The Truth About Luck?

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

Luck has been in my corner since day I shot my first whitetail buck.

I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in Idaho into a lower-middle class family with six children.

I was lucky enough to have parents, who worked hard for very little money, which has given me a good work ethic.

I was lucky to grow up in a time when hunting was a necessity, not a luxury. And boy was I lucky to have went to grade school with patches on my knees.

I’ve also been lucky to make friends with some of the best hunters in America. Lucky to have a father that would rather be hunting or fishing than at work.

What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to hunt harder than ever?

I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. And the old saying is true, you know, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.

You can greatly increase your luck by learning from my mistakes and getting a copy of my book, Buck Naked.

Jim

Make the buck hear more than one deer

Apple Creek Whitetail Photograph

During the rut it’s natural for a buck to hear the sounds of more than one deer. After all it takes two to tango. I like to carry one grunt call and two different bleat calls with me while hunting. This gives the illusion of there being more than one receptive doe in the area. Giving least three bleats to every grunt has worked best for me. Remember does don’t estrous bleat to sound their receptiveness, they bleat when they are trying to flee an overly aggressive buck.
In the end the tool that takes most deer is patience.
Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Aggressive Calling Rarely Works

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

Overly aggressive calling has saved more bucks lives than just about anything else. Aggressive calling is only used when bucks are a long ways off. The buck has to hear your call in order to respond.
If a good buck is responding to your call, shut-up. If he stops or hesitates, try a few subtle calls. A few doe bleats will often get a buck that is hung-up to begin to move in your direction again. Don’t get forceful with your calling until all else has failed.
Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Don’t Call in Open Areas

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

If you don’t have a decoy, calling where the buck can see everything is useless. You have to give the buck a reason why he can’t see the deer that’s calling, or he won’t be comfortable coming in. Always take full advantage of the cover and vegetation in your area.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Dress for Success

Apple Creek Whitetails Photo

Invest in hunting clothes that will keep you comfortable. A good camouflage pattern won’t help you if you’re freezing your buns off. I prefer to dress in layers. This way I can remove layers to keep from overheating and add layers when I ’m not moving.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Find the Feed and Find the Bucks

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Some areas look deer-ish, but if the food is absent, the deer will be too. Mast is a key to fall hunting.

Acorns, berries, and other mast corps will draw the deer. . Later in the fall deer often turn towards browse and feed heavily on leaves and stems from such ash, maple, wild rose, and snow berry. Remember deer food doesn’t always look like food to you. Learning which native plants the deer prefer in your area will improve your odds for success. A tell-tale sign deer are feeding in an area is the presence of fresh droppings.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Summer Scouting

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Summer is one of the best times to scout for trophy bucks. The bucks are very visible while feeding in the early morning and late evening. Being able to pattern the bucks movement will greatly increase your chances come opening day.
Alfalfa and beans are great summer food sources. It’s best to drive by these fields just before dark. Try to stay at least two to three hundred yards from the deer. You don’t want to spook them before the season starts. The bucks will be in bachelor groups and any scouting done now will only be effective if you can hunt before they shed their velvet. After the first week of September the bucks will separate, start looking at other food sources, or feed after dark.
Jim

Get Comfortable

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Make sure your stand is a comfortable one. Be ready to sit for long periods of time-two hours or more- without any noticeable movement. A deer’s eyes are geared to pick up movement. If you can’t sit still your chances are greatly diminished.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Always Assume a Buck is Nearby

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

When calling deer, always assume a buck is nearby. Hunters are always looking for that buck to come charging in, but this doesn’t happen very often. Normally the largest bucks sneak in silently downwind of your location. Always make sure you have a good shooting lane downwind from your stand.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Don’t Give Up on Mid-day Hunting

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Most hunters are gone by 11:00 am, and most of the deer know this. A mature buck will often get out of his bed and feed for a few minutes around mid-day. This is an excellent time to catch a buck feeding or looking for does. Staying in the stand will produce more opportunities than eating lunch.
Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/