The Most Overused Phrases in Hunting

By Justin ZarrOctober 7, 20158 Comments

LAST UPDATED: December 10th, 2015

With hunting seasons in full swing and the Internet lighting up with photos of fallen trophies it’s time to take a look at the most overused phrases within our community.  Whether they be on TV shows, YouTube hunting videos, social media posts or hunting forum topics there’s little question that there’s a certain lingo floating around.  While I myself have been guilty of using, and even overusing, some of these phrases, there’s a few that I feel should be banished from our vocabularies forever.  So let’s take a look, shall we?

The Good

“Big Buck Down”

We can all thank TV hosts Lee & Tiffany Lakosky for coining this doozy.  The popular Iowa buck slaying duo first brought “BBD” to our attention some years back and it spread through the hunting world faster than EHD during a summer drought.  The only trouble with “BBD” texts from your buddies is that more often than not they should be replaced by “MBD” or “LBD” for those little and medium sized bucks we’re all shooting; especially when you compare them to the Lakosky’s trophies.  Perhaps they should change their catchphrase to “Ridiculous Buck Down”.

Spin offs include “Big Doe Down”, “Big Bull Down” and the one I use all too often “DSS” – Didn’t See Squat.

“Smoked Him”

I’m really not sure where this one originated or why exactly it caught on the way it did but “smoked him” is the go-to phrase for all of us video people whenever we make a good shot on an animal.  While many folks have come along and tried to leave their own mark on the hunting world with variations like “crushed him”, “dominated him” or any other number of similar phrases nothing has so far supplanted this old standby.  In a world where smoking is generally frowned up, this may be one of the only situations where smoking is actually a good thing.

The big downside of “smoked him” is that it’s used far too often by video hunters who make a horrible shot and fail to own up to it.  They may be smoking something, but all too often it’s not the shot they just made.  As Chris Carter would say – C’mon Man!

Anything Michael Waddell Says

In addition to being one of the most recognizable faces in the hunting industry, Michael Waddell has coined more hunting lingo than any individual with the possible exception of Uncle Ted.  Whether he’s laying the smack down on a freak nasty buck or hanging out with “The Brotherhood” it seems everyone wants to be like Mike.

“Rage In The Cage”

When it comes to post-shot celebrations and comments I draw the line at “Rage in the Cage”.  I can deal with people “smoking” deer and I can handle people “laying the smack down” but there’s something about putting a “rage in the cage” that just makes me shake my head. I was first acquainted with this saying in a Drury Outdoors video some time ago and it immediately knew it was going to take off.  Some years later it’s unfortunately going strong with no signs of slowing down.

The Bad

“I Patterned Him”

In my opinion he idea of “patterning” a deer is one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the hunting world.  In a rare set of circumstances when hunting unpressured deer on strict feeding patterns you can often figure out a “pattern” that a buck may use for a few days in a row.  Outside of that someone telling you they patterned a deer and killed him because they knew which trail he would be using at what time is hogwash.  When someone asks me if I have any deer patterned I generally stop talking to them for at least 6 months.

“Hunt The Wind”

The subject of scent control is one that causes more arguments than any hunting topic outside of crossbows.  Whether it’s scent control clothing, ozone machines or even basic scent control techniques the naysayers of the world always tell you to “hunt the wind” and you’ll be fine.  Well…duh!  Of course we’re going to hunt the wind!

Unless you can find me a situation where the wind is always 100% consistent for the duration of my hunt and the deer 100% of the time play by the rules and stay upwind of my position I’m going to keep practicing scent control.  Until that happens you can take your “hunt the wind” rhetoric and stick it “you know where”.

Management Buck

Ah yes, the “Management Buck” aka the “Buck not big enough to make my buddies jealous so I’m not going to shoot him” buck.  This one always cracks me up.  So many hunters out there these days are talking about holding out for and only shooting “mature” deer because they’re the hardest to kill, yet they pass many mature deer who don’t quite meet their antler standards.  Then they bring in their buddies to shoot these management deer so they don’t have to “burn” their tag on them.

The Ugly

“A Touch Back”

Ever see a hunting video where someone shoots a deer right in front of the hind quarters and then proclaims they shot the deer “a touch back” or “a little far back”?  I’m not sure what measuring system these folks are using but when you’re 18 inches back from where you wanted to hit I think you’re more than a “touch” back.

To top this one off they usually tell us how the animal was quartering away and they snuck it up there and probably got “liver and one lung”.  I’m pretty sure the phrase “liver and one lung” is now code for “gut shot” in most modern hunting videos, especially when it’s immediately followed by “we’re going to give him some time” before tracking.  Aye.

“Bowhunt or Die”

Whoever came up with this nonsense is clearly a buffoon.  This one is the worst of the bunch.

Justin Zarr
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General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 25 years, harvesting a number of P&Y whitetails in his home state of Illinois during that time.  He co-hosts the popular bowhunting show 'Bowhunt or Die' and is a frequent guest on numerous hunting podcast.  Justin lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife and 3 children.
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