Mature bucks 3-1/2 to 6-1/2 years of age are the most elusive and most wasted of whitetails during deer hunting seasons. The reason is, there is hardly a whitetail buck anywhere in America today that has survived three or more hunting seasons that does not know exactly how to safely locate, identify and avoid hunters making drives, hunters moving about on foot in search of deer and hunters using elevated or ground level stands. Dr. Ken Nordberg’s six new hunting methods, ranging in complexity from simple portable stump hunting to opportunistic stand hunting were specificlly designed to hunt such deer. All are mature-buck-effective and fair chase (no bait) hunting methods. Between 1990 and 2017 these hunting methods enabled Doc and his three sons to take 98 mature bucks on public land with low deer numbers and overabundant wolves, their best buck hunting ever.
Unlike back in the 1980s when newly introduced portable tree stands and doe-in-heat buck lures combined to launch two decades of unusually easy buck hunting, no new hunting aid is available today that can make it happen again. Our only salvation as deer hunters today is more knowedgeable and skillful deer hunting, mature-buck-effective hunting methods if you’d like to regularly take mature bucks. To be mature-buck-effectice, Dr. Nordberg’s new hunting methods include the follow key elements.
At the top of the list are special elevated or ground level stand sites…
- Used one day or half day for the first time ever (most productive for for taking older bucks), used one day or half day per hunting season during multiple years, sometimes used an additional day or half day 4–7 days later per hunting season (for good reasons only).
- At a site or in a tree tree providing superior human-silhouette masking natural and unaltered cover (no man-made shooting lane) requiring little or no preparation or preparation time.
- Can be approached without being positively identified by nearby deer.
- Located within easy shooting distance downwind or crosswind of freshly made tracks and/or droppings made by a mature walking (unalarmed) buck in or near a whitetail feeding area (graze or browse) – the one area in which whitetails are most predictable, most easily seen and easiest targets.
- Located within sight of fresh tracks of a buck that dragged its hooves from track to track in snow (under the influence of airborne doe in heat pheromone) in or adjacent to a feeding area or doe bedding area (must be stand hunted very soon).
- Located within sight of lots of fresh droppings made by yearling and/or mature does in or near a feeding area when or where no snow covers the ground.
- Located within sight downwind or crosswind of a freshly made or renewed buck ground scrape not approached within 10–20 yards by a hunter.
- Located 10–20 yards back in timber from the edge of a feeding area.
A non-aggressive hunting method is used, namely, “skilled stand hunting,” which is much different from the way most stand hunters stand hunt these days.
The hunter scouts 2–3 weeks before a hunting season begins to find one or two mature-buck-effective stand sites per hunter per day to be used during the first 2–3 days of the hunting season.
A mid-hunt scouting method that does not alarm deer, limited to deer trails designated for this purpose during specific time periods, is used to find new mature-buck-efective stand sites daily during the balance of the hunting season until a buck is taken. Vicinities, trails and sites being frequented by mature bucks right now, today, which are very likely to be used again by the same buck later today and tomorrow morning if the hunter does things right (with the posible exceptions of trails) – locations made evident by very fresh tracks, droppings and other deer signs – are searched for daily, selecting promising stand sites along the way without halting, to be used during the next 24 hours, or halting to begin using imediately.
A through knowledge of deer signs and the ability to accurately identify tracks and droppings made by mature bucks without halting to measure them during a hunting season are required.
The spread of ruinous lasting human trail scents in the hunting area must be minimized throughout the hunting season.
Certain proven tactics are used to avoid alarming deer along the way while hiking to stand sites and avoid being positively identified by deer near stand sites.
Precautions are taken to allow whitetails to remain in their home ranges throughout a hunting season.
As silently as possible (best done with a backpacked stool), beginning day three the hunter switches to a new stand site every day or half day (best) 100 yards or more away from any previously used stand site until a buck or other deer is taken.
Dr. Nordberg’s six new hunting methods, introduced in his newly published Whitetail Hunters Almanac, 10th Edition, have all of the elements (above) needed to be mature-buck-effective. Used properly, each of these hunting methods can put you close to one or more mature bucks once or twice every day or half day of a hunt, though you may not realize it until after you find tracks that reveal a mature buck spent some time downwind of your stand site. Do not despair when this happens. After a mature buck discovers you stand hunting (not moving about, which it can detect via smell alone), it will only quit approaching within about 100 yards of where you were sitting. It won’t abandon its range unless you somehow greatly alarm it – an all important advantage provided by stand hunting. Moving 100 yards or more to a new stand site during the following day or half day will put you back in the ball game. The buck will have to find you all over again before it can be safe while engaging in its daily activities. Sooner or later, that buck will be a short distance away, unsuspecting, before it realizes you are taking aim at it.
Be assured, because Dr. Nordberg’s mature-buck-effective hunting methods evolved from more than a half century of scientifically-based, hunting-related field research with wild whitetails, they work. Once mastered, you will soon begin to realize tree stand hunting is no longer the best or only way to hunt mature bucks or other deer. Over the long run a ground level stand hunter usng a backpacked stool and mature-buck-effective hunting methods can outhunt any deer hunter using any other hunting method.