Technical Hunting Series Big Woods Bucks

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Steve Sherk (Sherk’s Guide Service) discuss technical hunting strategies in the big woods. Jon discusses his 2024 habitat day  and information that will be released soon. Steve and Jon talk about their recent in woods scouting event/class and what was learned for the day in the big woods of Pennsylvania.

Steve talks about changes he is making this year to kill a mature buck on public land. Steve explains his use of cellular cameras, and how he breaks down terrain features that mature bucks prefer and how to approach deer in these areas. Steve explains when wind matters and how dropping temperatures can impact scent dispersion and help or hurt his chances. Steve discusses food sources in the big woods and what drives deer movement.

Steve explains how he accesses a hunting area where deer exist. Steve details the ins and outs of hunting an area and what type of treestand he uses to hunt these areas. Jon discusses his perspective on mapping bucks and wind consideration and social hierarchy that influences movement.  

Steve discusses having a plan B to hunt other deer and why burning out a spot can be easily done just after a few hunts. Steve explains low pressure hunting tactics that will lead to more success. Steve explains when he will hunt mornings and why sometimes mornings do work. Jon provides examples of what not to do when it comes to hunting deer in the mornings. Steve discusses his gear and what he uses afield. Steve discusses how to draw deer to areas and when he chooses to use a grunt tube. 

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to Maximize Your Hunt, the podcast dedicated to those who want the most out of their hunting property. This podcast explores land management, habitat improvement, and hunting strategies that will help you maximize your time in the field. Follow along as industry professionals that live and breathe whitetail deer share their secrets to success.

And now the founder of Whitetail Landscapes, your host, John Teeter.

Hi, I'm John Tito, Whitetail Landscapes, this is Maximize Your Hunt. Welcome back everybody. I am home today and thank goodness I'm home I'm prepping. I'm getting a lot of stuff together here for hunting season And I'm tracking a few big bucks on my own property and I'm hopeful this season I have a low probability of kill this year and that's okay for me I do suspect I'll have some interactions with one particular deer And [00:01:00] these are older age class deer in an area that, don't typically produce that type of quality.

And so I'm a little excited. Antler wise, we're not talking anything ginormous, but age wise, they're in the caliber for me, so I'm a bit excited. Other housekeeping things is I am and I will, over the next couple weeks, release the Habitat Day on my property in July. I've set a price. I've got, guest speakers.

And we're going to do. On site, I'm going to show you how to build bedding areas. I'm going to have a pictorial of my entire property layout, almost like you're going to build the property from scratch. This is going to be great for you that decide, that you need more information, you want to make a change, and you want to have the best hunting property in your particular area.

I'm going to show you how to make a very hard to hunt property easier. How to design each element of your property so it flows and connects correctly and how you execute in an entire equation. I'm really excited about this. I think this is [00:02:00] far beyond other offerings of any other consultant out there.

And I think this will get people far ahead. As compared, I hunt really tough areas. I've been extremely successful on 46 acres, and I'm doing things a lot different from everybody else, and I think that'll be a staple and a good thing for you to move forward with. So please get a hold of me for that.

If you've already gotten a hold of me, get a hold of me again. I will put you on the schedule for that. I only plan on doing one class at this point, and I'm going to try to limit it to 10 or 12 people so the speaking is a little bit, more engaging, etc. Beyond that, if there's more people, I'll figure out a different date, etc.

But That's what I want to limit to. There will be other clients there. So you can talk to other people that have done this implementation work that do understand what it takes. And, it'll be a chance to build a little community around this event. All right. So beyond that, we're going to get into our technical hunting series.

And my obviously tactical hunting guy, Steve Shirk is going to be the one to lead this off, but we'll have other folks along the way that are going to support this. [00:03:00] The goal out of this is to take You all to the next level. It's about execution at this face. You should have done the work. Now you're trying to make and make plays and execute.

And that's hard. And we're gonna use Steve's experience and other guests that we're gonna have coming on to really dive into maybe the nitty gritty. Hey, Steve, are you on the line? Yes, sir. I'm right here. Okay. So you probably heard my intro. You know what this series is about.

And I just want to briefly just mention, we had a chance to actually physically meet recently myself and a bunch of buddies. We came down to do a day. And a wife of Steve Shirk, essentially, we got to see how you scout and look at areas. And I just wanted to quickly talk about that and the benefits to, to me.

And I had a great time. It was great to meet you, of course, but it was better to learn, from you. And I think I got a lot out of that day and I just wanted you to talk briefly maybe about your experience. Yeah definitely. Same back to you. I had a great [00:04:00] time finally meeting you along with all those other guys.

We just, it was, I had no clue who might even be coming. You said, just a group of guys and I didn't know what to expect, but no, it's just great to be around so many other, real passionate deer hunters. And I thought everyone was engaged really well. Yeah. Yeah. We went over basically, pretty much the, between how I scout and how I hunt and weather scenarios.

Basically just tried to show everything, that I do in a half day, which is easier said than, er, harder. Or what I wanted to say, easier said than done. But overall I just thought it went really well. I'm glad that it sounds like you guys learned from it. I know, some of the guys might not really, be much for, big woods, public land hunters.

But I think overall, deer are deer. And even if you're someone that's just moving into managing your own property and... Doing things that way. I think it all comes down [00:05:00] to we're really all in the same league and I feel that, after the end of the day, we could all relate to different things and I felt we all connected when it was all said and done.

Yeah, and I had a lot of takeaways from that personally beyond that. And it was nice to have a group of guys that, a lot of these guys are pretty serious hunters. They've killed substantial deer, some of them world class deer. And then of course, we all do different things.

Some are in different fields. Obviously, I'm in the business of deer and so are you. Let's The reason I bring that up is I want people to consider doing things with groups learning creating this community of learning and then connecting with the right people to build a better understanding and leveraging, expertise to save time.

This is all about time saver. Life is short. So we want to make sure that we. We skip ahead as quick as possible so we don't have to have years and years of learning. Although sometimes that pain is is beneficial it's not always most supportive to getting to the end goal a lot quicker.

So really in this podcast series, what I want to get into is technical hunting. [00:06:00] And I want to have the listeners understand, whether it's technology it's approach, it's specific scenarios, things that make your style and strategy when Steve Shirk is hunting. And he's going after a particular deer.

How is he approaching a scenario? And we had chances to, to discuss that when we were on site with you. But I think today I want to get into specifics and, getting into the details, the nitty gritty of. approach getting into a stand location. Even types of equipment that you're using and why maybe you're setting stands up, you're bringing stands in with you, you're dropping stands, just things that you have been focused on right now, getting prepped for season because I think people want to know, okay, I'm ready to execute.

What do I need to do? Yeah you're definitely talking to me at the right time because our season starts Saturday. I do got my eye on a few different deer one individual deer There's a big nine point. I've got [00:07:00] about three years of history with him. Last year, I had, a lot of Intel and I had some pretty good setups and, I knew of his whereabouts, but I think the problem with last year is I think I put too much pressure patternable, he's going to grow as the season goes forward.

Just, way more unpredictable, but so what I did this year and I should have done it in the past, was I've only cell cammed that area, which, and you saw when you were here I don't, I can't just do that anywhere, fortunately I have enough cell reception in this area, this deer lives, that I can keep Pretty good tabs on them, and it's just amazing the difference that has made already I haven't even been in this area at all in like a couple months, I've completely stayed out, and I'm just going by what these cell cameras are showing me, but in the past, looking through yesterday, in the past eight days, I've got this [00:08:00] year on camera five times out of eight days all evening or all evening timeframes from 5 30 to 7 o'clock p.

m. And coming out of the same bedding area and I really feel but even, even if I just do a quick camera check, may not have an impact, but I was trying to be pretty careful last year, but just seems like me completely staying out of that area, for months and just relying on these cell cameras, like this year looks extremely patternable.

And our season starts Saturday, unfortunately, I'm probably not going to get to hunt as much as I want early in the season. But then again, if I hunt this year, two or three times. Early in the season that just that given amount of pressure in that area might be enough to take them off So I'm hoping and praying if the good Lord's willing and it's it to our first we'll get an opportunity So I want to dig into this to your specifically and I want to talk about [00:09:00] terrain features I want to talk about suspiciously where you think he's betting And I want to talk about approach.

So maybe break down kind of the setting a little bit. Obviously you're dealing with a lot of homogenous areas, big woods, but there are some variations in the, in those vegetation types. So maybe a little bit about that and then how he's using terrain and how you're capturing imagery on them. Cause five pictures in the past eight days.

That's good data. Yeah. I'm I did not expect it to be that good, but. So this deer he beds way on top of a mountain. There's a knuckle up there and he beds on the edges of that knuckle. So another thing is these knuckle type features and basically what a knuckle is, sometimes at the top of a mountain, you'll have just like a knob, like one last small, little knob right at the top, just like a cap.

And that's literally where he's betting, but there's extremely good cover up there on that knuckle. There's when we did our classes, and when you came you [00:10:00] can see how a lot of these betting areas, have very high stem count, a lot of browns. That's very similar to what you saw in some of those other areas.

He's got a ton of brows, a ton of cover in there. Plus, with that knuckle feature, if he wants to, be on a leeward side of that knuckle, it's very easy for him to adjust in any different wind direction. And in the past week, when I've been getting these pictures, I've monitored the wind and he's coming from that knuckle no matter what the wind direction is, but that's the advantage of that spot is he can still have that leeward wind advantage if he wants because he can move the one side of the knuckle, very easily, pretty quick amount of time and another real, big advantage I have in this situation is I'm about, I'm going to set up about 100 yards from this knuckle where he's bedding.

And there's a lone white [00:11:00] oak that's just dropping acorns just like marbles under that tree. And it's just like the most ideal setup. There's other white oaks further down the ridge, but there's, this is like this lone one that. It's just, it's a no brainer, like that deer's been eating browses all day.

And, yeah, that's a good food source, but we all know, this time of year, you can't beat acorns. He's coming into that lone white oak. That's the first one he's hitting. And where I think I screwed up a little bit on this camera placement is... It's really, there's there's an opening in this spot.

It's pretty thick and, on this ridge where I'm set up. And I have the camera centered right in this opening. And he rarely comes out into the center of the opening deep acorns. He stays all along the edge of that opening near the cover. And I think I'd honestly get more pictures of him if the camera was pointed more.

Towards the cover maybe to one end or the other and the center because whenever I get a picture of him I'm barely getting [00:12:00] a picture of him like he's just barely in the camera's view because still in the daytime He doesn't want to come into that wide open pocket, but I'm still getting enough Intel luckily that that's, for, given the terrain I hunt, the area I hunt if I'm getting a buck in a spot, maybe a couple times a week that gets me pretty excited, but, in this past eight days, to get them that many times, in one single spot plus you also have to factor in, talking time frame, it's not He's could show up at any time of day.

It's all about in the span of an hour and a half, which that what it is when he gets up out of that bed, that's the first thing on his mind is he's hitting that white oak. So if all goes well, I got looks like I got a marginal win. I was saying east to northeast I'd prefer, something a little bit different, but I still think, I think I'm okay, at least, and plus, given the fact that it doesn't look like heavy winds or a front coming through I think where I'll [00:13:00] have an advantage is there'll be a thermal pull, because I'm just going to hunt it in the evening.

I'm probably not even going to get in there super early. Just for the fact that I don't want to get in there with that somewhat marginal wind. I want to wait till that wind dies down and then those thermals, because I'm set up below him, those thermals should start dropping in the evening and I, then I should have a big time advantage with with my scent.

So I'm real excited. I've been in these situations before you, there's no guarantee. That's just deer hunting, if the good Lord's willing and he wants to bless me, I, I feel like I've done all I could do to say the least. Yeah, no, this is great and a great story. And I like the fact that you've pinpointed at least a food source that is a driving factor, which is short lived, right?

That, that white oak won't withstand. Too much more at this point, at least it relates to, seed droppage. And then, of course, obviously the consumption value. Now, let me ask another question. Are there does in that area? The does are not right [00:14:00] there. The does are down lower where there's more white oak trees.

There's, the buck is bedding in this prime spot. And I get an occasional dome. I get more occasional doe at more than anything there. But I'm getting a lot of doe activity further down in the valley, like on the south face of this ridge where there's way more white oaks. The does are sticking closer to that heavy amount where it's just, two, three hundred yards of just acorns like marbles versus, like I said, this first white oak near where that buck is bedding, it's just that's the money spot as of right now.

But you did bring up a great point, is that white oak is only going to last so long, and One, one situation I have that isn't good is some days the bears get in there pretty early, right? That has an effect on him. It's almost as if he can smell or notice as if the bears have been there before him. I think he also knows that if the bears are there before him, there's [00:15:00] not going to be many acorns left.

And I also, I've noticed this throughout my whole hunting career that I'm going to say that deer are, freaked out by bears, but they really don't like to be feeding like side by side, if the bears are in there heavy while I'm there, I'm probably going to be screwed, but it has tapered off some lately.

I think the bears are focusing more on the bigger pockets, yeah, versus the oaks. Like I said, if all goes well this is just the prime spot. And it's just, it's also just the situation like. Yeah, I've done some good things and, learned a lot about this deer. He bedded in this spot last year, despite this oak tree, being there, but having that oak tree dropping those acorns is really the biggest key to narrowing down where that buck is going to get up and go right after he leaves that bed.

From the place that you're hunting this deer, is it on a shelf? Is it in a slowly degraded area, but it's not significantly steep at that particular [00:16:00] point. What's the terrain like? So I'm just below that knuckle and then it turns into a ridge where that knuckle is, there's three different ridges that come off that.

Kind of like a turkey foot pattern and, but the only one, the only ridge that has white oak trees, because we didn't get much for red oaks this year if you're not in the, dominant white oak areas, you're really not in the acorns only the one ridge has a lot of white oaks on it, which is really 200 yards behind me, there's way more white oaks but it's just a slight grade coming down this ridge, from where he's batting, he's going to be above me, I'm going to be down the ridge further like I said, just at that first white oak that's dropping acorns.

Luckily, like I said, too, having that cell camera in there and me not ever going in there for months, I'm telling you, it's... It's such a huge advantage. I know a lot of people might say that's unethical and I don't think we need to go down that [00:17:00] rabbit hole today, but I will say at least for me, if I wasn't coming that spot, it would still be not even half as good as, as the situation that I'm in, just the fact that deer has no clue that I'm keeping tabs on him.

Yeah. Yeah. And it's all interesting and it's an interesting scenario and it's nice that you have the history here and. And it's playing out the way it may play out and, like you said, there's a chance to this that, things don't work. So you brought up another point about, food sources surrounding this area and then resident deer population and then access.

So I'm thinking, how do you get the, into this location? What is your strategic execution aspect of this from an access standpoint that evades other deer? Because we all know that, it creates a domino effect sometimes. Yes. And then we get into an area and we're selecting a spot.

And I want to know how you get to the area and then, you don't have a hung stand in there, I'm assuming. Yes. No, there's no stand at all. And that's a [00:18:00] great point you brought up because how I would normally access the area would be a potential. Hazard as far as, me not spooking this deer because before I didn't have even though I didn't have a cell or a camera on this oak tree, I had a camera not real far from there last year.

And one thing I was noticing is days that I would go into this spot on my normal access route, which is just, there's just an old like old skidder trail. When it was logged a long time ago that I would follow in because one thing about those skidder trails is they're very quiet to walk and you can just, you can access way, way much smoother, but what I was noticing was the days that I would walk in on that skidder trail, occasionally on, on my one camera, I'd get a buck running, which I could tell that what some of these bucks are doing is, They're actually watching, they're able to see, that skidder trail that a lot of people come in on.

I'm not saying it's a highly [00:19:00] pressured area. Probably me more than anything. I learned a lot from that experience. I have to come in a much harder way, a longer way, it could be, it should be a 10 minute walk. Now it's going to be about a 40 minute walk. But I have to come in from the complete bottom of the valley, work my way up the ridge.

That way I'm staying away from all the bedding areas. Cause all these deer even the does, like everything's bedding up high and working their way down. So now the does are bedding a little bit lower though. But the overall point is I have to come in. The complete opposite way to not risk bumping any bucks or any deer at all in that, that higher elevation bed, because just like you said, if I bump not the buck I'm hunting, but I bump anything up in that area, there's going to be alarms going off like crazy and, my hunt's going to be ruined.

Yeah, I don't have a stand in there. I'm going to bring in a climbing stand and then what I'm going to do. is even if I [00:20:00] don't have success opening night, I'm not going to even leave the climber there. I'm just going to keep taking it in and out. It's a huge pain to do that, but I don't want that deer to have any sense that it's being hunted.

I mean he's gonna get my scent probably that first night if he goes by where I was set up some, but just having that stand not there and I'll carry it in every time just for the fact that I don't want this deer to be. Slightly on edge at all. If I have to hunt them, multiple evenings. Yeah, that's really interesting.

And two things that just popped into my mind, the specific scenario where, you know, some people that are hunting public land, and this is obviously a risk is, dropping a standoff at some interval in between. So you're not getting this tired, et cetera. Staying in shape, obviously, Steve, you're in great shape, right?

This is what you do on the daily. And also, when you're thinking about accessing that location specifically. Thinking about the wind throughout that process, because, in these terrain settings, you may get an open area that would have, a slightly different, [00:21:00] wind versus something that's maybe a little bit more closed or canopied area, and then, recognize that, there's terrain features that deflect wind, and so thinking about the wind throughout that, And you know that you're eventually getting to this location and then.

To your last point, which I think is extremely critical for folks is, not just the ground set, but any sent this left period in that particular area, and the you know the tip off value and educating these dear enough in that one moment, right? They've been pretty much, I'd say human free for some period of time then all of a sudden you know you create this human set, in this area and it's most physically, at the locations that you stand and the things that you touch.

And the life cycle of that set, meaning, the duration that it, sits there and perpetrates that area creates that education piece of it, which really becomes distracting, for your next time. And so it's like one of these scenarios where it seems like I'm going in.

It's a not a one and done deal, but your chances go down a little bit because of just [00:22:00] that, that intrusion factor in this equation. Yep. And another point you touched on this that I want to bring up is. Some people might say, maybe even wait a little bit longer for, maybe more better weather or wait till after rain.

But what I am most concerned about is this oak tree losing acorns because We actually, it's a little bit early this year, I don't know why, but I'd say right now, 80 percent of the acorns are down. This oak tree is probably not going to last more than a couple more weeks at the most. Not just that deer eating it, there's other deer coming in occasionally.

The bears, like I said, anytime bears come in, they wipe them right out. The way I look at it is, I'm going to go in there early, and if I burn this spot out in two or three sits, So be it, because even though I don't think this deer is going to change his bedding area, but where he goes after he leaves the bedding area, I think it's going to definitely change [00:23:00] once the soap tree, quits dropping acorns or whatever has been dropped, has been cleaned up.

I look at it like... Hit it hard, swing for the fence early in the spot because it's not going to last that long. So I think you have to keep those little things in mind. Don't wait till the rut in some of these situations or that first, mid October cold front. I know that the time frame of this spot is going to be very short, and I'm probably just catching the tail end of it before this pattern changes.

Yeah, and I think that's important. It's seasonality of this, that your decision, in my scenario right now, I've got two particular bucks and actually this is crazy. A buck that I thought died because he had an antler. And antler pegged him in the eye. I thought he passed away.

I actually think I just got him on camera. He's a five year old and he is actually hanging with the target deer that I, I ended up not shooting last year because he dropped early. And so all these little nuances, dynamics of. Situational relationships and looking at there are [00:24:00] large bucks in this scenario, sticking together in cadence and movement.

Now, one's a little more aggressive than the other one. I can just tell it in the sequence that they move. So it's really the technical piece of this is figuring out like these small elements of decision making. And so one of the things that I'm doing is I'm mapping out in the location that I got that deer at.

I'm walking back to when I think it's bedding interval was, where it bedded, how long it was in that area based on some of the intel I have, and they drawing a map and figure, okay, this is the distance of travel. This is the speed of travel and walking through that particular scenario.

And it's all guesswork, but It gives me some, I guess I'll say feelings of, certainty, or, I feel like I have a good decision to make in this scenario. The other piece of it, my dear, because I don't have terrain features in this particular area that are significant, they're very consistent on when they bed in those particular areas.

And some of these terrain features, depending on how they're caught or they're open, you'll start to learn or glean from, the specifics like this deer has a [00:25:00] tendency during these wind conditions and remember, when conditions are all specific, right? Because a front could come through and it could be a north wind, but it's actually not a north wind in your particular area.

So you've got to be really like, You've got to diagnose things at a very finite level before you say, okay, this condition is exactly to this condition a week before. And I've killed deer based on those circumstances. But, to your point earlier, Steve is, a marginal win could be a Great opportunity for you and the deer in that scenario where it's on the hairy edge of success But it's still the hairy edge and are you willing to push it based on all those other factors?

And it's just thinking a little bit more about how they move how frequently they leave an area, you know What are they surrounding themselves with sometimes I've seen big bucks play off the does and so even in these early season scenarios Which you know, they're like this is not the rut know, we've seen, I've been on camera goofing around with some of my buddies and even clients and saying, Oh yeah, the run is on because you'll get a picture of a, two year old chasing does for the feel [00:26:00] there, they're just establishing that social hierarchy and relationship.

And I think that plays into this whole scenario. So you can focus on weather and the social dynamic piece of it. And you just have to limit, play like a ghost and not create this volume intrusion that is significantly harmful to the hopeful outcome, which in this case, we're hoping, you had success and I'll, let me just throw this out because I didn't jink Roxy, Rocky Burris, who's on this podcast and he shot a monster and I said, I totally brought up the point like, yeah, man and I'm just like, I think you have a backup plan and that this is the point that I wanted to get to next is, okay, we're getting Intel, you've got a backup plan because most guys do, and people that need to be successful and want to have a few big bucks on the wall, they've got a plan B. So there's a plan B for you and we haven't talked about it.

What is your plan B? . Yep. So my plan be like if I hunt this deer in the spot, probably only the first week, two, three times, if I'm lucky I'll be completely done with that spot. And I'm actually gonna not hunt [00:27:00] near his bedding. I'll probably wait until that first, like mid-October front, or it might happen late October, but I'm just gonna back off on that deer until I think that deer is gonna shift more into a rutt mode.

And then I'm just gonna focus on where I know that pocket are. Down further, lower on the ridge. Like even if I pressure that deer early and he's on to me, then if I back off for a couple of weeks, And I hunt that deer, I'm not saying a completely different area, but enough of a difference where that deer is not going to feel that much pressure or that much concern knowing, okay, he had someone hunt him for a few times, and here's, His batting, but he's not just gonna leave and go five miles away.

He's still gonna relate to his main home area. He might just be batting, somewhat differently. He might be more nocturnal. But, no matter what, he's gonna rut. He's gonna rut in that area. Even if I don't get pictures of him, like in the daytime, or right now, I'm basing [00:28:00] my hunt more off the pictures I'm getting.

But, I know, come time or tell, for sure, a bit. Once we get later in October, he is going to be looking for whatever does his own area and I've been keeping tabs on those. I got the stand sites already picked out. I don't have stands up. I'm literally going to hunt around those does, just use them as bait, and once again, easier said than done, but he's going to show up in that area, because he's the dominant buck he's going to do most of the breeding, especially those are the, those closest to his core area, it's just a matter of, when he's going to break out of this mode.

Start daylight and more down in that area. And let me ask you this question and you hear a lot of conversation about this. Would you hunt a deer this time of year in the mornings based on some of the Intel that you're seeing from the camera data? I would, but it would also depend on the setup. I think it depends on how far that deer [00:29:00] is traveling from food to bedding.

Like I think this deer would be much harder to hunt in the morning because. The food is very close to where he's bedding versus if like a deer might have a half mile, I've seen him go one or two miles from food to bed. I think there's more of a gap and more room to take advantage of, because he's a lot of people, would be surprised to a lot of, between my cameras and just own hunting experience, like a lot of these deer.

They're already back in their bedding areas even before daylight or, pretty close. Right about as it's getting daylight, they're getting right near that bedroom so that gap of travel is the biggest concern for me. If it's a good, if it's a good distance and you feel that you can, slip in and not that deer is coming from that food source, I would totally agree.

And, I think you could hunt bedding in the morning in that situation, or more like on the edge of it is that deer is approaching it. But if [00:30:00] it's close to that food source, I think it's a huge gamble just for the fact that, you're not going to have much room for error, trying to slip in between or even getting in that bedding area.

If that bedding area is super close to that food source, he could be already in there a couple hours before daylight, or maybe even sooner. Yeah, I'm going to quickly bring up a quick scenario, Steve. And this is just one of the examples that I have is, I see, this is the thing I pay the most attention to right now.

And this is for, mature deer or just deer that I'm trying to monitor their movement on the property. I'm looking at, what areas are they using based on my trail cameras, how frequently are they in those areas, and the timeline. Thinking about, if they're eating within the areas and they're sitting and moving and digesting and getting up and eating again, they're eating in multiple increments during that time period.

They don't consume an entire meal. Like we do, right? We sit down and we eat dinner. They eat it over a period of time. So the idea that, they feed, five times a day in a 24 hour period is, it's actually incorrect. They feed in multiple [00:31:00] increments throughout the day. It's a matter of the food value that shifts movement.

So just a scenario that I've experienced where I've tried to hunt mornings, I've gotten really close to an area where I think the deer is going to end up. And I've used, I, it was a storm an impending storm that they may delay, their entry into a bedding area because of, they got to consume a little bit more food in a, a better preferential area for food, I've inserted myself in those equation and it's all time and place.

I got caught in the tree. When I went after the giant buck and the storm system was supposed to delay. Me just being anxious and wanting to get after this deer because I knew I had a short window to kill him. I said, you know what? It's close enough. I was hoping it was gonna be delayed an hour in the morning, but it's sped up a half an hour.

And that was a huge difference. As I'm climbing that tree, all of a sudden, this giant buck and, giant to me was in the one thirties, but it was a incredible deer in my area. Older age class here comes right in and I'm literally climbing up the tree [00:32:00] as the lightning in the background is going off and I can see that the deer right in front of me and I'm like, he's 40 yards and I'm on the other side of the tree and I'm like first off, it's too dark, the cloud cover impacted my ability to even, execute when sunrise happened.

And so there were multiple sequences events that led to the failure of that. And if I was a little more patient, a little more considerate of, the precipitation and the weather front coming very, be very timely of diagnosing when to attack this deer. I may have killed them, but I may have not gone after him.

Guess what happened that deer, he kicked over the neighbor killed him two weeks later, never came back into an area. And that was a scenario where that one mistake, that was the only deer I was able to go after. I didn't have any deer of that age, class, or caliber. It was a five year old, which I believe is a five year old.

And that was my one shot. It was a one and done deal. One hunt, it was over. So I'm just suggesting if you are this aggressive and you do not have options, the outcome is such where it may be devastating and [00:33:00] it may benefit somebody else. And good for the other hunter, that was my goal. And obviously I attempted.

I saw the deer. Maybe that's a win. But in that scenario, I was going to kill. So you have to be very tactical in these scenarios. And this is the technical hunting piece of this that my point was trying to get across is, the precision matters. Every step matters. And every thought and we've described some of the thought process in this equation and you can overcomplicate this.

You and I know that we probably do that a little too often. Sure. And then other thing too, like it in my favor is. This isn't the only good deer I have located. I got hundreds of thousands of acres, where I'm hunting. I know not everyone is blessed to be in that kind of position, if you only have one good deer, and a small amount of ground to hunt that deer, I think you got to play it more safe and be more precise.

But in my case, if I do ruin my chances with this deer out of over hunting him. I have a lot more options, a lot more areas to hunt, so I feel like[00:34:00] I can take advantage of being more aggressive in the situation I'm in. Yeah, that's great. All right, Steve last question, and I'm just asking you some random stuff and we're done here.

The equipment, clothing, equipment anything along those lines that you think really makes a difference that's going to propel you this season? Not so much early. I think my style more than anything I love being a mobile hunter. I don't do a lot of fixed stand hunting.

I just think the more stealthy I am, the more aggressive I am as far as moving around and unpredictable to deer as well. That's one thing about mobile hunting is I can bounce from tree to tree. Sometimes I've even done that on, on one particular morning I might. Wind doesn't seem right or, I might climb a tree in the dark and not feel that confident with the wind shifting or the amount of cover there might have been cover there a week ago and all the leaf covers down there's so many advantages to that mobile style that, have really helped me in a lot of [00:35:00] ways.

But as far as what I use, there's really nothing when it comes to spending. I do think one of, one of the biggest things as far as any equipment or tool that's given me success has been, I've had a ton of luck with blind running, particularly from mid October, late October I've killed a lot of bucks, just blind running.

I grunt all the way to the end of my pocket and I'll grunt very often, every five or ten minutes. And some people's minds and maybe in certain areas like that might be overdoing it, but when these deer are cruising and putting on ground, you could have a buck, down over a bench at times, he can't hear you, or he's down in the valley, and there's days they're covering so much ground that If you're not grunting that often, you're not reaching out to these deer as they're passing by.

The blind grunting, and, me carrying a grunt call time of year that's just, that's probably been the one tool, other than trail cameras that... It's had a [00:36:00] huge impact, on the times of my success, but, I'm not, I'm not someone that has the most expensive gear, I have a lot of my camos pretty well worn out, I'm more of an old school.

Kind of keep when it comes to, a different gear, but my style and my approach and my effort. That's where I think I point my success to, yeah, it's sometimes not about the gear. It's about in this case, the strategy and the stealthiness, you could have an old climber that was quiet as a mouse.

And that might be, the best thing for you. Just a quick question. And this is a random, but related when it comes to your grunt tube itself, Do you want tonally something that's sounds more mature or something that's a little less mature, at least in tone, is the tonal a little deeper and sound output or is it a little lighter not as aggressive?

My, my grunt call what, I use various ones, mostly just Quaker boy grunt calls cause I used to work for Quaker boy not really trying to promote them or [00:37:00] anything, just saying, but I prefer kind of something like in between, like a lot of times, whether it makes a difference or not, and this could just be my own opinion.

Sometimes I think too young of a buck isn't enough to get, another mature deer. Interested. I think sometimes, if he thinks that's a year and a half old buck, he might be like, I also don't think, if you sound too mature, maybe a little too aggressive, or cause I guess my point is I wanna keep it as natural, and as well as I want to also make that buck interested.

I always feel like if, when the more dominant deer in that area knows, another mature deer is coming through I think that's when he's going to be inclined to definitely check things. That's a little bit on the, an older buck sound, mature, a little bit deeper raspier grunt.

But other than that, I don't really know If it honestly, if it honestly matters. Just, my opinion, [00:38:00] but whatever I've done in the past like I said, grunting often given the time of year and everything, and when I grunt, it's pretty loud, short grunts multiple directions it's just been phenomenal, the amount of success I've had, but I will also say there's been several times where it burnt me.

It's led me to see a deer. But nine times out of ten, they'll come in downwind, so that's the gamble. But given the area I hunt, the terrain, and just the wide expansion of so much area like You're doing whatever you can to try to intercept these deer as they're traveling. And a lot of times you're in the right area, but it's so hard to get in their path because there's just so much room to roam.

So any way that you can draw something to your location, by all means that's what you need to be trying to do, where I hunt. Okay. That's great. And you got a little choppy there for a second, but you said you're grunting it, what time of year is you tended to grind a little bit more than other times.

It would be mid to late October is when I've had the most success doing that. Like right now, I'm [00:39:00] probably not even going to do any gruntin not saying you couldn't either, but I'm confident enough in my setups, like I'm hunting the spot where a buck is coming, pretty consistently.

I'm expecting that deer to come versus once we get closer to the rut and these deer start cruising and searching for that first hot doe they're moving more, but they're not always taking the same routes. He could be a bench below on the backside of the ridge, like a. It's, you definitely, want to be calling at those times because it's so hard to always figure out exactly what route they're going to take.

Plus, once you get closer to the rut, that's when they start to get more aggressive and more interested in what other bucks are in their area. And some bleating too can even be good as well, but I've had a lot of luck just grunting. So it's going to be that mid to late October period when I'm doing it the most.

Awesome. All right, Steve, I think we're going to end there. I think there was quite a bit in this podcast and I think It was a good conversation. Like I said, I hope folks get a chance to do [00:40:00] that scouting with you. If you have not considered that, please do. I learned a lot from it and there were some really big buck killers that part of this group and we were all in that learning phase.

There's a lot of exchange. I tried not to talk too much, Steve, but sometimes I have to open my mouth every now and again, but I appreciated that experience and I think more folks should do things like that. And I'm sure, we'll we'll talk again about that kind of stuff, but I'm excited for your hunting season.

I'm sure that I'll get a follow up, a call from you about the success that you're going to have. So I I'm excited for you. Thanks a lot. And just to touch on that especially with what you're doing, I would totally recommend people reaching out to you and joining your class that you're going to have this following summer.

I always get people, because I've been doing this, for several years you can read, you can listen, but when you see something hands on and you get to actually stand in that environment and picture it yourself There's really no better learning experience than that. Just a great way to [00:41:00] educate people, a great way to meet people.

And, it's just a lot of fun. Yeah, I'm excited to see you getting involved in that and sharing your knowledge. And then secondly, I know you're going to be hunting hard this season. And, it's literally right in front of us. So best of luck to you. I want to wish everyone good luck and, more importantly to have a safe season.

Just hope it goes well for everyone. I'm so excited that it's pretty much almost here. So thanks a lot for having me. All right, Steve. We'll talk again soon, man. Thanks, buddy. See ya. You're welcome. Bye. Maximize Your Hunt is a production of Whitetail Landscapes. For more information on how John Teter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out Whitetail Landscapes.