Patience and Pressure are the Keys to Deer Hunting
February 1, 2017 | View PDF
Deer season is entering the final stretch, and it's finally getting to the real chase! The rut's kicking into full swing, so if you've been keeping the pressure off certain little spots, now's the time to lock 'em down and snag you that buck!
I like to remind folks that patience is key to deer hunting. Outside of the obvious "wait and see" approach to deer hunting in general, what with waiting in a box, blind, or ladder stand, that patience extends to the deer we harvest as well. Entering the rut, the bucks are chasing does, pure and simple. So if you've spooked your does, you're not gonna be seeing much in the way of big old bucks, either. If you see some does on the field, be patient. Your next trophy could be strutting out onto that field right behind them!
That same patience can manifest itself in a lot of other ways, especially when you have younger hunters involved. I can remember quite a while back, when my oldest son Steven and I went on a hunt over near Union Springs, in Bullock County. I had him setup by himself over in a box stand looking over a good food plot that ran about 300 yards or so back. He wasn't exactly little, but I still felt the need to remind him, over and over again, that he needs to make sure he doesn't take a doe. That field he was on was a major passing point for a lot of the deer on the property, and sacking anything would ruin the hunting there for sure, so if he's gonna harvest a deer, make it a good one! That property, and the areas around it, were fairly well managed, so we knew we had some of those old fellas in there. Not only that, but the weather the few days before had been fairly wet, and as any hunter or outdoorsman in Alabama knows, when it rains, you'd better be ready for some rough roads and trails. That prairie mud makes for some bad trouble!
I had dropped him off, and just gotten over to my stand. About 10 minutes later, and I hear the crack of that rifle; it was him. I knew, just knew that he had taken a doe. I was ready to give him that stern kind of lecture nobody wanted to hear, as I had told him for sure not to go harvesting any kind of doe, but to wait for a buck. A few short minutes later, I pulled my truck on over to where I had left him. As I walked up to the box stand, I looked down the field, and couldn't believe my eyes for a moment. I could see the rack of that buck on the ground, 250 yards down the field, back from where the stand was! Steven climbed down and I knew right away he was almost as excited as I was. We trudged on down that field, and he got himself a good one! It was an 8 point I had seen on cameras before, with a 19 inch spread and some nice, thick beams; a trophy most hunters would count themselves lucky to see, much less harvest! I listened as he described how that buck had followed a couple of does across the field a few minutes after they ran out, how he patiently waited for his shot to line up, about 250 yards downfield. I knew that he had really taken that talk about patience to heart, and boy did it pay off!
There are other kinds of patience involved in deer hunting and deer management. With QDMA, I spend every day working with folks who understand and exemplify that virtue, ensuring that we don't fritter away the things we have today, ruining what we could have tomorrow! Proper deer management isn't something you just do for a couple of days a year, but something that takes constant dedication and work. The results take years to really start to shine, but they are absolutely worth it! That same pride I felt, seeing the results of the patience my son had that day, is the same I feel for the work I do with land management and deer herd management. It's a lot of work, but it's so definitely worth it! I encourage all of you to take some time and visit http://www.qdma.com and spend a little time reading up on us, and of course, deer! I really hope all of you folks have a wonderful remainder of the season, all the way through February 10th! So get out there, get comfy, and stay patient! Go get'em!