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How to Consistently Shoot Trophy Bucks

Jan 23, 2008
Why do some hunters seem to consistently get trophy bucks and others keep coming back empty handed? Some hunters occasionally experience a bit of luck and are in the right place at the right time. But the key point is that they are not able to do it consistently.

Those hunters who regularly bring home trophies are all year round hunters! As the hunting season finishes for most, it is just re-starting for the serious hunter.

Their activities include pre-season scouting, looking for sheds, checking the previous season's rubs and scrapes, checking for bedding and loafing areas,and walking the area before spring when previous season's trails are still visible.

They are discovering good hunting spots and loafing areas and glassing the agricultural fields. They also get their stands or blinds in place early.


As winter arrives, in some parts of the country there is still some hunting in January. At this time of the year, the bucks have one focus and that is food. As they have lost condition during the rut, they need to prepare for the winter or risk perishing.

As a hunter, your focus should also be on food by finding the sources of food that the bucks will be targeting.

Sometimes even the big wary bucks will take risks and stay out in daylight to pack the food in before winter. This is a great opportunity to get those nocturnal bucks that have eluded you all season.

If you live in agricultural areas, that may mean focusing on cut corn fields, bean fields, and winter wheat, oat or rye fields.

If you live near the woods, it is important to know what sort of food the deer seek out. Their food preference will vay depending on where they are in the country.

In the North deer shift their home range to their winter range as winter arrives. The winter yarding areas are often dense conifers that provide cone-shape snow deflectors. The dark color foliage also acts as a solar collector and creates a warmer area underneath them.

The deer eat upland cedar, aster, clover, conifers, Hemlock, lowland cedar groves, spruce groves and Balsam fir.

The other activity is post-season scouting. This is the time you can walk all through your hunting areas without worrying about being busted by the deer.

Take your map, aerial photo and compass or GPS and follow all the trails. You should be able to follow them easier if the foliage has been reduced due to winter. You should focus on finding where the bedding and feeding areas were, and their connecting trails.

Look for the buck loafing areas or refuges. You should also look for any sheds that will provide some information on the buck potential in the area, as well as where to focus your efforts next season.

Although it would be easy to put your feet up after the season finishes, if you do this, the serious hunters will be out there gathering important information that will give them a huge advantage over you next season!
About the Author
Steve Nickson has hunted deer for over 40 years. Learn how you can bag the biggest buck of your life at Deer Hunting Success
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