First off, I want to welcome all of you along on my journey to harvest mature deer only. Though I will be willing to take a young doe if the situation calls for it, I have made the decision to challenge myself as a whitetail deer hunter. My first deer hunting story comes from when I was just 12 years old. I was finally able to tag along with my father and though we came home empty handed that season, it set the stage for the rest of my hunting career. I was hooked. There is no other way to put it. If you ask my wife, she will tell you that there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t have whitetail deer on the mind. I feel that it is a natural progression that has led me to my new quest for mature deer.
Don’t get me wrong, I still shake and lose my mind when I see a good looking year and a half old buck come walking through, but I ever since my first deer I have made a point to try and get a better and better buck each fall. Last fall (2014-15 season), I saw what I estimated to be a beautiful 2 ½ year old buck that I would have been happy to take given the opportunity. Unfortunately, that nice 8 point never did hop the fence onto the property I had permission to hunt. Instead, he bedded down 30 yards directly down wind from me for an hour and a half, happily sleeping away.
Throughout the site you will find lots of articles covering every aspect of deer hunting. I will touch on everything from stand placement to deer biology. My hope is that my experiences both past and future will help hunters gain knowledge and shorten the learning curve that comes with hunting the majestic whitetail deer.
The picture at the top of the page is me (if you weren’t able to guess that already) with the best deer I have taken to date. Though I didn’t have a clue on how to age deer at the time, looking back I would have to guess that deer is 3 ½ or 4 ½. He is also in the top 5 biggest deer I have seen with my own eyes in my entire hunting career and certainly the second biggest buck I’ve ever seen within legal shooting light. The biggest deer I’ve ever seen should have actually been dead by the time I got to lay eyes it. Unfortunately for my wife, she made a little “tink” as she brought up her shotgun and the monster quickly but quietly moved off towards my location before heading into a cedar thicket. All I could do was watch as I could only see the deer when he was on our neighbors property.
For those of you that do not know, Illinois (which is where I am located) does not allow rifle hunting. If I talk about gun hunting, I’ll be referring to shotgun hunting. Though I know that most of us hunters could easily use a rifle in a safe manor and believe it’s a dumb rule, I absolutely love Illinois deer hunting. I feel blessed to have grown up and live in an area that grows and holds big bucks.
Anyway, as my hunting career progressed through the years, I have increasingly become more and more interested in identifying mature deer and figuring out how I can best utilize the land that I have to hunt them. This blog will be my online diary. I cannot wait to share my journey with you as I manipulate my hunting land in hopes of creating better opportunities for me to harvest that ever illusive mature buck. Check back often as I will be sharing each and every step of the way. How I manipulate the land, where I place my stands, what is my overall goal for the property, and most importantly, is my work paying off? These are all things that will come in the future. I will give you full disclosure of the process and progression on the land that I hunt so that you too can consistently harvest mature deer.