While Outdoor Television has been a great promotion of the Whitetail Industry, it has also been the chief creator of unrealistic expectations. Outdoor Television has led the average hunter to believe Boone and Crockett Whitetails Bucks reside on every farm in great states and, as a result, many hunters have set goals beyond reach in regard to what they think they should be harvesting. As I've mentioned before, I know for a fact that many outdoor hunting television shows are filmed within the confines of high fences. Also, hundreds of man hours may go into the harvesting of one trophy buck, but on television, it is shown in a 30-minute airing. I wonder how long television shows would be if the television crew displayed every minute of footage that actually went into the harvest of a trophy animal. Hunting trophy whitetails especially by means of archery is difficult.
When I was attending college, I also was forced to work part time at a local factory to finance my schooling. During those years of my life and prior, I had maybe one evening or two a week to dedicate to hunting trophy deer. After graduation, I obtained a job that provided me with ample opportunity and a great amount of time to put into hunting. Prior to graduating college, I had only harvested one Pope and Young Buck that scored 131 inches. It was my pride and joy, the result of a lot of hard work as well as luck and expense. I had always said up to that day my goal was to kill a Pope and Young Buck with a bow.
After that buck was hanging on the wall, my goal became to put as many Pope and Young Bucks and the wall as possible during my lifetime and hopefully shoot a buck that exceeded 170 inches one day. As of 10-19-08 - or 13 years later - I have harvested 13 Pope and Young Whitetail Bucks, as well as 16 other trophy big game animals that hang in my trophy room.
I accomplished the filling of a trophy room by doing three things.
Hunting States where trophy whitetails thrive. For example Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, etc.
- Hunt as many hours as humanly possible without losing my job or upsetting my family (and sometimes I do upset my family with the amount of hunting I do). The more man hours you can put in the woods, the more whitetails you will kill.
- I studied topographical advantages and whitetail behavior in depth, placing and positioning myself in funnels, bottlenecks, spiderwebs, inside L’s, and other locations I know trophy whitetails will present shot opportunities.
It's all about location, and the amount of time one puts into the sport of whitetail hunting in an effort to generate results in the form of consistent trophy kills.
God has blessed me with much. I am on many hunt pro staffs in the hunt industry and now own a very nice whitetail deer outfitting service located in Pike County, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Still to this day, with all the opportunities I have to hunt, I don’t pass up whitetail deer that score 130 inches and above. As a result, I have put 13 monster deer on the wall. I do not believe my trophy room would be half as impressive as it is if I would have been hunting one particular buck or only waiting to shoot deer that were hideously large. I just don’t understand the hunter that seems to think they must kill a deer over 170 inches. In 2007, I managed the Iowa Division of IMB Outfitters during the First Gun Season. The first 3 bucks that hit the dirt the first 2 hours of light were all over 170 inches. At lunch, one hunter ran around the lodge from guide to guide, begging to be placed on a buck exceeding 170 inches, and even went to the extreme of offering bribes to the guides. I chuckled under my breath knowing that their was no way to guarantee anyone you could put them within range of a monster buck. That whole week, this particular hunter drove himself crazy passing up great buck after great buck simply because they didn’t score over 170 inches, or possess a drop tine, or have something going on with them that would do anything less than make him famous. I know he didn’t enjoy himself. He also went home without a deer.
One morning in the office, the phone rang. A hunter on the other end of the line told me he was ready to book his trophy whitetail hunt. I proceeded to describe our operation. He proceeded to tell me he wanted me to make sure he killed a 170-inch plus drop tine buck wider than 23 inches. I told the man I couldn’t guarantee that; however, I could offer my best advice for what dates, states, and strategies to use with our whitetail outfitting service to attempt such a feat. That wasn’t good enough. He wanted a guarantee. I declined the booking. As whitetail hunters, we need to learn how to be satisfied with just being in the woods hunting instead of driving ourselves crazy with thinking we just have to have one specific buck that will make us famous. Get out there and just enjoy yourself.
With this premise in mind, I entered the woods last season just after a slight rain and climbed up a treestand to enjoy the afternoon. I hung my rifle, harnessed myself to the tree, read a couple verses from the Bible I tote in my backpack, and looked up. There stood a great deer. I put down the Bible, picked up the gun, fired off a round from the 300 Win Mag, and collected a 160 inch monster whitetail buck. Prior to shooting, I knew the deer was over 130, but didn’t have an idea the deer was only 10 inches short of making the Boone and Crockett Club requirements.