By Online Editor Tim H. Martin
Throughout my years in the hunting industry and nearly forty years of hunting experience, I've met some incredibly wise hunters. I've learned a thing or two from listening to and observing certain successful people.
One of the best philosophies I've gleaned is to find a great stand site and NOT hunt it. At least, not hunt it until conditions are absolutely perfect.
Conversely, one of the worst philosophies I've learned is from hunters who believe the more you hunt a place, the greater the likelihood you'll eventually shoot a mature buck. My observation is this guy will occasionally take a decent deer, but rarely an older, truly trophy-quality buck.
The no-hunt tactic isn't easy, oftentimes meaning you'll be sitting at home on days when you REALLY want to go and see what's happening at your honey hole, but maybe one or more conditions aren't quite right.
These conditions include temperature, changes in barometric pressure, moon phase, rut activity, recent pressure and most importantly, wind direction - I repeat - wind direction. If you want to have one condition in your favor, wind direction is the one that counts most. But to improve your odds, you want them all in your favor, or at least as many as possible.
Savvy hunters want to be one-and-done from their best stands and are firm believers that the more a hunter sets foot in an area, the less likely the odds he or she will see, let alone shoot, a mature buck.
Try to leave a strategic hot spot completely untouched - a sanctuary - until conditions are totally right, allowing older deer to settle into this place with a false sense of security.
The first time you hunt that spot will be the highest likelihood of encountering the dominant buck in residence.
When hunting on a lease or club, it's often difficult to create a sanctuary because there is so much hunting pressure. But, I've discovered if you pay attention to where other members have been hunting, they often overlook a few pockets of your property, usually because of difficulty in getting to these places. I've discovered there's a higher potential of finding a mature buck in those hidden-away pockets.
Have your plan-of-action in place well before hunting season and place a stand in the secluded spot for future use. Just don't advertise it among your buddies unless you want to see their boot tracks going to and from it.
When you do choose that perfect day, bring a lunch and a pee bottle, and be prepared to stay from dark to dark. Make THE day count.
And try to hunt this place as the rut approaches, because this is an optimal time. Once a buck settles into your sanctuary, you'll be amazed at the numbers of scrapes and sign you'll discover. You'll see what I'm talking about this fall when you're dragging Ol' Mossy out of your secret sanctuary.