This is something that I wish I did not have experience with. Over the last few years there has been a growing distance between the deer hunting strategies of the hunters on the family property. The saddest part about all of it is that the end goal is the same. Everyone in the family agrees that we want to shoot bigger bucks. Luckily, we do not have a single “if it’s brown it’s down” hunters in the family even though we do have some in the hunting camp who abide by the camp rules regardless of their own philosophy. Where we start to loose each other is exactly what changes need to be made in order to accomplish that. Part of the group says less hunters and continued habitat improvements while the other part says “the more the merrier” for amount of hunters and has a narrow focus of endless food plots for attraction.
Communication is Key
Though this tip has not worked in my scenario, it was well worth the shot in order to try and align the thoughts of everyone at the round table of the family. Open communication about what you want from your hunting experiences and land are an absolute must. Like anything else in life, if you don’t speak up then you can’t expect others to know what you’re thinking. We have yet to reach the ability to read each others minds. Every situation is going to be different but for me, getting to know exactly what differences in thought processes we have was a key factor in determining how I may go about things in the future. Take for example the “more the merrier” vs “less is more” difference I stated above. If I didn’t speak up and talk about my thoughts and reasoning for why we need the “less is more” strategy, I would have never found out the real reason that they have the “more the merrier” approach is because it’s become more about the getaway hunting camp experience than it is about trying to hunt and harvest a mature animal. Try to get them to see your perspective and explain to them why it is that you are doing what you are doing. Show them the results and they will most likely be interested in what you have to say.
Again, each person situation is going to be different. Some compromises just won’t work in some situations. First, can one of you expand your hunting horizons to different seasons? Does everyone only gun hunt? Take up bow hunting and you’ll have a whole lot longer of a season to employ your own tactics without and before the influence of the other hunters. Does nobody use a muzzle loader? Same thing there, you could have the whole property to yourself. Are there multiple places that you all hunt? If so, try splitting up the properties so that you can each employ your own strategies without the interruptions of the other. Depending on the size of your property, can you divide it up so that you each have your own piece of property to work with? All of these compromise strategies will allow you to practice your own deer hunting strategies and either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.
For more on hunting strategy , check out my articles on When to hang treestands, Hunting the wind, and Treestand Placement
Deer Hunting Strategies For When All Else Fails
In the end, you may not be able to convince them that the QDMA standards and sound habitat and hunting management is the key ingredients needed for successful deer hunting strategies that result more mature buck sightings and ultimately, more mature buck harvests. If that is the case for you, then you will have to resort to public land type tactics. Find all the little pockets that nobody goes to because “there’s no deer there” or it’s just too hard to get to. I realize that this may not be possible for everyone. If not, try hunting different seasons or finding some new hunting land all together that is just yours.
When it comes to family differences of opinion, it’s always better to air on the side of caution. The relationship with your family means more than anything so in the end, it’s better to look at the strategies for when all else fails rather than ruin the relationships that mean the most. It’s a tough road to go down but if you are lucky enough to eventually persuade the entire family to the same direction, you will all benefit from the hard work it took to get there. If not, you will be able to take the all else fails strategies and succeed in the face of adversity. Maybe then, others will see that you have some sort of idea what you’re talking about. Happy Hunting!