John's Journal...


One Day, Five Bucks, Five Drivers

EDITOR’S NOTE: The most-successful man drive I know of took place when five hunters bagged five nice-sized bucks in one day of driving. One of the bucks taken scored 140 on Boone & Crockett. On a bitter and cold day with bright sun and a clear sky, Eddie Salter of Evergreen, Alabama, longtime deer hunter and a member of Hunter’s Specialties’ Pro Hunt Team, and four friends decided to hunt several 3- to 5-year old clearcuts. They used a tactic that also will work for you.

Click to enlarge“Two drivers put pennies in plastic milk jugs,” Salter recalled. “They tied the milk jugs to their belts and walked through the clearcut. When they saw places where deer had bedded down, they shook their jugs to create noise. The sound of those pennies hitting the plastic jug caused everything in the clearcut to run out of the thick cover. Even rabbits and quail flushed.” According to Salter, they put one stander behind and above the drivers in a tree stand. Then they placed the other two standers in tree stands on the sides of the clearcut. The three standers above the drive could see any deer moving in the cover or breaking from the cover.

On this day, the biggest buck taken attempted to sneak out the backside of the drive before he was bagged by the back stander. The 7-point buck Salter took jumped up in front of him as he drove. Side-standers bagged the three other deer taken. Click to enlarge“We never place a stander in front of the drives,” Salter explained. “We want the drivers to shoot a buck if he jumps without being concerned about standers in front of them. But, we’ve also learned that most of the time the only deer going in front of the drive are does and yearlings bucks, not the big bucks we want to hunt. You’ll most likely see a buck behind the drivers or one escaping out the side of the drive. Driving 3- to 5-year-old clearcuts is one of the most-effective ways I know to take big deer.” For an effective clear-cut drive, drivers must willingly battle the briars, thorns and bushes. Salter recommends hunters wear either briar-busting britches to plow through the thick cover and force the big bucks to move.

Mickey-Mouse Drives For Big Bucks:

Many years ago, I learned a tactic from a young man who brought a trophy 8-point buck by my brother’s taxidermy shop for mounting. The hunter told me he had bagged both bucks over the weekend, and his other two buddies each had taken a buck. “We usually get one to three bucks Click to enlargeevery weekend we hunt,” the sportsman told me. “We put on 15-Mickey-Mouse drives each day we hunt. We don’t drive any area more than 100-yards long and 50-yards wide. Two standers will take up positions on either side of the thick cover we drive. One driver will go through the middle of the cover. The standers can see any deer that breaks out of the drive, which rarely takes more than 10 to 20 minutes. We move into an area and drive it quickly. If a buck holds there, we’ll take him. If not, we move to the next area. We call these drives Mickey-Mouse drives because when we take other hunters with us, they often look at the small head of woods we plan to hunt and tell us what a Mickey Mouse kind of place it is and that we’ll never find a big buck in a spot that small. But these Mickey-Mouse drives consistently pay big-buck dividends for small groups of hunters.”

Check back each day this week for more about SECRET MAN-DRIVE TACTICS FOR TROPHY BUCKS

Day 1: First Drive Secret
Day 2: Southern Rabbit Hunts for Trophy Bucks
Day 3: Tactics for Northern Drives
Day 4: Techniques for Western Drives
Day 5: One Day, Five Bucks, Five Drivers



Entry 331, Day 5