Bow Hunting: The One That Got Away

Bow Hunting: The One That Got Away: Just Getting Big Bucks to Come in is Only Half the Battle 

Big bucks are stubborn, and can sometimes give you a run for your money. “Fred look”, I quietly whispered, “There’s a buck about a hundred yards away, and legal too!”. Fred quickly reached for his bow as the buck stepped back behind some brush. I gave a couple of quick grunts to get the deer’s attention and heading in our direction. It was late in the rut and this buck just would not budge an inch. This story has probably been told a million times around a campfire in the backyard or at the dinner table. Learn how to outsmart and outlast the most difficult buck right here! 

There’s nothing more precious about bow hunting than sitting in your tree stand with the changing leaves blending in your camo just perfectly. A sense of relaxation comes about that cannot be duplicated. Then, your whole world gets flipped upside down when you see the buck that “could be” hanging on your wall. Now comes the hard part, controlling your adrenaline, calling that bad boy in, and harvesting him.

How do you call him in? How do you take down the adrenaline to steady up for that shot? I’m here to tell you that this is not easy, but some tricks, techniques, and tactics can go along in your favor.

That big buck shows his face. How do I call that big buck in? Use these deer hunting tactics, tips, and techniques to your advantage. Now we already know the buck is out of bow range by a long shot at 100 yards. You have to grab his attention to stand a chance of making him a wall hanger. Its time to get out your rattle. Make sure the deer is behind some sort of cover before you ever make a move. You do not want to give yourself away by rushing into something. Patients with the buck is key to standing a chance for a shot at him. Once he is behind some coverage, grab your rattle call. This rattle call is a good tactic that will access the bucks dominant gene built into him. You want to imitate two bucks fighting. The buck will hear this and come in and defend his territory. Rattle 2-3 times evenly spaced out for a duration of about 1-2 seconds. Now, wait for the deer’s reaction. If he doesn’t turn your way, repeat this step a few more times before reaching for your grunt call.

If this technique is not doing the trick, grab your grunt call to lure him in. The grunt call will also activate the dominate gene built into the buck. If he hears another buck in his territory he will come in and defend it. Their dominant buck gene makes them fight over territory and mating rights in the rut. You don’t want some guy stealing your girl would you? Neither does a buck. Now that you have accessed your grunt call, give it 2-3 grunts spaced out evenly for a duration of about 1-2 seconds. Once again, wait for a reaction from the deer. If he turns your way you are “in” for now, but that can change later. If you get no response, repeat the grunt call technique as listed above a few more times. Remember, don’t give yourself away. Wait for the buck to get behind some sort of cover. Still no luck? Incorporate the tips you just learned with the rattle call and grunt call together. If his stubbornness is still getting the best of you, there are two options you can decide on. They are stalking the deer or changing location.

Before you start stalking the deer, make sure you are up to date on the game laws and regulation pertaining to stalking deer in bow season. Make sure the elements are right for stalking the deer. You do not want to go on a stalk if the weather is really bad, if the deer sensed you, or if it took off running after a doe or to defend his territory. Once the deer is behind some sort of cover, climb down from your tree stand and begin your stalk. Remember, do not give yourself away. Have patients, as well as a good plan. Never go into a battle without some sort of strategy. Also, give yourself another shot of scent eliminator to cover up your scent. Knowing your strategy is important. What path will I take to stalk the deer? What cover can I incorporate in your deer hunting technique? How long will I pursue this stalk? How far will I go?

Sometimes, while bow hunting,  you are just not in the right spot. Wait for awhile. I recommend an hour or so before climbing out of your stand. The deer may hang out for a bit out of site. But, just because you can’t see the deer anymore doesn’t mean he can’t still detect you. Alright, your clear now. Climb out of your stand and move towards where you had seen the deer.When archery hunting, always have doe in heat urine, some kind of scent eliminator, and dominant buck urine on you at all times.This will help your new location, which will be where he already travels through that area, to be irresistible to the buck. Note any deer trail that you can. Scout this trail and look for evidence of scrapes. Scrapes are used for marking territory. The buck will claw around at the ground producing his scent in his territory. You will find scrapes located on trails. If you discover a scrape, put a little bit of your dominant buck urine in the scrape. This will portray a “trespasser” on his territory. Another way a buck will mark his territory is by rubbing his antlers on a small tree. This is called a rub. If you find a buck rub nearby, also put the dominant buck urine around the rub. Next, look for a good tree in a good location around the scrape. Once your new location is found, set up in that tree. put a little bit of dominant buck urine and doe in heat urine around your stand site. You then can set up a doe in heat drip bag from a tree a little ways off from the scrape. All these scents will drive the buck wild. Finally, drag some doe in heat urine on the trail the buck used to enter on.

Well, now you are all set up to go in the next day and try your luck with this big buck again. He who runs away will live to fight another day. Go home and TRY to get some sleep. Wake up in the morning and get to your stand.

Patients along with these deer hunting tactics, techniques, and tips will increase your chance at harvesting that big buck . Remember, make sure you understand all of the game laws and regulations for your deer hunting adventure, before bow hunting. And lastly, remain undetectable.

J.D. Arp

J.D. Arp





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