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Never give up, never get discouraged

Normally each year I start putting cameras out during the summertime to get an early inventory of bucks.  By mid-July I typically have multiple target bucks that I’m looking forward to chasing.  However, 2023 has been a much different year.  As usual, I deployed cameras in the early summer months and started checking them every two weeks.  But this year, things were different.

The Letdown

Camera check after camera check, my confidence began dwindling more and more.  With each card pull I hoped for a buck that I was interested in shooting to show up.  Unfortunately, I was let down each time I scrolled through the hundreds of pictures of does and young bucks.  

Different Methods

Although October is quickly approaching, I still don’t have a buck on camera that I’m interested in shooting.  In a “normal” year I would be strategizing about how to get in the perfect position to kill a buck on feed trees, scrapes, or another type of food source.  This year I have had to change my priorities and methods to try to locate a buck.  The time I would normally be spending scouting and deploying trail cameras has changed to knocking on doors and e-scouting public ground that is close by.  My evenings consist of riding roads and trying to locate bucks in fields followed by knocking on doors and asking for permission.  

Stay Encouraged

As October gets closer and closer, bucks will begin to shift.  If you don’t have any bucks that interest, you on your properties currently just stay patient.  As the pecking order starts to sort itself out bucks will begin to settle into their fall/winter home range.  I’ve had to consistently tell myself that just because I don’t have any shooter bucks on camera right now doesn’t mean that in the weeks ahead one won’t show up.  Stay the course and stay focused!  Spend your time scouting other properties or trying to gain new access while you wait.  Don’t just give up and look past opportunities that are right in front of you that could be “game-changing” for your deer season.   

Always Learning

The main thing to take away from seasons of adversity is KEEP ON LEARNING.  There is always something that you can be getting better at it whether it be scouting, e-scouting, shooting your bow, or learning your property better.  There is always something that you can do to improve your chances of tagging a buck during your season.  Don’t get discouraged, don’t lose sight of the goal, and never give up!

stay positive for big bucks

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