John's Journal...

How I Took the Buck that Nobody Else Could Take with Tad Brown, Michael Waddell, Preston Pittman, Troy Ruiz and Gary Sefton

Hunt ‘Em Backwards with Michael Waddell

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Bucks of legend, those seldom seen and mostly nocturnal, that no one can take but that everyone is after have developed reputations of having almost-supernatural powers over the years. This week, we’ll learn how some of the nation's best deer hunters successfully have pitted their skills against the bucks with the big reputatioClick to enlargens.

Realtree video star Michael Waddell of Columbus, Georgia, hunts the Encinitos Ranch in Texas.  He once hunted an oat field there where several other hunters had spotted a 130-class, 10-point buck. "I’ve been videoing hunts for Bill Jordan and Team Realtree for numbers of years,” Waddell reports. "Each time we spotted this buck, he'd come out in the green field so late in the afternoon that we couldn't get the shot at him and be able to film it for the video. We'd never had any luck seeing that buck in the mornings when we hunted that same field. I decided the buck must be feeding in this oat field at night. I thought if I could get into the field early enough I might catch the deer returning from the field where he fed to the thicket where he bedded. Everyone else had hunted the deer on the edge of the field. In the last week of the season in January, I went back to that oat field in the afternoon to set up for the next day."

Waddell hoped he'd have enough light to take the buck with his bow and arrow and capture tClick to enlargehe kill on video in the early morning.  At the lower end of the field, the opposite end of the field from where the buck usually came, Waddell hung his tree stand in a small clump of trees out in the field. Waddell left his camera, bow and arrow there overnight. Long before daylight the next morning, Waddell sneaked into the field and quietly cClick to enlargerossed the open field under the cover of darkness before climbing into his stand. "Just as dawn was beginning to break, I saw the buck coming from his feeding area and heading back to where he bedded," Waddell said. "The deer gave me a 30-yard shot, and I took him."
Waddell's success came because he prepared his tree-stand site the afternoon before he planned to hunt, and he took his time and went to the tree stand before daylight, moving carefully to avoid spooking any deer on his way. Too, Waddell hunted in the middle of the field – backwards of the way everyone else had hunted the elusive buck. By waiting on the buck to return from his feeding, Waddell then not only had enough light to see and take the buck but also enough light to video the hunt. Often when you hunt a buck at a time and a place opposite from where anyone has hunted him before, you'll have an opportunity to take the buck other hunters can't bag.

Tomorrow: Preston Pittman Hunts Little Places

Check back each day this week for more about "How I Took the Buck that Nobody Else Could Take with Tad Brown, Michael Waddell, Preston Pittman, Troy Ruiz and Gary Sefton"

Day 1: Tad Brown Removes the Hunting Pressure
Day 2: Hunt ‘Em Backwards with Michael Waddell
Day 3: Preston Pittman Hunts Little Places
Day 4: Take a Shortcut Buck with Troy Ruiz
Day 5: Bag a Farmland Buck Gary Sefton    


Entry 479, Day 2