Editor’s Note: To pinpoint where big bucks are staying, hunt in areas where no one else wants to hunt.
Bo Pitman, former owner and former guide at White Oak Plantation in Tuskegee, Alabama, explains, “We take the biggest bucks on our property from the spots most hunters believe are the worst stands. For instance, we have one stand near the highway in an open field. Hunters can see cars going up and down the highway. All they have to look at is the edge of a pine plantation. But big bucks do come out of the pines and move across the road at this particular stand site. However, whenever I put a hunter on this stand, he’ll think I’ve given him the worst stand on the property. He doesn’t realize that some of the biggest bucks we’ve ever taken have come from this stand.”
Hunters also hate to hunt a small neck of woods not 100-yards from the back door of Red Oak, another lodge on the White Oak Plantation property. Sportsmen sitting in this stand can see the housekeepers going in and out every morning when they clean the rooms, and the hunters who’ve slept late getting up and going to breakfast. The stand sits so close to the house that reason dictates you’ll never see a buck there, especially a big buck. However, because some hunters who know honey holes for big bucks can exist close to houses, and that White Oak only allows hunters to hunt this stand one or two times a year, they bag monster-sized bucks from this stand each season.
Other big-buck stand sites on the property hunters hate are in the middle of extremely-dense cover where the sportsman may not be able to see more than 20 yards. “Most hunters assume that if they can’t see for a long distance they can’t spot a big buck,” Pitman says. “Although older-age-class bucks rarely expose themselves in open woods during daylight hours, they will walk through little openings in thick cover during the daytime throughout most of the season. Our property produces big bucks each season at what hunters consider bad stands.”
White Oak lets hunters hunt the very-worst stand on their property only during January. Because this stand sits on a small island, the hunter must wear chest-high waders and walk through a deep, muddy swamp for 1/2-mile to get there before daylight. If he takes a buck at this stand, he understands he’ll have to drag that buck through the swamp for 1/2-mile before he can get to his vehicle and carry the deer out. Few hunters choose to go to this stand site. But the brave hearts who do often take trophy bucks.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007A2N792. To receive your free book on “How to Make Venison Jerky,” go to https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/Ece3UZVcOo52cKPJcL