Dr. John Woods 12.09.19
Deer hunters with enough bucks on the properties they hunt are now taking their hunts to the next level by naming their bucks. This may be done ahead of the hunt during pre-season camera surveys or after eyeball observation as deer hunting season continues to unfold. Pursuing one particular buck ups the ante for the ultimate hunting challenge.
Capturing the deer on your property via cameras can yield valuable data to help you know your herd better. First it can tell you roughly how many does and bucks are roaming your land at any given time. It can show you how many fawns or young deer are there, too. And of course it can show you the bucks.
Being able to see the bucks also helps you assess them. How big are they? More importantly, how old are they? Racks aside, which bucks are ready to be named to add to a potential hit list? Are there bucks with distinctive features like a non-typical antler frame, drop tines, split brow tines, broken tips, special or unique antler colorations, or any other aberrations?
Categorize or prioritize the bucks you are tracking via trail cameras or a live digital photographic camera you carry when scouting or just out observing deer. Print those photos and make a chart if you are interested in pushing the hit list strategy that far. Then you can start thinking about names for the bucks you want to specifically target for hunting.
At this point it becomes a tag game. Hunt and hunt some more, looking for the specific bucks on your hit list. Lay out all your best deer hunting practices as you apply all the skills and tricks you have in your deer bag. For sure, don’t forget all the basics of good deer hunting. If you make a mistake now, it could cost you a prime hit list buck.
Double check your go-hunt list. Verify the wind for the stand you picked to hunt. Watch the weather reports to know what is going on and what is coming in the next 48 hours or so. Kill your own scent with a good scent killer spray. Pack your rattling antlers and deer calls if you use them. Pack attractant scents, buck bombs, doe urine or other deer hunting enhancement products.
Now go hunt — and take your hit list in case you need to scratch one off.