A lot of hunters and landowners talk about it, but what does good buck management really look like?
As a service to deer hunters across the country, the folks at Texas Trophy Hunters Association wanted to help provide some useful tips as things move towards deer season faster and faster.
For most super successful whitetail hunters, it is a big commitment to practice good buck management, but it really boils down to general land and herd knowledge and experience, plus a personal decision that can’t always be answered universally.
If you’re interested in finding big bucks and doing everything you can to commit to harvesting them this fall, here are a few ways you can tip the odds in your favor.
The biggest advantage of scouting is that it allows you the freedom to locate and move through bedding areas, and pick apart rut sign from the last breeding season. Know where the bucks are, and you can know a lot about how to hunt them.
If you are a member of TTHA, you know that landscapes and properties can change from season to season, depending on rainfall, weather, and other natural causes, not to mention the manmade ones that deer deal with as well. It’s always smart to keep an eye on your hunting grounds whether on foot or with trail cameras.
That way, you’ll know what deer can be considered targets, and what deer are off limits.
Commit to early maintenance
Shooting lanes should be trimmed now, while growth is happening rapidly, and stands should be placed and hung early on, well before the season starts.
Intruding on space and changing a landscape, however small the changes may seem, is always going to throw the deer in the area for a loop, so doing it now allows them to acclimate to their newly refreshed surroundings.
Determine who stays and who doesn’t
Here’s where it begins to enter a gray area. If you want to consistently see and have a shot at big bucks in the future, you’re going to want to lay off hunting deer that show potential. This means large racks at an early age, a large body and good structure, and of course, that little extra something that makes certain bucks stand out.
It may be a temperament quirk, an in-season sparring victory, or a strong mating objective when the rut rolls around. If you observe any of this, remember, make a note of it, and let that help you decide as you get to know the deer that call your property home.
Remember that it’s preparation and planning that separates those who do it regularly from the rest. Make sure you’re ready for when deer season starts, and consider learning more about the ways Texas Trophy Hunters Association can help you fulfill and enjoy your deer hunting experience. Plus, you can consider joining TTHA for all the benefits that members receive.