We all like to hunt during the rut; that's when most of the big bucks get taken, after all. But the reality is that we spend a lot more time in the woods when the rut is not taking place.
So how can we take more bucks when the rut is not happening?
First consider why bucks get harvested during the rut: They get stupid and break their normal, secretive routines. In other words, those who have been hunting the big doe trails and hangouts connect with a buck that wasn't there at any other time of the season.
It's pretty simple when you think about it. Bucks, especially big bucks, are mostly nocturnal; they don't travel the heavy doe trails; they don't move around more than they have to; and they stay close to escape routes.
So if you're targeting mature bucks, you have to hunt accordingly.
What that means is that you'll have to give up seeing lots of deer. Scout the thick stuff close to bedding areas (but avoid disturbing the actual bedding area). Look for subtle trails with old rubs nearby.
Pay careful attention to how you get in and out of the woods, and be there well before first light and stay until dark. You won't see lots of deer, but the deer you do see could be the monster buck of your dreams.