Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Get to know me before we move on!
I currently have 25 years of whitetail hunting experience under my belt, and with that comes 25 years of watching countless whitetail hunting videos. From the earlier days of VHS to now DVD, Internet and even numerous Saturday and Sunday morning television shows, I have watched, studied and tried to learn how to hunt like the pros. What I have learned in all these years is that the only way to hunt like the pros I watch on television is to spend thousands of dollars going to these ranches (or deer farms as I prefer to call them) and wait patiently for the 50 deer per day to walk out and then select the one that most provokes me. I have tried the horn rattling, deer grunting, doe urine and so on that they promote on TV but the real truth is, that stuff just doesn’t work in the “Wild Woods” that I actually hunt in.
What I have gathered is that deer can basically be trained same as dogs and horses. If a deer lives in a high fence property and has no opportunity to “broaden their horizons”, then they will adapt to their surroundings. If their environment includes someone feeding them every day – in the same place – and at the same time, then guess what? Yes, they will be there tomorrow at the same time. If you happen to be sitting there in a deer stand when farmer Joe is scheduled to feed then you are going to have a lot of deer to choose from.
Think about this: Have you ever seen a pond where the owner of the pond goes out every day and throws a scoop of cat food out to feed the fish? If so, then you know that not only are those fish fat but they are also accustomed to having someone feed them beside the dock. Now, when you show up with a cane pole and a bobber, you will catch fish like never before. Oh, and they will be bigger than the average fish you catch out there on the lake. In fact, if you go to the lake and fish all day long, you might get lucky and catch 3 fish that day – none which are even big enough to keep. This is the same philosophy that I have put together about hunting the whitetail deer in the wild. You just aren’t going to go out to game management property or even a private 50 acre parcel that the ole’ feller down the road lets you hunt, and see herds of trophy bucks just grazing freely in front of your stand while you zoom in with your binoculars and “pre-score” their racks before choosing which one you will harvest today.
In reality, hunting deer in the non-fenced, un-disturbed, un-trained and still wild environment requires an entirely different approach than what is being displayed and marketed on TV. In fact, a very large percentage of your everyday dedicated hunters will go an entire lifetime without ever harvesting a trophy whitetail and some will even go without ever harvesting a single deer. I have hunted natural woods my entire life and for many years, I went season after season without any venison in my freezer. After spending many hours, days, months and years trying, studying, practicing and failing, I have finally discovered tactics that do work. In the last 10 years, I have successfully harvested more than my share of venison to include having now 11 trophy whitetails on my wall. I have introduced many people to hunting, shared my experiences and knowledge with them and have watched them be successful as well. I can’t say that my way is best by no means but I can say that my way has worked not only for me but for the others that have leaned on me for knowledge and guidance.
The purpose of this blog is to share some of that knowledge with you and at the end of the day, hopefully hear that you were able to be successful as well. The greatest experiences I have had in the outdoors is being there to share the excitement of a youngster as the get their first deer, being beside my wife when she got her first deer (which just happened to be a 14 pointer)and being credited for their successes. In this blog, I will cover the dos and don’ts that have worked and failed for me over the years. Study tactics that have worked for me and ways that you can go out in the woods and do more than just watch the squirrels and birds.
I need to be honest up front though, I am a “Deer” hunter; I am not a “Trophy” hunter. I hunt for food and it just so happens that the methodology I use gives me many opportunities at Trophy Whitetails. I don’t bait, I don’t lure, I don’t hunt fenced properties and I don’t train deer. I hunt the whitetail in its natural – undisturbed environment and I do so successfully. I do harvest does and I do harvest younger bucks as well as older ones. In fact, I am a diabetic and venison is my primary source of meat. Because it is basically fat free and not raised and treated with all the unhealthy preservatives, I am allowed much venison in my diet; as far as beef, I am allowed 6oz. per week. So, if you are a hunter and want to learn how to put more meat in your freezer and possibly/hopefully put more horns on the wall, then stick around and I will do the absolute best that I can to help you enter the woods next season with a better chance at being successful.