Editor’s Note: Mark Drury of Osceola, Iowa, the founder of MAD Calls (www.flambeauoutdoors.com) and the co-owner of Drury Outdoor Productions (https://www.druryoutdoors.com) with his brother Terry, is an avid deer hunter. Each year, Drury hunts in several states and consistently takes big bucks for his videos. But how does anyone take big bucks regularly? Drury explains how starting early and using new technology helps him find bucks, learn their haunts and habits and determine when and where he can expect to take one.
Deer Scouting Secret No. 1: I plant green fields with Mossy Oak BioLogic (https://www.plantbiologic.com) in areas where I have easy access with my truck to study the green fields. I plant long narrow strips that are invisible from public roads. During the summer months, the wind direction in our section of the country often is a south wind, so I plant these strips where I either can walk in or drive in and scout them with a south wind. Then the deer won’t smell me. I plant two different types of green fields – observation fields that allow me to see the deer on the property during the summer months and hidey-holes that will hold deer, so I can hunt them there later. The way you plant your green fields determines whether you’ll be able to scout successfully for deer season or not.
Deer Scouting Secret No. 2: I start hunting a buck in July when the buck’s antlers are just beginning to develop. Then, I learn which green fields bucks are coming to, and which green fields the does prefer. Identify the trails the deer are using to come into green fields, and put motion-sensor cameras like Reconyx (http://www.reconyx.com) along these trails to get pictures of the bucks. Then I know which green fields each buck is utilizing. This tactic cuts my scouting time because as I develop the pictures, I know which fields I’ll be hunting when deer season starts. I number my camera stations to know exactly which photos have been taken and where. Trail-monitoring cameras enable a hunter to find big bucks, and to know where they’re moving quickly and easily and what time of the day or night they’re moving and how big the deer are. My trail cameras have taught me that the deer often don’t move much during the summer months. They generally move in the morning and the evening, just like they do during hunting season. Another interesting fact I’ve learned is that bucks tend to move more than does during the summer months. And when I’m scouting, I always wear camouflage.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” (http://amzn.to/11dJRu8). You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on the book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book and hear 10% of the book for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book.
Tomorrow: Two More Scouting Secrets for Deer