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3 Reasons Why You Didn't Harvest A Mature Buck This Year

Man sitting in the tree stand wearing Scentloks BE1 Fortress

A deer hunter's difficulty in harvesting a mature buck is a challenging task and scoring a big buck year after year is even more trying. Annual success takes a large amount of dedication and hard work. When a hunter concludes the hunting season, only to realize that they still have a buck tag in their pocket, they often begin a mental checklist of what went wrong. To prevent the feeling of defeat at the end of the year, avoid these common mistakes made by deer hunters.

 

Man wearing Scentlok BE1 Phantom

  1. Too Much Pressure

One of the most common mistakes mature buck hunters make is trying too hard. When a big buck is found on game cameras or seen near a hunting area, it is common to want to spend every moment possible pursuing that animal. The problem for hunters is that when a mature buck senses the presence of human danger to the point of feeling uncomfortable, he will move out of the area to avoid danger.

Instead, hunters must choose their days wisely, only hunting when the odds are in their favor and the target buck is predicted to be in the area. When the moon, weather, and wind are promising, it is time to hunt, otherwise, stay away and don’t risk over-pressuring the area.

 

Man looking to see if he can find any mature bucks wearing BE:1

  1. No Mature Bucks On The Property 

Many hunters go into the beginning of a hunting season with high hopes of getting a 160” buck. They may pass on mature bucks throughout the year in pursuit of something more prominent. The problem that many have are the lack of 160” bucks on or near the property they are hunting.

Sometimes reality can be the most formidable challenge that hunters come up against when trying to harvest a mature buck. When a hunter takes inventory of their property, they must evaluate the number and size of the bucks—also, taking into consideration if there is enough food, cover, and water to hold them there and whether there is a genuine potential to grow bigger bucks with the resources they have.

I have recently witnessed this misconception while hunting near my home in southern Missouri. After hunting a specific property for five to six years, I have never encountered a buck over 150” on game cameras or with my naked eye on this land. After talking to neighbors and evaluating the land more closely, we have noticed that the genetics in the area do not have the potential to grow bigger bucks without a significant change in their diet and a stricter “do not shoot” program for surrounding neighbors. The hard truth is that the chance of harvesting a giant buck is doubtful with minimal food due to the presence of livestock and natural habitats. The reality is that mature bucks can vary in size depending on where you are hunting.

 

Man wearing BE:1 Divergent in Mossy Oak Terra Gila

  1. Didn’t Hunt Early Or Late Season 

It is no secret that the most popular time to hunt for big bucks is during the November rut. The popularity stems from the best overall buck movement during the breeding season. Many assume that the best time to harvest a mature buck is also during this time. However, to outsmart one of the earth's most intelligent creatures, hunters must widen their horizons and hunt during the early season in September and the late season in December and January.

Many veteran trophy hunters will agree that some of the easier times to pattern a mature buck are during the early season when they are still in their summer feeding patterns and during the latter part of the year when they spend much of their time near food, replenishing their bodies from the rut and preparing for the upcoming harsh winter.

The early season may be the best time to harvest a buck if you have experienced mature bucks on game cameras throughout the summer, only to have them disappear throughout the fall. Even though the temperatures may still be warm during this time, when a buck is easier patterned, it may be your only chance to harvest him.

After the rut is over is also a great time to find mature bucks who have been M.I.A. throughout the fall. After the breeding season, bucks tend to travel to different areas where food is more plentiful, and competition from other bucks is less. During this time of year, spending time sitting over a significant food source can reap big rewards. It may not be as exciting of a hunt as during the rut, but the possibility of seeing the buck of your dreams step into shooting range makes the earlier portion of the season that was spent hunting hard and waiting worth it.

 

 

 

ScentLok Has Monumental 2022 Deer Season

Nate Hosie with his biggest buck with a bow yet. 177 inches.

The 22-23 deer season is winding down across the country, and ScentLok would like to take a moment to reflect on a successful season for many of our partners and ambassadors.

In the past year, many of our partners have walked away with memories that will last a lifetime. For some, the past season involved harvesting the largest bucks of their lives. Others experienced their first deer and shared those moments with special people. Though we can not share the success of all of our friends and fellow hunters, we want to recap three of our favorite memorable hunts from the past year.

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Sneak And Peep During Late Season

Man walking over fallen trees in the woods

Like clockwork, at 8:00 a.m. on the opening day of firearms season, I received a text from my father, saying that he was climbing down from his stand and was going on a walk; this had become his yearly routine. For several years, I disagreed with my father's decision to take off walking instead of staying in his stand. Though it was not my hunting style, it worked for him on many occasions. After my father's text, it wasn’t long before I heard the blast from a distant gunshot.

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Late Season Deer Hunting, Save The Best For Last

Man sitting in a treestand wearing Scentlok

December is notoriously challenging for deer hunters looking to score on a mature buck. Every year, bucks come out of the rut, exhausted and malnourished. They have experienced hunting pressure to such an extent that they are ready to lay low until rejuvenated enough to resume their regular travel pattern. Oddly enough, hunters have the same mindset when getting out in colder temperatures, trying to finish the season with a bang.

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A Second Chance During Late Season

Man dragging his buck wearing Scentlok BE:1 during late season

Many hunters approach late-season hunting as an opportunity at one last shot to harvest a mature buck. Although the late season is a great time to harvest them, I prefer to enter the latter portion with a different outlook.

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The Special Meaning Behind Firearms Deer Season

Hunters standing around a deer talking about their hunts

A special feeling surrounds the opening morning of the firearms deer season. Memories of past hunts race back on the opening morning of the season. As the sun rises and the light shines on your surroundings, a first shot is heard in the distance, and in your heart, you know that your time is coming.

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3 Reasons A Box Blind Is Best For The Rut

Man posing with his ten-point buck wearing his orange vest for rifle season

The popularity of hunting from elevated blinds has dramatically increased in recent years. Hunters are finding a better success rate by using a stationary blind to spend most of their hunts. Could this trend be only that - A trend? Or could a box blind be the simple answer to many hunters' worries about where they should hunt? Is a box blind the best place to hunt during the rut?

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