In this episode, Jon Teater discusses with Steve Sherk of Sherk’s Guide Service how to break down a mature buck from start to finish. Steve has developed hunting tactics that work year in and out for him and his clients. Historical trail camera data and sticking with a deer through the years, and understanding his preferences ensures success down the road. Other topics such as how deer acclimate to changes, socially or otherwise, in their environments is critical to knowing where they will reside throughout the year and getting ahead of them during hunting season.
Developing a plan to harvest a mature deer is only as good as your ability to locate them, collect data and thoroughly evaluate their movements. Jon and Steve talk about summer and fall ranges, and how there are misnomers, especially when a hunting property is designed correctly. Of course, deer may change their movements and their general patterns at any time, so it's vital to evaluate a deer’s physical needs throughout the year.
Steve’s process and concept of clustering cameras and knowing a big buck’s behavior as they shift movement from early fall to breeding periods allows him to build a database of information that supports his hunting approach and ability to target mature deer. Steve is focused on big woods movement, but the strategies as discussed will apply to most locations. Steve explains that it is important to not get discouraged and hunters' agenda to hunt should be linked to when deer are consistently using areas. Further, understanding the whys behind deer movement is crucial. Steve ends with some great suggestions on how to break down a mature buck’s area and how he killed a giant Pennsylvania buck during the rut.