Editor’s Note: Will Primos, the creator of Primos Hunting (www.primos.com) and well-known turkey and deer hunter has been hunting white-tailed deer for about six decades. He’s made 100 videos on hunting and has produced about 500 TV show episodes – all named “The Truth.”
I took the biggest buck I’ve ever harvested with my bow in Kansas. He scored 186 inches. We had quite a few trail-camera pictures of this deer, but we never could understand why we couldn’t see him during daylight hours.
We were hunting on the last day of our Kansas trip, when my cameraman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I don’t have enough light to film.” About 20 seconds later, I saw movement in the woods. The buck stopped about 15-20 yards away from us, and I had a clear shot, so I took him.
Now I know that I violated all the rules of shooting videos and TV shows. When you’re trying to do a video or a TV show, and the cameraman says he doesn’t have enough light, that means if you take the shot, you’re not going to get the video that you came to get. However, this buck was a buck that we’d hunted for a long time and was in plenty of pictures. I was just obsessed with this buck. I knew I could make the shot, and we were still within legal shooting hours. I’m a hunter. Sometimes your hunting instincts take over, especially when you’ve been hunting a really-nice buck for a long time. Even though our job is to record video, we’re still hunters, with all the hunting instincts, desires and motivations that go with being a hunter. So, I was glad I harvested that buck.
Primos’ Deer Hunting Tips:
I’m often asked, “If there were two major deer-hunting tips that you could give any hunter to increase his odds of taking a deer this season, what would they be?” I’ve already mentioned the importance of approaching your stand. That’s a mistake that hunters make that can cause them to not see the buck that they went to the stand to take, and possibly not see any deer at all. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got a favorable wind, move slowly and quietly and get your equipment into your stand with the least amount of noise and movement possible.
The second tip is to watch the wind. If a deer sees you or hears you, he may not know what you are and may not spook. But if a deer smells you, he’ll leave the country.
Once when I was hunting with Jordan Blissett, my cameraman, we were sitting on the edge of the Mississippi River. I saw leaves moving. “We’ve got to leave,” I told Jordan. Jordan whispered back, “This is the only time we’ve got to hunt; let’s just try and get lucky.” A deer blew at us, and I saw another deer approaching, and those two deer, as well as any other deer within hearing, blew out of that area. I realized we’d just spooked the deer that we were trying to take. We both realized we had messed-up our hunting site by not leaving the region as soon as we felt the wind change. When you hunt at the wrong time with the wrong wind, you may as well be in your living room. At least in your living room, you won’t spook the buck that you’re trying to take.
I use a wind checker constantly while going to my stand and when I’m in my stand. I also put up two Ozonics (www.ozonicshunting.com) ozone machines – one pointed off the back of the tree I’m sitting in, and a little to the right, and the other on the back of my tree stand, a little to the left. That way if the wind shifts only slightly, I have ozone covering my human odor. I always protect the downwind side of my tree stand. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve set-up where we were almost dead certain that deer weren’t going to come from our downwind side, but they did.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ brand-new Audible book, available August 2, 2022, and now in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows” at https://www.amazon.com/. Also look at “PhD Whitetails” at
https://www.amazon.com/ also available in Kindle, print and Audible versions. You may have to copy and paste these links into your browser. (When you click on either book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read and hear 10% of the books 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.