Tips & Tactics

Patience, Patience

Patience, Patience

By Ken Piper

The game isn’t over until the fat lady shoots ... or something like that.

Taking bucks consistently is an art. Anyone can luck into a big buck, but it takes work to harvest bucks year after year.

While there is no single skill or trait that makes a great deer hunter, one thing the best have in common is patience.

Whitetails, and especially experienced bucks, don’t always do what we expect them to. If you have scouted a particular buck and have a good setup, don’t force a bad situation. If he comes in from the wrong angle, or even if he just catches you off guard, chances are he’ll see you if you try to move. In many cases, the right call is to sit tight and hold still.

It’s difficult to let a buck walk, especially one that has been giving you fits by showing up on trail cameras only at night or at every stand except the one you’re hunting that day. I’d love to say I have never taken a shot I regretted, but that wouldn’t be true. The voice in your head urges you to shoot, screaming that you might never get another opportunity at that deer.

It’s hard to resist, but don’t listen. Have faith in your setup, or learn from the encounter and move your stand to a better position and try again.

The game isn’t over until the arrow or bullet is fired, or at sundown of the last day of the season. If you do take a shot, make sure it’s going to count.

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