There is this misconception out there that mature whitetails come easy to people on TV, but this is far from the case. After spending time listening to Lee and Tiffany on a few podcasts as well as Matt Drury one things remains the same. Big deer are killed with hard work and lots of it. (Let’s exclude any show that primary takes place in a high fenced area or almost exclusively hunts with outfitters.)
After listening to both of these professionals describe their profession it is very clear that time in the stand is something every serious professional hunter puts in. How many of us put 60 to 90 days in a tree stand a year? How many of us hunt all day on regular basis or at least morning and evening throughout the season? My guess is the average individual cannot even come close to answering yes to either of these questions.
With that in mind you and I (the average hunter) already has the odds stacked against us. Of course the many marketing pitches we’re given and the success we see on TV create this illusion that mature bucks come easier then they actually do. Yet the fact of the matter is mature bucks simply do not come easy.
The biggest thing to take away from these interviews is that killing a big buck is going to take plenty of time. It’s not just time in the same tree stand. The most effective way to kill mature bucks is to hunt from numerous stands in numerous places on as many days as possible. Obviously it goes without saying that scouting and property enhancements (food plots, timber stand improvements, creating bedding areas, ect) will aid in this process. It’s not always just a numbers game, it is about being in the right place at the right time in location that holds a mature buck.
If the average hunter can put these things in their favor their odds of success start to improve rather quickly.
Now if you live in Florida this becomes a lot more difficult, but mature bucks can still be found even in the state of Florida. Ideally a serious hunter lives or spends time hunting in a state that possess mature whitetails or at least a county that holds mature whitetails. Certain locations will always be better then others and this is something that can change over time. Assuming you are an area that holds mature deer the next step becomes finding an area to hunt. These options include: your own land, getting permission on private land, leasing private land, purchasing new land, hunting on a friends property, or hunting public/state lands. For many and most hunters getting a collection of these options will be your best bet to landing various spots that will provide an opportunity to shoot mature bucks. My best advice will continue to be to spread out your options hunting in as many different areas as possible. Always hunt smart and sometimes it may be necessary to hunt aggressively.
Work hard, get numerous properties to hunt, and put your time in. This is a recipe that will increase your odds. If you don’t put in the hard work like the guys on TV and chances are you don’t have a reason to complain for your lack of success. Success is never easy. Don’t sell yourself that lie. Anyone who has consistently been successful at anything can tell you that it took hard work to get there. It also often takes risks.
Hopefully if you’ve been sold the lie that killing mature bucks is easy you see the picture somewhat differently now. It’s the hours you put into this sport that will often be the difference between a trophy on the wall and another season wishing you had done more.