Gridlock

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

What do you do when a buck holds up and doesn’t respond to your calling?

Usually, it’s not so much the buck isn’t responding, but rather, he’s not responding as fast as we would like.

Novice hunters feel the excitement and the pressure overcomes them. They call harder, louder, more often, and the calls become strained. This doesn’t work. In calling, it’s what you say, not how you say.

When calling deer, patience isn’t a virtue, it’s a necessity.

-Jim

The Magic of Low Hanging Fruit

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Deer have the tendency to feed on soft mass prior to entering their primary food source. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because soft mast is easier to digest or it’s because soft mast contains a lot of moisture. Regardless, there will be a flurry of deer activity in a soft mast food source just before evening falls.

-Jim

Small Details Equals Big Bucks

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

In our rush to kill a big buck, we sometimes forget something essential: if our tactics don’t work in one location, it’s extremely unlikely they will work in another location.
Ineffective tactics do little more than waste our time.
You’ll harvest bigger bucks when you obsess about the tiny details. Overhauling how you hunt almost always a better way to spend your time than trying to double the number of places you hunt.
-Jim

How-to Get a Big Buck

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

In hunting it usually goes like this:

Do this and get that.

This morning, I was thinking about the way my Dad hunted. I can’t remember him ever doing this to get that. He hunted for one reason and that was for the joy of being in the outdoors.

It was a consistent approach, and it sure did seem to work. In 65 years of hunting I can’t remember him ever coming home empty-handed.

We are more effective in hunting, especially trophy hunting, if we love what we do.

-Jim

Work Hard on the Right Things

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

I don’t believe most hunters kill trophy deer because they hunt harder. I believe they understand what matters and work harder on these areas.
They practice shooting at the range, scout year-round, and have learned patience.
They work on the right stuff.

-Jim

The Stare Down

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Most of the time when we find ourselves in a stare down contest with a deer it is because the deer has not decided what we are or how to respond to us. We would do a lot better in hunting if we were to think about all of our actions and make sure not to trigger a flee response.
-Jim

Downwind of the Big Domino

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

I’ve never been a big fan of driving deer, probably because I always end up being a driver and never a stander.
The idea is not just to move deer, but to move deer to a particular location.
It’s a lot like playing dominoes. If you have everything lined up just right, you just have to push the first one over and the rest come crashing down.
When pushing deer, I keep my drivers 50 yards apart. The drivers are staggered to keep the deer moving in the direction we want. The driver furthest away from the stand starts first. Once the first driver is 50 yards into the timber or cornfield the second driver starts. Once a second driver is 50 yards in, the third driver starts and so on and so on.
This staggered movement is critical in pushing the deer towards a desired location.
After that, all you have to do is make sure your stander is well concealed and downwind of the big domino.
-Jim

What’s Getting in Your Way?

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

You don’t know what to do.
You don’t know how to do it.
You don’t have the skills to do it.
You’re afraid.

Once you figure out what’s getting in your way, it’s a lot easier to find the answers to the problems.
In hunting, being stuck is a state of mind. Fortunately, it’s curable.

-Jim

Social Ranking Among Bucks

Editors note, Guest blogger, Jim Collyer has written a most insightful book, Buck Naked – The Straight Dope On Trophy Whitetails. It has been a good long time since I’ve read and digested something of this magnitude. It is fresh, free of the tired old anecdotes, straight forward and accurate. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing for consistent success on trophy bucks; it’s that good! R.G. Bernier

Here is an excerpt from a blog posted on www.bigwhitetail.wordpress.com

Social ranking among whitetail deer is not always based upon strength. Dominance is primarily determined by intimidation rather than brawn. Dominance is generally established well before the rut while the bucks are still in velvet. Body posturing and staring are ways bucks intimidate an opponent. If the dominant buck has the largest antlers in the herd it is merely a coincidence.
We’ve all seen dozens of articles written about hunting dominant bucks. We imagine the dominant or Alpha buck to have the largest antlers and to be superior both mentally and physically to all other members of the herd. This just isn’t true. The hunting industry produces at least a dozen dominant buck calls and dominant buck scent attractants. These are marketing strategies and have little to do with what’s going on in the woods.
All bucks are territorial. They mark these territories by rubbing trees, making ground scrapes, and pissing all over the place. However, big bucks don’t necessarily have the same territories. Rather their territory overlap, a buck might be an Alpha in part of his territory and a Beta in the rest.
You can read the complete post here http://bigwhitetail.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/social-ranking-among-bucks/

Jim

Why Do We Hunt?

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Why Do We Hunt?

1. For the meat.
2. For the challenge
3. For the pleasure
4. For the experience
5. For the recognition
Why is it recognition is so important to most hunters? My guess is that if you think about it, the first four factors are more important to you.

-Jim