Contrary to what some hunters may think, often extraordinary bucks live on public lands with high hunter pressure. These deer understand the average hunter very well. They know most outdoorsmen will walk across two ridges or about 1/4- to 1/2-mile away from their vehicles early in the morning. These hunters will sit in the same spots for 2 hours. Then deciding they aren’t in the right regions, they will move to other locations and sit for about 2 hours more. Around 11:00 am, they will head back to their trucks to meet their friends for lunch. At 1:00 pm, these same hunters will return into the woods and sit at two different locations during the afternoon until 45-minutes before dark and then head for their trucks again.
These are the usual hunting tactics of most public-land hunters. Some will bag deer. A few may take trophies. But none probably will bag a legendary buck. A legend hunter must have endurance. Usually most successful tree sitters have an abundance of this quality. The tree sitter understands what the legendary deer knows. Both the hunter and the hunted have learned the people pattern of heavily-hunted woods.
The extraordinary buck will remain in thick cover all day long. He only may move when the hunters are gone. A veteran tree sitter will place his tree stand in the thickest area he can find. He will look for a big thicket with a small opening in the middle of it where he only may be able to see 5-10 yards of fairly-open ground. He will get to his tree 1 hour before daylight and begin his vigil. Sitting in the tree, he will watch the hole in the thick cover from daylight until black dark. The tree sitter won’t leave his stand until dark. The tree sitters I’ve known have told me the best time to take an extraordinary buck is just at daylight when most hunters are coming in to the woods, or between 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, when hunters are leaving for lunch, or the last 45-minutes before black dark when the average hunter is headed home.
The legends will stay in the thick cover in the daylight hours. During deer season, they have learned what to expect in the daytime if they leave the cover. The only way I know to take a buck like this is to stay in a tree stand all day until the animal moves. But the advantage to this type of hunting is that most often I will get a shot at the buck, while he’s either standing still or walking slow. I never have competition from other hunters. The toughest thing for me to deal with is the urge to move to another place. Once I decide a legendary buck is in a thick place, I’ll stay in my tree stand from before daylight until after dark as many days as are required to take him.
Hunting extraordinary bucks is hard work. The men who take the super trophies are a rare, hardy breed. Although they pay the price, sometimes they still will fail to outfox the bucks that have built up these reputations, even with all the knowledge the legend hunters have. For the extraordinary buck hunters, the contest is the prize. Taking the legend is an added bonus. Legends are an unusual breed of deer, and to bag them often requires a unique breed of hunter.
To learn more about hunting deer with John E. Phillips’ Amazon Kindle eBooks, print books and Audible books (the latest Audible is “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro”) and Nook books, click here at http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer. You can type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. For a free download on how to make jerky from venison to provide a protein-rich snack, choose “How to Prepare Venison Jerky: The Ultimate Snack Food” at johninthewild.com/free-books.