The season may just be over or just about to be over but start preparing now if you want to increase your odds next season hunting big deer. There are many different things to help you do this and each hunter will have different things that will help him or her. I would like to share a few of things that have helped me over the years. The thing is make you a plan and start executing that plan now.
One of the biggest factors I believe is, there have to be trophy bucks where you hunt to be able to kill trophy bucks. The more brutes you have in the area the better your chances are. It doesn’t matter if you are on private or public land with a little homework, hard work and preparation you can increase your odds of taking big deer.
Grow Big Deer
I have hunted public and private land over the years and preparation is the key on both. Whitetail habitat and quality deer management are key factors that make a huge difference deer hunting. If you hunt public land make sure it has good whitetail habitat and if you hunt private land practice quality management. The Quality Deer Management Association is a great resource to help you learn to manage your property and herd.
If you plan on hunting public land do your homework and hunt the places that have high success rate of hunters taking trophy bucks. Years ago I put in for a very tough draw hunt in Georgia and although it took me three years to get drawn I finally got it done and killed a nice nine pointer. It was a three day, seventy five hunter quota and I was the only hunter to kill a buck and it was all because I did my homework and was determined. I increased my odds by being where there were a good number of trophy bucks and I prepared.
Here is a list of some things that will help you prepare for next season.
- Locate Prime Whitetail Properties: Locate properties known to have good whitetail habitat and get access to hunt them.
- Scouting: Scouting is a great way to help you increase your odds and the inter-net can help you find whitetail hot spots before ever stepping foot on a certain piece of property. You can locate pinch points, saddles, travel corridors, water, elevation changes etc.. Google Earth is a great way to scout properties and help you figure out where to start your search once you arrive to do you scouting on foot and can save you a ton of time and walking. Once I do my inter-net scouting and first foot scout a piece of new property I like to walk the complete boundary and look for trails entering or leaving the property and try to figure out where those trails are leading to and from and why. Don’t over scout, keep human activity to a minimum, the less they have to deal with you the safer they feel and the better your chances are of seeing a monster.
- Equipment Checklist: Having good equipment is a must and making an equipment checklist will help you prioritize what equipment you need to upgrade or purchase. By doing this early you can get the things you need throughout the year and not have to purchase it all right before the season and it won’t take a chunk out of your wallet at one time.
- Archery Practice: You need to practice, practice, and practice some more. Simulate hunting conditions when practicing such as shooting from elevated spots, wear the clothing you will be wearing in the field, shoot at life size targets and practice shooting in all weather conditions etc…
- Quality Deer Management: Learn about and implement strong quality deer management practices where you hunt. Plant food plots, implement supplemental feeding programs, manage the herd with antler restrictions and manage buck to doe ratio etc…
- Trail Cameras: Use trail cameras to help you survey your bucks and to help you decide the best locations to place stands.
- Hunting Tips And Techniques: Learn as much as you can about whitetails behaviors and feeding habits. Learn tips and techniques from the pros by attending seminars at hunting shows to help you in the field. Learn whitetail vocalizations and what they are saying when they make those sounds and learn how and when to make those sounds.
- Get Fit: The better shape you are in the better hunter you will be.
- Deer Stand Preparation And Concealment: Get your stands put out early and leave the area alone. Make sure you stands give you plenty of cover when you are in them.
These are just a few things to help you get ready, the season will be here before you know it. If you are like me you are already wishing opening day was here. By starting to prepare early you can give your self a much better chance at getting that buck of a lifetime when next season rolls around. When you get that buck of a lifetime all that hard work and preparation will be worth it… I promise!
I wanted to share a hunt I filmed during the 2011 season in Kansas, preparation helped us to get a shot at this once in a lifetime buck.