Killing your #1 Buck –
This week on the TRUTH, Rocker is in the crosshairs! If you’re not familiar with the Saga of Rocker, it began 3 years ago. We caught him on a Primos Trail Camera
in the Arkansas portion of the property, and jaws hit the floor! Over the next 3 years he continued to grow, although his movements were initially all at night. The first year of the chase Rocker only appeared in the daylight on trail cameras once or twice, but by the second year he grew slightly more bold. Brad and Lake put eyes on him near what we call the Secret Bottom, moving along a Privet edge. Lucky for him, Rocker kept out of range until the last day of the season! Jimmy was hunting the Arkansas Field, and after shooting a beautiful late season buck Rocker popped out! After that night, the season closed and the pursuit of Rocker lasted another year!
Finally the season opened and as Rocker had reached the age of 6 or 7, he began making mistakes and showing up to the Take Out Food Plots
regularly in the daylight. Brad and Lake were up to bat and Rocker got within yards of meeting his demise. Finally, Jimmy snuck into a SurroundView Blind in the Secret plot which was planted in Brassicas
, and out popped Rocker! The rest of the story now hangs on the walls of our Cottonmouth camp house!
There’s always that one buck on your property, such as Rocker that keeps you up at night plotting and scheming ways to kill. However, they don’t get old by being dumb, and the game of cat and mouse is part of the fun! Here are 5 tips to stack the deck in your favor when trying to knock off the king of your property!
When hunting Rocker Brad was always extremely cautious of the conditions when he went into Rocker’s home territory. Once you’ve found the territory that deer lives in, which we’ll talk about in tip #2, you need to proceed with caution. This means limiting the time spent in the area, whether that’s checking cameras, feeding (If legal in your state) or just general activity. The more human pressure you put on the area the more likely that giant is to either relocate, or go nocturnal. The last thing you want after finding and beginning to pattern the deer is for the pressure to push the deer out of the area, meaning you’ll have to find him all over again.
The second part of being careful comes to hunting. Never go into the area that deer lives unless you have the optimal wind. The fastest way to ruin a hunt is to let the deer wind you. Even if the wind is light and swirling, don’t go, as big deer don’t take pressure well. If the wind changes while you’re on the stand and it’s not favorable, get out, it’s not worth spooking that giant buck!
2. Locating and Patterning Mr. Big
The best way to find and pattern a big buck starts in the summer. Deer are generally less cautious and frequent open ag fields in bachelor groups during the daylight. This makes finding them much easier! Bean fields are deer magnets in August and if you can get a good vantage point, bring a spotting scope or binoculars to get a glimpse of where that deer is coming out.
If an agricultural field isn’t an option. A trail camera survey is another very effective tool to find your hit list buck. Put out trail cameras, the number will vary depending on the size of your property, using mineral such as Take Out Granular Mineral
, a liquid like Take Out Mineral Sweet Spot Blend
or a block such as Red Zone Mineral Lick
, to attract the deer to your trail camera location. This works great in the months of July and August when deer need mineral for antler growth. As summer turns to fall, and you’re still looking for that giant buck, switch over to our Take Out Feed (If legal in your area)
Once you find the deer, focus your trail camera efforts around the area and try to develop a pattern of where he’s bedding and feeding.
3. Weather Fronts & Burn Out
This is hands down the best time to kill a mature buck outside of the rut. Once you’ve found his core area, set up a stand location that is good for a north or northwest wind, as that’s the predominant wind direction for a cold front. It’s often best to wait until a front to hunt these core area stands unless you are getting the deer consistently in the daylight on camera. Otherwise you are just introducing more human pressure to the area!
4. The Rut!
The rut is another great time to put a tag on your hit lister. Focus on bedding areas around his core area, and hunt down wind of it. Also if there is a food source that congregates does, it can be a killer tactic.
5. Late Season
Often times it’s not love that will kill a big deer it’s survival. If you’re hunting a mature deer and he never comes out during the daylight wait until the end of the season when temperatures plummet. The need for food will be his fatal mistake. High protein food sources such as Take Out Brassicas, corn or beans are the most popular food sources for late season action.