John's Journal...

The Best Week for Finding a Trophy Buck

Take Steps to Have More Deer-Hunting Success

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Famed baseball announcer Dizzy Dean once said, “If you done it, it ain’t braggin’.” And friends, I’ve done it. I’ve found the magic week to hunt deer that increases my odds for bagging a trophy buck. You don’t have to bet on moon charts, tide charts, soothsayers or any hunting aids. I know the very best day to bag a trophy buck because I have the scientific research and the qualified experts to unequivocally back me up.Click to enlarge

As retired professor Dr. Keith Causey of Auburn, Alabama, has suggested, the departments of conservation in most states can give you the dates the majority of deer in each section of the state conceive. “Of course there are some variables,” Causey cautions. “Extreme weather conditions can throw the rut off by as much as a week. Another factor that determines the rut is where the deer have originated in the area where you hunt. For instance, Alabama has used deer from Michigan and South Caroline as well as from Alabama for restocking. Some sections of the state have a November rut, other areas a December rut and still other regions stocked with native Alabama deer have a February rut.” Therefore, if you don’t know where the deer have come from to restock the place you hunt, you can’t pinpoint when the peak of the rut will occur. Though biologists consider February 11 the perfect day to hunt the rut in the 60% of Alabama, I’ll miss the rut by 3 months if I hunt in northwest Alabama and by 2 months if I hunt in northeast Alabama. When you speak with the biologists in your state, be sure to tell them the specific section of the state where you plan to hunt. Then they can give you the peak Click to enlargerut date for that area and not the statewide rut date. By doing this, you can target the best week of the season to hunt.

Know You Have a Trophy Buck to Hunt:

To take a trophy buck during the best week of hunting season, you must first know you have a trophy buck on the property. You can determine if a trophyClick to enlarge buck lives on the land you hunt. “I hunt for sheds during turkey season,” Causey reports. “I know that one or two trophy bucks live on my hunting lease that I’ve never spotted nor have the people with whom I hunt. Each season, these bucks leave huge sheds on the property, but we never see the deer.”

Hunt Between the Honeymoon Suites:

David Hale of Cadiz, Kentucky, longtime avid deer hunter and co-founder of Knight and Hale Game Calls, uses a different strategy to take advantage of the same phenomenon. “I target traveling bucks. Instead of taking a stand in the thick-cover areas where the does breed, I’ll put a stand between two thick-cover places, hoping to down a buck that’s moving between these little honeymoon spots. I also may have the opportunity to take a buck coming out of one of these areas, chasing the does and playing the cat-and-mouse game they enjoy playing while they’re courting.”

Tomorrow: Understand the Does’ Secrets

Check back each day this week for more about "The Best Week for Finding a Trophy Buck”"

Day 1: Determine When’s the Deer Rut
Day 2: Take Steps to Have More Deer-Hunting Success
Day 3: Understand the Does’ Secrets
Day 4: Recognize the Different Types of Classes
Day 5: Where to Find Thick-Cover Sanctuaries   


Entry 481, Day 2