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

Preston Pittman Hunts Little Places

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 Click to enlargesome of the nation's best deer hunters successfully have pitted their skills against the bucks with the big reputations.

Preston Pittman of Pickens, Mississippi, the founder of Preston Pittman Game Calls, has hunted deer across much of the United States. "I can often find big bucks in little places where other hunters walk by them or where no one in his right mind thinks to look for a buck," Pittman reports. "A few years ago I was hunting at Bent Creek Lodge near Jachin, Alabama.  A small pine plantation lay on one side of a blacktop road, and just on the edge of this little planted pine area were six or eight acorn trees. Across the road from this spot was a 2- or a 3-year-old clear cut. Beside this pine plantation and the small grove of hardwoods was a big cow pasture.  Although hunters had seen a nice 9-point buck cross the road early in the morning and just at dark there, no one could find this buck during daylight hours.  Most of the hunters would pull off the blacktop road, drive past this little pine thicket and begin to hunt the deer at the end of the pasture." Pittman, accustomed to looking for isolated hunting spots, decided not to search for the buck at the end of the pasture in the big woods where everyone else had hunted. Instead, he began his hunt in the acorn trees Click to enlargeright on the edge of the pines, less than 100 yards from the road. “I went into my stand site at about 2:00 p.m.," Pittman remembers. "From where I was hunting, I could watch the cars go up and down the highway. I made sure I had a favorable wind and got up the tree as quietly as possible.” As night fell, Pittman watched the little pine plantation. Just before dark he saw a buck walking out of the pines, stretching himself as he moved into the acorns to feed. "I believe if I'd beenClick to enlarge watching more closely I even could have seen the buck when he stood up in his bed," Pittman commented later. The big buck moved out of the pines and fed on the acorns as he turned broadside to Pittman, who watched from his tree stand, less than 15-yards away with his bow at full draw. Pittman released his arrow and made a good hit on the buck. He climbed down the tree to claim his trophy.

"Everyone knew the buck was going to feed across the road in the clear cut, and everyone assumed that the buck would go all the way to the back side of the pasture into the deep woods to bed-down," Pittman explains. "However, the buck had learned that if he bedded close to the road, the hunters would walk or drive past him, never thinking to hunt that small patch of woods.    Although I really didn't really think the buck would bed down so close to those little acorn trees, I'd learned that bucks often would bed down near an area where they could get themselves some snacks before going to their primary food source. One of the real secrets to finding big bucks no one else can take is to look in little places where no one else thinks to look."

Tomorrow: Take a Shortcut Buck with Troy Ruiz

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 3