Tips & Tactics

What’s the Rush?

What’s the Rush?

By Anthony Smith

Photo: You’ll never know if your buck of a lifetime was on its way if you shoot the doe it was chasing.

My tip is a bit of advice that could help deer hunters whether they are inexperienced or have been hunting whitetails for years.

It’s something I learned by chance one morning while in a treestand, but I plan to practice this from now on. Here’s how it happened.

In November of the 2017 season, I was in the stand and anxious to put some venison in the freezer. I wasn’t going to be picky, so just about any legal deer would work fine, but something large and with big antlers would be even better.

Before long, a nice fat doe appeared and slowly approached to within a few feet of my stand. I began to get excited, knowing I was about to have a chance to fill a tag and add tenderloins, burgers and steaks to my freezer.

Because the doe was so close, I couldn’t raise my old faithful Marlin .30-30 without fear of being seen.

Just as she was far enough away and about to be angled properly for a good shot, the doe stepped behind a bush, so I had to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.

It seemed like several minutes passed before the doe finally stepped forward. I drew a bead on her vitals and was a split-second from pulling the trigger when a loud grunt sounded behind me.

I had no idea the buck was there! To be honest, that grunt was so loud and so close that it scared me.

A massive 9-pointer emerged from the brush, so I shifted focus, repositioned and made a great shot.

There was a lesson to be learned here; what was the rush to shoot the first deer? Had the doe not forced me to wait, I would’ve never even known the trophy buck existed.

Ask yourself this: How many times have I shot the first doe (or small buck) that appeared, and will probably never know if a monster buck was about to show up?

From now on, I will not rush to shoot the first deer I see!

– Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin

Rutting bucks are often several minutes (or much longer) behind the hot doe they are pursuing.

If you can lay off the trigger and allow does to pass by, one or more of them might be creating the perfect scent trail to lead your buck-of-a-lifetime to your stand. You’ll never know if you shoot the first doe you see.

Editor’s Note: If you have a unique or special tip you’d like to share with Buckmasters fans, please email it to and, if chosen, we will send you a cap signed by Jackie Bushman, along with a knife!

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd