also of their needs for a little venison or just a little help around the place.Sometimes just making the offer will go a long way.
When a big buck presents its self with a shot opportunity there is not usually a second chance, so have confidence in all your preparations and skill and take advantage of first opportunities.
Hunting big bucks is pretty much a 12 mouth a year plan, so good luck and remember if you let them go, they will grow.
Whitetail Body Language
There are many ways deer can communicate using body language. Some of the most common seen by hunters are; Head bob, foot stomp, and tail waving. We all know what a tail waive means , By-By. If a deer head bobs or foot stomps as a hunter you will have to pick a good ethical shot quickly, because they are about to exit the area.
I have found when a deer decides to exit, right before they bolt they have a tendency to look back one last time. Taking a shot at this time is a bad idea for the deer is at full alert.
While the deer is at a stand still and their ears are moving in circles like radar detectors, this is not the time to shoot. Once the deer starts to move like taking a step or two, this is the time as a bow hunter to release the string.
No matter how fast or quiet bows are today, mature deer can still jump the string. Picking the right time to release the string will help your chances for recovering your trophy.
Alert deer usually hold their head high and cocked back and ears and head are the only thing in motion.
Tail flicking, side to side movement, is a good sign the deer is Relaxed and will probably start moving.
Body language after the shot will tell you how good of a hit it really is and is vary important for tracking your trophy.
A deer hit in the guts can live for several hours and if pushed has a way of disappearing . Hunched back and stiff legged walk usually is a sign of a gut shot deer. Taking up the trail several hours later will help in recovering your trophy. My suggestion is to wait until the next day if possible, but I have recovered deer in about 4 hours after the shot. But keep in mind some of these deer will still be hanging on and to take special care to use stealth to your advantage.
Lung shot deer usually will do a mule kick before bolting off.
The Death run as I call this is when the deer almost looks as if they are running on their knees and the tail is usually sticking straight out.
At any case always go to the scene of the shot and inspect the blood trail and if a arrow is used smell it for traces of a gut shot because sometimes your eyes will play tricks on you, but the sign left behind will not.
Always remember when in doubt back out. Good Luck to Everyone!!
Back Yard Bucks
Harvesting a mature buck in your home state or county is a vary rewarding adventure. Whitetails living in and around residential neighborhoods sometimes will live to be old and wise.These Deer have a way of being unseen or heard " so to speak".
Harvesting one of these great trophies takes many of uneventful days on Field. Most of these deer are seldom spotted in daylight, but their tall-tail sign is evidence of their presence.
Putting out game camera's are a great way to see the quality of deer in these small travel routes, but keeping in mind not to alert them of your intrusion.
Usually if a trophy animal is spotted after the velvet drops, and he is not pushed to another location, and the stand is hunted with no set pattern or frequent visits. This recipe usually will give you your best shot at harvesting the Dominate Buck.
Many of these stand locations are only accessible for bow-crossbow hunters causing other hunters to overlook them. So making good use of Stealth, Safety and Skill will keep you in your private honey hole for years to come.
Good Luck and remember," its not the arrow it's the Indian"
Full Moon Rut
From everything I have read or heard the full moon is not responsible for kicking off the rut, it is just like the rest of Mother Nature’s plants and creatures. It is triggered by the amount of day light hours.
When the Full Moon hits in middle to late October, deer movement during daylight seems to slow down.There are many uneventful days during this time, but never stop hunting hard for one never knows when deer movement during the day will improve.
Over the years I have found the closer to Mid November you get, the greater the chance to harvest a mature deer.
Weather seems to have a far greater effect on deer movement than the moon.
When a Big Buck is doe’d up, it is almost impossible to call him off, or even make him curious. Hunting during the Chase Phase will give you the best advantage.
During the Chase Phase a soft grunt will still draw attention and help in presenting shot opportunities.
Timing in knowing exactly when to shoot, is key to a successful hunt. Venturing into the stand often will increase your chances to harvesting a mature animal.
Keep in mind not to visit any one stand to frequent. Keeping your stand locations fresh and clear of human scent will always make a big difference.
During heavy rut activity is the time when putting long days in the stand will pay off, weather you harvest a deer or not.
Good Luck on your hunt for a Big Buck.