This list was made over the years and with continual deliberation over what to add and to take away. Many of the ideas come from discussions with others, and from books and articles that offered new insight. Consider using these tips to aid in the harvest of mature bucks.
Primary Hunting Strategies to Use:
1) Your 1st Hunt Best Chance to Kill a Mature Buck in that Stand, Use a Mobile Stand to Make This Possible on Regular Basis
2) Seriously Consider Hunting Other Properties, Don’t Over Hunt Your Best Spots, Save Them for the Points in the Season when They are most likely to Result in a Harvest (often either early-season/late-season over food sources or during the rut/pre-rut are the prime times). This Point Underscores the Importance of Multiple Hunting Properties at a Hunter’s Fingertips.
3) Control Scent as Best as Possible, and Play Wind Direction both for Yourself but also Consider the Way a Mature Buck Desires to Use the Wind to His Advantage
4) Hunt the Hardest from Oct 20th-Nov. 14th, All Day if Possible, Hunt Mid-Day when possible (11:00 to 1:00)
5) Create Food/Mineral/Water Sources and Check Cameras Only Over Them Only When It Rains, Preferably Have Food/Water Sources Near Property Edges, and Keep the Center of Your Property Pressure Free
6) Follow the Moon Chart Hunting the First Quarter and Three Quarter Moon (Full Moon can also be Good) and Recognize with Equal Importance that Cold Fronts and Rain/Snow get Bucks on their Feet
7) Hunt Mornings or Evenings? Let the Trail Cameras tell You Which Time of Day They’re Moving More Often; Nocturnal Bucks are Hard to Kill. Generally Evenings are Good Most of the Season and Mornings are Good during the November Rut Time Frame.
8) Hang Camera’s 8” or Higher to Prevent Deer from Spooking, Don’t Over Check Trail Cameras Preferably Weeks/Months Apart, Only Check Cameras in the Rain to Minimize Scent Left Behind
9) Make Great Entrance and Exit Trails. Use Screens to Enter and Exit Stands as Much As Possible.
10) Make Sanctuary’s within the Center of Your Property or in Strategic Areas that are Thick, Don’t Ever Go In
Additional Tactics/Strategies to Remember:
1) Prep Scrape Before Season Using Hawg’s, Tink’s, or Code Blue Scents, Hang Scent Dripper or Freshen Scrape from Time to Time. Move Trees Near Stand Sites for Scrapes if Good Trees aren’t present. Consider Gathering Fresh Dirt from Other Areas for Mock Scrapes, Can Drive Deer Nuts
2) Only Grunt or Snort Wheeze Once at a Buck if He’s Not Interested, If he is Interested Tease Him One More Time. Rattle lightly in States with Immature Buck Herds. Rattle Aggressively in States with Mature Buck Herds.
3) Use a Drag with Buck Urine and Doe Estrus During the Rut,
4) Consider Using a Buck Decoy in Certain Situations
5) Rough Estimates for Northern Rut Days: Early-Rut: Oct. 10th-15th?, Frenzy Period: Nov. 7th-15th?, Primary Rut: Nov. 10th-23rd?, Post Rut: Dec. 10th-15th? (28 days After the Early-Rut is the Rut)
6) Create Mock Rubs with Knife, or Even Consider Adding Rub Trees/Posts to Stand Areas, Using Scent’s on Rubs will Only Improve the Effectiveness
7) 60 percent of Pope and Young recorded bucks where shot in the afternoon. (4:00 PM – Sunset 48%, 2:00 – 4:00 PM 12%).