Editor’s Note: Terry and Mark Drury have owned Drury Outdoors for the last almost 35 years, and today produce and direct several TV shows, including “Thirteen,” “Natural Born,” “Bow Madness” and “Critical Mass: Evolve.” They’ve consistently been able to take older-age-class bucks every year on the properties they own and manage for wildlife. Terry Drury shares their deer strategies. Also many states offer free assistance through biologists in the states’ Technical Assistance Units about improving properties for deer.
For many years now, Mark and I have studied the different factors that relate to the optimum time to take an older-age-class buck. Here’s what we’ve learned: there’s no one telltale factor that you can depend on to indicate the right time to hunt a mature buck; however, there are certain combinations of factors that have proved to Mark and I that when these conditions all happen at the same time, your chances are the very best to harvest that buck of a lifetime.
I believe those factors include hunting:
- for three or four days before or after a full moon;
- in weather conditions 10 degrees below the average temperature for the place I’m hunting;
- when there’s a little bit of spitting rain;
- when a 7 – 10 mile-per-hour wind is blowing in my face; and
- with a rising barometer that’s 30.5 to 30.15 or 30.2.
How the Drury Outdoors DeerCast App Works
Mark and I developed an app called Drury Outdoors DeerCast. We compiled tons of information for two to three years before we released this app. DeerCast is an algorithm that predicts when deer will move during daylight hours, and when a hunter can expect to see the most movement with the deer. We’ve continued to improve and develop more features for DeerCast every year, and we’re always comparing notes from different places we hunt around the country on deer movement and the factors that influence deer movement.
What we’ve discovered is that there are about 13-different influencers that help to determine when a whitetail is on his feet and moving during daylight hours. We believe DeerCast is one of the most-accurate apps for predicting deer movement minus intrusion. There are certain things that happen when you’re hunting that you can’t control that will cause you not to see deer – even if all the other factors are in your favor – like dogs running through your area, a sightseer driving through your region on a four-wheeler, someone flying a drone, or a person hiking through that region. When the deer are undisturbed, however, DeerCast is pretty accurate. I believe it’s within 96 – 97% accurate, and we’re constantly tweaking DeerCast to try to improve on it.
There’s a free version of the app, so that you can test its accuracy and see how it works. If you like it, there’s a $9.99 per year version of DeerCast, and there’s an Elite Version that sells for $19.99 per year that gives you a custom setting, a deer-tracker feature, the 10-day forecast and the 10-day predictor that tells you when your odds are best for seeing deer move. This app also contains our entire video series with lots of content and deer-hunting information for the deer hunter. That means you can watch some of our deer-hunting videos on your phone, while you’re waiting on a buck to show-up in your stand or even in your office when you’re taking a break. You can purchase the app online through Drury Outdoors Online, or you can go to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store to find the app for Android or iPhone. The name of the app is “Drury Outdoors DeerCast.”
What Other Factors Impact Deer Hunting
Another thing we’ve learned is that if you don’t have trail-camera pictures of a really-big deer living where you’re hunting, you’re probably not going to take a mature buck. My brother Mark started saying many years ago, “You’re only as good as the spot you hunt.” He means that you need to do all your homework ahead of time to understand the conditions that need to come together on the day you’re hunting and know that you’ve got trail camera pictures showing that a big buck does pass by the spot where you’re hunting.
The exception to that rule is if you put in the time, the work and the money to grow big deer and hold big deer on your property, you can expect to have older-age-class bucks coming past that spot where you’re hunting. If that mature buck doesn’t come by your stand site when everything is right, then you need to find another place where that big deer is likely to walk by your stand. We believe in making the area you’re hunting better for the deer to come by or else your finding another spot to hunt. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we really put in a lot of time and work in preparation for deer season.
As I’ve become older, I’ve gotten pretty picky about the bucks I want to take, and I’ve got a couple of bucks on my property that I really want to try to harvest this year. We don’t pick out a specific buck for a certain hunter – visitors or family – to try to take. But, we do put them on the stands where we hope one of these nice bucks will walk by them, and they can take that buck. We may end-up having to move our friends and relatives around to two or three different stand sites for them to take a really-nice buck. We’ve been watching some of these deer since they were 2.5 years old, and now perhaps they’re up to 4.5 to 6.5 years old. So, we’ve learned over the years, where these bucks are most likely to walk in front of one of our stands.
Another thing we do is we study our trail-camera pictures of where these bucks have shown up on the same food plot at the same time the previous year and, many times, they’ll be on that same food plot the following year. That occurs about 30% of the time. We’ve harvested a lot of nice bucks by going to the spot where we’ve seen a nice buck the previous year on the same day the following year.
Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “Why I Prefer Tree Steps” by John E. Phillips.
How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties
In this book, you’ll hear from 14 hunters who either have gained permission or leased properties as small as six acres to as much as 250 acres, and how they consistently take older-age-class bucks off these little lands.
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Jim Crumley’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer
Using a black magic marker and a gray work jumpsuit, Jim Crumley of Buchanan, Virginia, drastically changed the nature and purpose of hunting camouflage when he created the first sportsman’s camouflage – Trebark. Crumley’s love of bowhunting and his desire to be more invisible changed hunting clothing forever.
In this hunting guide, he shares the wisdom that he’s learned throughout his lifetime about how to be a hunter, how to find a deer lease, how to scout for deer, and more.
Special features include how to:
- Have a magic 60 acres to hunt
- Decide the best equipment to use
- Find deer year-round
- Locate land to hunt
- Know the best place to put your tree stand
- Get bucks within bow range
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How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro
How do you know if the land you hunt has a trophy deer on it? Wildlife manager Bob Zaiglin, of Uvalde, Texas and Jim Crumley, the father of modern-day hunting camouflage, tells you how to find out. GPS can make finding and taking that trophy buck easier. This hunting guide will teach you how to hunt big bucks where no one else can find them, how to call deer, and how to become versatile as a deer hunter, so that if one deer tactic doesn’t work, another one will.
In the chapter, “How to find Bucks at Scrape,” Dr. Keith Causey, retired professor of Wildlife Science at Auburn University, describes the best way to hunt a scrape.
Brad Harrison of Neosho, Missouri, is a nationally-known videographer, professional deer hunter and master at calling deer. Another master is Will Primos of Primos Game Calls. These two experts will tell the best deer calls and when to use them in this book.
And for over 20 years, Bo Pitman, lodge manager of White Oak Plantation, has been studying deer movement patterns. He explains what types of conditions are best for predicting deer movement.
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In Chapter 10, Jacob Lamar tells you his tactics for consistently taking older-age-class bucks on public lands in several states. Chapter 11, Bob Walker explains how to find places on public lands where you can hunt that 99 percent of the other hunters never have considered hunting. The Bonus Chapter with David Ramey tells you how, where, when and with what equipment to take big Kansas bucks on public lands by hunting in 100-degree weather when others won’t hunt.
Chapter 13, Mark Drury, his family and his guests take mature bucks every season by having more small places to hunt rather than one large property. Drury explains the strategy of having satellite farms to hunt that only may be 50-150 acres each or less. Chapter 15, Pat Reeve, who hunts far-northern states and Canada, says, “I don’t like hunting for mature bucks until the weather is 20 degrees or less.” Chapter 4, Dr. Larry Marchinton says that funnels are the most-reliable stand sites to hunt for big bucks and tells why.
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