Pine Ridge Archery is now sponsoring Driven TV with Pat and Nicole. This husband and wife hunting tag team spend a ton of time in the woods each year. The Pine Ridge team recently interviewed Pat about some of his hunting techniques and adventures.
Q: Over the years, you have killed some big bucks. Give the readers a tactic that you use that has really helped you succeed in the field.
Pat: “Stand Approach is the most important aspect of making a hunt successful. Over the years, I have learned to not to tip whitetails off to the fact that they were being hunted. That means going the long way around to backdoor them in the morning as they head back into their bedding area. Walking is usually a better option than firing up that noisy ATV and driving in. Deer will hear you park and walk that short distance to your stand. If you have to drive to your stand location, have someone take you in, drop you off and drive back out. The deer will listen to danger approach and then figure danger has left when they can’t hear the vehicle any longer. I’ve done the same thing with having someone walk in with us if I have to walk within hearing distance of the deer. After we are settled in, I have the person walk back out. I always clear my path to the stand free of any debris. If you make noise going to your stand, you will decrease your chances dramatically so take the time to attempt to keep your approach undetected. Same goes for exiting the stand. If I have to alert deer to my stand approach and walk through the fields early in the morning, I will go in extra early. Usually this means I will be set and ready to go and let things settle back down at least one hour before legal shooting time.”
Q: What is your favorite week of the year to bowhunt whitetails?
Pat: My favorite time to bowhunt whitetails depends on the area of the country I’m hunting in. If I were in Iowa, I would say it would be the second week of November. If I were in Kansas, it would be the third week of November. But if I were hunting in my home state of Minnesota or across the river in Wisconsin, it would be either the first week of November or late season when the deer are coming to the food sources. One of my favorite times to bowhunt whitetails is during the “October Lull” when the buck movement is at a minimum. I don’t spend my time hunting in the Midwest but go to Saskatchewan and hunt deer that don’t seem to be affected by the “October Lull”. The reason I believe that deer in the Midwest “Lull” out is because of acorns. During the early part of October, acorns are falling in the timber and limiting those sightings and deer don’t have to go far to find food this time of year. We simply go north and hunt the forest and have always had 100% luck.
Q: You spend a lot of time in a tree bowhunting each year. Which state is your favorite whitetail state and why?
Pat: My favorite place to hunt is Saskatchewan. I never know what will come walking out of the massive wilderness and the deer don’t suffer from hunting pressure like they do in the Midwest. Bucks are allowed to reach full maturity before they are harvested and have massive bodies with chocolate antlers. Deer, in most cases, aren’t as spooky of humans as they are in other parts of the country where we hunt mainly because they have never seen a human before. If they do spook off, they generally come back.
Q: How many states do you hunt in each year?
Pat: We generally hunt several of the Midwest states for whitetails each year because we are centrally located close to each of them within a short driving distance. These states and provinces in order of importance include Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, North Dakota, Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan. I’ve also hunted in Kentucky, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Manitoba and Missouri for whitetails but generally not every year. During the last few years, we have spent the first part of our fall in August and September hunting in the mountains for moose, sheep, caribou, bear and mountain goats. I’ve learned to pace myself in the whitetail woods so I hit the movement perfect and don’t burn out my spots or myself. Big Game Adventure offers epic scenery that you would never get to experience hunting whitetails.
Q: You recently teamed up with Pine Ridge Archery. Have you tried the Nitro Vanes yet? What do you think of them?
Pat: We just started shooting them and are very pleased by the performance of the Nitro Vanes. Arrow flight and stabilization is super and judging by the material they made with, they look very durable. They glue on and hold better than any vane we have ever used. I can’t wait to send my first Nitro through a rib cage. Stay Tuned!
About the Author: Tracy Breen is a full-time outdoor writer, speaker and marketing consultant in the outdoor industry. Learn more about him at www.tracybreen.com