Whitetails? Change It Up !


When it comes to whitetails, big bucks get all of the attention. The reality is that any mature whitetail is a worthy adversary. When populations allow, killing a mature doe from a pit blind requires skills that will make you more successful at killing big bucks. That mature doe has been keeping her fawns safe from camouflaged bobcats and coyotes all year! The advantage of hunting mature does is that there may be several on the property you hunt where there may be only one (or no) mature bucks, so you can get years of hunting experience in a single season. If you find a particular doe too challenging, you can move on to the next! There are two basic ways of being successful harvesting mature whitetail bucks on a regular basis. You can hunt on a property where a mature buck lives (beds) during hunting season, or hunt a location on a property where mature bucks from other areas travel a few days each year. The strategies and methods for each type of hunting are completely different. If you know mature bucks are using the property you hunt and you want to see them more often, you'll have to get used to working a little harder to change things up, especially if a specific buck you are hunting lives (beds) near or on the property you hunt. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to making deer hard to hunt because their keen senses tell them when we've been there and how to avoid us. We need to work carefully to make our entry and exit routes less detectable. We need to have the discipline to hunt locations only when conditions favor us, so we won't be seen, smelled, or heard, and we need to change the way we hunt a property on a regular basis, because deer figure us out quicker than we think. Changing the way we hunt on a property can mean hunting new locations and changing the way we access our hunting locations. This is important because once a buck knows what we're up to, he's won the game! We will continue to hunt, thinking that it's just a matter of time before he ambles by. In reality he will continue to avoid our locations without us having a clue. The following hunting season for the same buck will likely have the same outcome for the same reason. Keeping a hunting spot "fresh" is important when hunting mature animals. The most consistent tag-punching hunters usually have many stand/blind locations so they are always hunting "fresh", or have a few  nearly perfect locations for those few days when mature bucks may travel during daylight from other areas. The In Ground Blind system allows us many additional hunting locations and gives us the ability to allow a blind location to "cool off" for an extended period without maintenance. If you are checking or moving tree stands and trimming shooting lanes on a property every year expecting different results, you may be wasting your best opportunity for hunting a stand location. Surprise and stealth are the keys to success. We often think of finding a new property to hunt when things aren't going our way. Often what we need more than new property is a new way to hunt the property we already have. The reward is worth the work. Change it up! 

Paul Keller