Editor’s Note: Bob Walker of Livingston, Alabama, has guided for deer and turkeys for about three decades at Bent Creek Lodge (http://www.bentcreeklodge.com) in Jachin, Ala. He’s been deer hunting for more than four decades and is a member of Mossy Oak’s Pro Staff, www.mossyoak.com. Walker knows how to find big bucks where no one is looking for them.
I have a friend I hunt with in Alabama, where I live, with 2,500 acres of family-owned property. Whenever we’d leave his house to go hunting, the road that passed by his house went to a little church where on the left was a small patch of woods with a lot of privet hedge, red oaks and pin oaks. A pasture was on the other side of about a 25-acre woodlot. A house sat on the other side of this little spot. Every time we went down that church road we’d see deer. I told my friend, “You have to hunt that little patch of woods by the church road.” My friend said, “I’m not going to hunt that woodlot. I’d feel like an idiot, if I was sitting in my tree stand looking at my backyard.” Finally my friend asked, “Why don’t you hunt there?” I said, “Okay, I think I will.” My friend told me, “You’re not going to see a buck. There’s too much noise and too many people close to these woods. I think you’re wasting your time.” However, I decided to hunt this little 25 acres in the morning, because that’s when we had seen deer coming out of that woodlot. The first time I hunted that spot I saw several deer within bow range, however, I was hunting in October and November. Most of Alabama’s rut wouldn’t begin until January.
The second time I hunted this spot I took a doe. I wasn’t discouraged about hunting there, because I’d learned that during the rut bucks would go to the places where the does hung-out. Every time my buddy and I went hunting, I’d tell him, “Look, I’ve got a lock-on tree stand in that little spot. You need to hunt that place.” He’d say, “You’re an idiot. I’m not going to hunt there.” However, I told him, “From your house, you can be in that stand in 3 minutes. You can hunt it anytime.” Again he shook his head and said, “There’s no way I’ll hunt that stand.”
On December 30th, I went to that spot behind the house and took a 5-1/2-year-old 7-point buck that would score about 114 points with my PSE bow (www.pse-archery.com/). Although not a monster buck, for me he was a trophy. I knew that any buck that had survived for 5-1/2-years in Alabama had been hunted hard from October 15th until January 31 each season and had to be a smart, old buck. I feel like anytime I can take a buck that old that has survived that long, especially with my bow, I’ve taken a real trophy. When I showed my buddy the buck, he was excited for me. But his parting words were, “I still can’t hunt that stand.” I’d only hunted that spot for 7 mornings during that season. Remember, I took a doe the second morning I hunted it and then took this old buck on the seventh morning I hunted it. Since then, I’ve started looking for places where no one in his right mind will deer hunt – little bitty spots where a bowhunter even may be embarrassed to hang his deer stand.
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