12 REASONS YOU CAN'T KILL A TROPHY BUCK!on Sep 19, 2012
4) Poor Scent Control: As noted above, properly controlling foreign odor is paramount if you want to achieve any type of consistency when it comes to bow bagging giant whitetails. They are masters of survival. Not easily fooled and suspicious of everything. If there is a chink in their armor, a time when they throw caution to the wind (no pun intended), it is during the breeding period. Outside of that time frame you had better be on top of your game when it comes to scent control.
Successfully taming your odor begins with good personal hygiene; however it doesn’t end there; although, that is where a lot of beginning, and sometimes veteran, hunters mess up. They shower using a scent free type of soap, then reach for a freshly washed towel that smells like the detergent aisle at Wal Mart; distributing that April fresh scent all over their body as they dry off. Then, they head for the woods assuming they are invisible to the keen nose of a whitetail. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A total scent control system covers everything from your body to your treestand. Anything that accompanies you into the woods must be kept scent free until it is time to hunt. For example, it does little good to shower, put on your clean hunting clothes, climb into your dirty truck, stop off for gas, walk inside Biscuit World, order up some breakfast, drive to your destination, then grab your bow and your gear and walk to your stand; wearing clothes and boots that smell like Grandma’s house and a BP station.
Save your best stands for last. Burning out good "RUT" locations during the early season is a common mistake.
3) Hunting Your Best Stands First: This blunder could easily be attributed to mistake #7. In my youth, I routinely made the mistake of burning out my best stands long before the right time to hunt them had arrived----the RUT. Don’t be like the young buck in the woods that can’t wait for the action to start. Try to mimic the actual deer you are chasing. What I mean, is lay low, be patient and wait until the does are actually close to coming into heat before you move into your best stands. Ideally, they will be set up in known doe bedding and feeding areas as well as the travel corridors in between.
By waiting until the rut is near before occupying theses stands you will essentially be hunting undisturbed does. That fact alone will greatly increase your odds of tagging out. However, in order to employ this tactic you obviously need to have 2 types of stand setups; Early Season and Rut. No matter how tempting it may be, be strong, be patient and stay out of your best stands until the time is right. You will definitely see an increase in visits to the local taxidermist.
Don't make the mistake of assuming your broadheads will fly like your fieldpoints. Test them long before opening day to make sure arrow flight is acceptable and accurate.
2) Failure To Pick A Spot: It sounds so simple, yet in the heat of the moment, when that magnificent Pope and Young animal is only a stones throw away, it is one of the hardest things on earth to do; sometimes impossible. Picking a spot to aim at does 2 things that will greatly increase your odds of pulling off a high pressure shot; 1) It takes your attention off of the huge “rocking chair” hovering above the bucks head and 2) It gives you a smaller aiming point, thus increasing your concentration. Aim small—miss small.
If you draw back your bow, staring at that crown of antlers the same way you did the first time the neighborhood cutie kissed you on the cheek……your gonna miss. There will be plenty of time to gawk after the buck is on the ground. Before the shot, find one single hair, spot, or discoloration on the buck’s chest and don’t take your eyes off of it until your broadhead drives straight through it.
Naturally, if you wait until the real deal is standing in front of you before attempting this technique it will be extremely difficult to remember to “pick a spot.” Most often, I can’t even remember where I live, let alone remind myself to choose a single aiming point. Therefore, “picking a spot” must be something that is present within your current shooting routine. If it isn’t….it should be. From this point forward, never take another shot at a 3-D target or game animal without picking a small defined aiming point. Preferably, this should occur before you even draw back your bow and continue until after the string has sprung forward and the arrow hits pay-dirt.
1) Hunting Where Mature Bucks Don’t Live: This is it! Numero Uno! No technical stuff or complex strategies to remember, just the painful truth. Let’s face it, no amount of techniques or advice will put you close to a trophy animal if there isn’t any residing in your hunting area. I use to believe that if I followed all of the steps in the “how-to” articles that I would eventually get my buck. Boy was I wrong. True, I was successful. But the next level animals never came to me.
Trail cameras are an excellent resource to confirm your hopes that a trophy buck is indeed roaming your hunting area.
I naively assumed my lack of success was due to something I was doing wrong. The reality of it was there weren’t that many, if any at all, true “monster bucks” roaming my hunting area. It wasn’t until after I began hunting in locations known for P&Y caliber animals that I soon found success.
The bottom line is there are numerous factors at work that are either going to make or break your chances of harvesting a trophy buck. Each is important and each should be given their due respect. However, you’ve got to be hunting where Pope and Young Class bucks reside or you may never get your chance at one; regardless of everything else you are doing right. Here’s hoping that day finds you this upcoming season. Good Luck!