John’s Note: Longtime deer hunter Michael Ahlfeldt of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, took his bow buck of a lifetime in 2010. To accomplish this goal, he first learned how to locate a piece of property with the potential to produce a trophy bow buck, how to manipulate the habitat on that property to hold a trophy buck, how to find that trophy buck and hunt him, and how to successfully take that trophy buck. This week, Ahlfeldt will show us the steps he took that you can follow to take the buck of a lifetime with your bow.
“The first time I saw Big Louie (see Day 2), the big buck I wanted to take, was in August at our Ohio-leased property,” Michael Ahlfeldt remembers.
“I got a trail-camera picture of him, and my friends and I decided this was the biggest buck we’d ever seen in our lives.
Big Louie was a typical 12 point with two drop tines and four sticker points.
“The Good Lord really blessed us by leading us to a lease that had this many big bucks living on it,”
“The deer were spending most of their time in that 35-acre woodlot, because it was really thick with a lot of saplings and an overabundance of briars,” Ahlfeldt explains. “This sanctuary was extremely thick, because the landowner had cleared a portion of this land to build a 6-acre pond and then decided not to build a pond. There was no good reason for the deer to come out of that sanctuary until we planted the green fields.”
Once the green fields were planted, and the trail cameras started photographing a large number of big bucks, Ahlfeldt and his friends knew their long shot had paid-off in big-buck dividends.
Ahlfeldt learned that:
* just because someone is ahead of you to lease a piece of prime deer land doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to lease that land, especially if the landowner knows that he has other potential lessees;
* when there’s thick cover and grown-up fields, deer may not leave as much sign as you’ll find in open woods;
* if the habitat dictates there should be trophy bucks on the property, and the land’s located in a state that historically has produced trophy bucks, no one may have leased the land, because of the lack of deer sign they can see, which may give you the opportunity to lease that land;
* until you do a trail-camera survey of the property, you can’t really know how-many bucks of what size the property’s holding; and
* when you put in green fields in conjunction with your camera survey, you may not only see the bucks living on the property, but also the bucks that come back and forth from other nearby lands to feed on that green field.
To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here to get these books.
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.