John's Journal...


Continue to Push

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Some people perform their best under pressure. When the last day of deer season and your last opportunity to hunt a trophy buck arrives, you must have the same dedication, poise and firm belief in your strategy as a star football player does in fourth quarter to bag your buck of a lifetime.

Dick Kirby of Orchard Park, New York, the creator of Quaker Boy Game Calls, buddy hunts on the last day of deer season when he must produce a trophy buck. “One year in Ohio during the closing days of deer season, eight friends and I put on man-drives on one farm we’d hunted,” Kirby Click to enlargerecalls. “At the end of the season when you have nothing to lose by spooking a big buck, man-drives often will help you bag that end-of-the-season monster-sized buck.” Kirby’s strategy, however, differs from most man-drive tactics I’ve studied. Kirby wants to know where the buck beds and where the buck will go when the hunters drive the buck out of the thick cover.

”Most of the time if you unsuccessfully drive a bedding area, you may not get an opportunity to see that deer again that day,” Kirby explains. “But we plan our drive by determining where a buck will go after we drive a patch of thick cover. We set up each drive to force the buck to move into the next patch of thick cover we intend to drive, if either a driver or one of the standers doesn’t take the buck. By moving from bedding area to bedding area, even if we don’t bag the buck holding in the bedding region on the first drive, probably we will get another shot at that same deer later.” In Ohio that year at the end of the season, by lunch on the first day, none of the man drives that Kirby and his team had put on had yielded a big buck. Then one of the hunters suggested they make the Click to enlargelast drive of the morning through a very dense patch of cover next to the farmer’s house. Even if they didn’t bag a buck, the hunters would be close to the dinner table after the completion of the drive.

”We always change drivers and standers after each drive to give every hunter a chance to bag a buck,” Kirby explains. “On this particular drive, I stood at the end of thick cover that emptied into a field. We only had conducted the drive for about 15 minutes when I heard a shot. One of the standers shouted, ‘I got him.’ As the drivers continued to come toward me, I heard one of the drivers say he thought he heard a buck get up. In only a few seconds, I spotted one of the biggest bucks I’d ever seen break from the thick cover and run across the field where I had taken a Click to enlargestand. Using my 12-gauge 3-inch magnum shotgun with a scope, I aimed for the back of the deer’s neck as he ran away from me. I squeezed the trigger, and the buck went down. The buck’s rack would have scored 140 to 150 points on the Boone and Crockett scale and field dressed at 175 pounds. The other buck bagged on this drive would have scored between 100 and 110 points on the B & C scale.” Using this drive tactic, Kirby and his team of hunters made little pushes moving bucks from one bedding area to another until they finally found the thick-cover hideout where the big bucks held.

At the end of the season when you have nothing to lose by invading a bedding area, little pushes in thick cover will yield monster bucks that have eluded you all season long. When you’re in the fourth quarter, and you have 40 yards to go for a touchdown in the final seconds of the game, pull out all the stops. Go for the touchdown, whether you play football or hunt trophy bucks.

Check back each day this week for more about FOURTH AND 40 BUCKS...

Day 1 - Bucks At the End of the Season
Day 2 - Grunt and Run
Day 3 - More Grunt and Run with Bob Walker
Day 4 - Fool Them With Decoys, Scents and Antlers
Day 5 - Continue to Push


Entry 278, Day 4