Hunters today are so pressured to shoot a buck that they don’t realize the opportunities they can create by passing on immature animals. Discipline plays a major role in the difference between just harvesting a buck or an animal to envy.
Hunters are just pawns in a game of chess that whitetails play every day. Opportunities are too precious to squander with mixed emotions and delayed reactions. We need to hone our skills for that single moment. Hundreds of hours of preparation and time in the stand need to be spent in order to get that single sighting of a mature buck. A little luck doesn’t hurt, but it’s the preparation that will produce results.
Going one on one with a mature buck is the challenge. Each animal seemingly has a different set of rules to follow and circumstances differ between each animal and each property. The thrill is trying to decode each one separately and to piece it all together. Sometimes this task takes several seasons.
Years of failure and glory have helped me to fill in a few of the blanks. To a certain extent, all bucks are born to the same gene pool, although age is the defining attribute that allows bucks to become masters of their environment. You need to become one with their world with patience and understanding.
What most hunters don’t understand is that every property holds bucks larger than expected. Trail cameras and scents have proved this to me time and time again. I rely on trail cameras, as well as the correct attractant for the time of year, to show what travels through my properties and when.
In the end, patience is key. Pass on the smaller bucks and hold out for something larger.