John's Journal...


Click to enlargePaying the Price and Locating Trophy Buck Sanctuaries

Editor’s Note: If you live in suburbia like I do, less than 15 minutes from metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama, and its more than 1/2-million folks, you'll often hear reports of big deer spotted within walking distance of your house. But everyone knows you can't hunt bucks downtown or in your own backyard, or can you? We often forget that white-tailed bucks travel. Although you may see them standing on asphalt or crashing across a creek, they must come and go from somewhere. Sometimes those backyard bucks have travel routes that will cross property you can hunt, if you'll research your options. Often you may find a trophy-buck hotspot less than 30 minutes from your home where no one else hunts or has permission to hunt.

Click to enlargeTo consistently take trophy bucks, a sportsman has to pay the price either from his pocket or in hundreds of hours of research. Either system will work, but I prefer to do the research rather than spend the money. In most states, you
can find trophy bucks close to home if you know where and how to look and the requirements for hunting those deer. Begin your research with a map of the county you plan to hunt. Go ahead and spend the $5 or $10 required to buy a quality county map because you'll find this map your most-important tool for
pinpointing and taking trophy bucks.

Click to enlargeUse your county map to locate the sanctuaries where big bucks may live to avoid hunting pressure. These areas can include parks, wooded industrial regions, farms that no one can hunt, state sanctuaries, kids' camps and other lands that don't permit hunting. The conservation officer or game warden in your area often can provide you with the best information about big-buck sanctuaries. You need to know where the trophy bucks live now and have lived for a number of years, if you want to develop a strategy to take them.

Click to enlargeAs you locate these large sections of land that no one can hunt, use a colored highlighter to mark each sanctuary on your map. Try to pinpoint every possible big-buck hideout in your county. If you do an effective job of researching, you'll identify every large tract of land in your county where no one can hunt. Target these areas to take your trophy buck. Once you have the sanctuary sections in your county colored, you can begin the second stage of your research -- negotiating.



Day 1: Looking at Your Own Backyard
Day 2: Paying the Price and Locating Trophy Buck Sanctuaries
Day 3: Getting Permission to Hunt Trophy Bucks By Finding the Landowner’s Hot Button
Day 4: Hunting Trophy Deer Near Parks and Kids’ Camps
Day 5: Become a Hunting Guide or Go To School


Entry 328, Day 2