Pursuing the Big Deer: Buck Hunting 101

When deer season comes around, everyone has their hopes set on bagging a big, mature buck! Maybe you’ve only seen this deer in your dreams. Maybe you’ve already caught a glimpse of him! Regardless of how you’ve come to have your mind set on this buck, it’s going to take more than luck to get him. If you ask a group of hunters, serious or casual, for their opinions – you’re going to get several answers. The mature whitetail is a creature that demands respect no matter how much experience the hunter brings.

Although not often thought of, the most important rule is not hunting any area until a specific arrangement of factors are in your favor. Waiting for these factors to be perfect can aid you in snagging that buck you’ve been waiting on. The Wilderness Reserve knows all too well that it’s beneficial to have a strategy in mind! We have 3 essential tips on successfully hunting mature bucks and big deer.

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1. Location

A hunter picks up the ability to choose the ideal location for tagging a big deer from experience. Whitetail bucks are a creature of habit, and one that has survived several seasons has managed this by finding a travel pattern and a location that provides him with the proper protection. Are you wondering what the weakness of this baffling animal is? Along the buck’s travel pattern, there is a weak spot! Even the sharpest of hunters will need to be patient to reveal this. The prime locations for an ambush are discerned through a mix of scouting. This begins in the post-season and continues throughout the summer and the season itself. Some of the most skilled hunters admit to doing more scouting than actual hunting!

With one goal in mind, seeking out the most ideal location to kill a specific whitetail is the most important. Sometimes this can mean scouting from a distance during the season. In the long run, it can pay off to wait until you lay eyes on a big deer making a big mistake, tipping off the exact tree or location you need to be in to bag the beast. But remember – the perfect location will only be beneficial to you if you know when and how to take advantage of it!

2. Wind

Letting the big deer that you’ve got your eye on get a whiff of you is the quickest way to lose your chance at him! Sight is not the keenest sense on a whitetail. From an early age they learn to use the wind to keep themselves safe. If you are looking to bag a big buck during the day, giving him the wind allows him to feel enough safety to come up from his bed and travel. If your homework has been done, you’ll know exactly what type of wind you need – the same wind that your prey requires to safely move from point A to point B. There is no reason to take a chance and loom into that big deer’s territory until the right wind is available!

3. Timing

You don’t want to put in hours of scouting to figure out the locations and wind directions just to make it into your “prime” spot before you should! The more you step foot in a big deer’s lair, the higher the chance is that he will pick up your presence. Repeatedly making trips in and out of a whitetail’s core hub is just asking for disaster. Patience is a merit for any successful big buck hunter, and it is likely that the hunter’s fiercest tool is the ability to outwit a rival. The biggest hurdle of any hunter can be attempting to predict what an animal’s next move is and when he is going to pursue it.

There are many factors that affect the movement of a buck, but the most constant one is the moon. Scientific studies have shown that the moon is a direct influencer of deer breeding. Some of the most successful whitetail deer hunters swear by the moon and the affects that it has on the daily movements of a deer. This is especially true when it comes to getting a buck to leave their bed to feed.


The Wilderness Reserve

At The Wilderness Reserve, years of experience have shown us that attentive scouting and active knowledge of your prey’s environment will tell you when you should be out in the field, and more importantly, when you should avoid it. These factors may be the right key to putting a big deer on the ground. If you do your part, with a little bit of patience, you will better prepare yourself for when the opportunity comes to take that giant buck you’ve been dreaming of!

Contact us today for any questions or inquiries about rates on our hunts, lodging, and for more tips on tagging the trophy you’ve always wanted!