As I sit here thinking about the next few months and the hunts that'll take place, I'm stuck thinking about the past and how much I've learned with each passing whitetail season. Learning to be a successful deer hunter takes time. In fact, every season is a new year to learn more. To learn more about yourself and to learn more about the area that you're hunting.
The first few years that I thought I had a good grasp on everything deer hunting were some of the most unsuccessful seasons of my life. Just when I thought that I knew hunting, whitetails and even my favorite local spot, I didn't have the slightest clue. Like so many passionate hunters, I too learned the hard way. All that all we can do to be better each season is to continue to learn every single thing we can about the deer you plan to hunt.
About 5 years ago I got permission to hunt a new spot not too far from my home, something rare and exciting. It was a small parcel, just about twenty acres that bordered some other private land, smack dab in the middle of prime buck country. Because the property was so small, it took a great deal of time to understand how to correctly hunt this property and how to kill a nice buck while on stand. The first season that I hunted that property, I was lucky to harvest a 7 pointer that came in chasing a doe right past my stand. I hunted hard that season and for a season that started off to a cold start, it sure ended pretty hot. The last season that I hunted it was another great season that ended up with a heavy nine that I took the during the week of Thanksgiving. Though it took a while to get acclimated to the new spot, I was more effective with each passing season.
Since moving to the Lonestar state last year, this season will be a season of new beginnings and new land. So needless to say, I've been spending some serious time scouting this year and trying to figure out how to hunt a new zone. My first round of trail cam pics this year proved to be successful, with numerous photos of shooter bucks hanging out in bachelor groups. This was the starting point to figuring out who's who on this parcel. The next phase of patterning these shooters is a little bit more challenging.
Having multiple cameras definitely aids in the process of figuring out when and where your target bucks are cruising. On a new piece of property it's never a bad idea to get back to the basics and look for runs, food zones and bedding areas, like we all did before the wonderful trail camera made their debut.
This year, the buck that I'm going after is this monster below. Oddly enough, this buck was one of the first bucks to show up on camera this summer and I was lucky enough to get an in person glimpse at him while out checking cameras a couple weeks ago. A solid nine pointer with some stickers around his bases, that I only noticed when I ran into him. Looking forward to learning more about his habits as we near opening day and hope to get a crack at him!