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Hunt Buck With Less Stress

By Scott Stankowski - November 1, 2014
Every hunter has been dreaming about it. Every hunter has been wishfully thinking. There are no two ways about it, the rut is here. Hunters will seemingly do just about anything and everything to get them within range of a deer.

Hunters that were successful in the past bank on those tactics to work again in the future. Those that have not had success ever or as of late dig into the seemingly endless bag of tricks that friends or complete strangers have stumbled across.

I for one agree with this much; you have to spend time in the woods to become successful. Other than that there is no one tried and true tactic that will ensure big bucks on the ground.

When it comes to scents, decoys, scrapes and rubs one thing is for certain, deer are individuals and will react in their own individual way.

Things happen, and I often say it is better to be lucky than good in the deer woods.

As a hunter you will enjoy the woods more if you stop questioning yourself so much. Go with what you think will work try and learn a little bit from it and do not turn back.

There are no set rules in nature. I read countless articles by fellow writers. Check your cameras with rubber gloves, only check them at night, set them up above the deer, etc.

When it comes to scent, you will find articles that say do not put too much down, soak the area with as much as possible, leave it there overnight, place it at the base of your stand, and drag a rope in with scent attached to your stand.

Where should one sit? You will come to believe it is right to sit over scrapes, sit on ridge lines, sit on food sources, sit where the does will be, sit when the wind is right.

Everything I have mentioned has its place at times. Adhering to a boatload of rules allows you to constantly question yourself and put self-doubt in your mind. Doubt results in failure and neither result in a good time. We have limited time in the woods and we want to make it great.

As hunters all we can do is try and fit the mold. That means doing what seemingly would fit the most common techniques and ways to get within range of a mature whitetail buck. In reality that technique is pretty bland, go sit in a tree stand where there is deer activity. You can do everything you think is right and nature may be working in your favor but fellow landowners, or even passers by can switch that as quickly as possible.

I once sat on a ridge edge, a pine plantation bordering a stand of oaks next to a field. I had a mature buck working the area and several scrapes getting hit hard and sat a morning fit for perfection. The buck appeared just as I anticipated only to be spooked by the neighboring landowner coming to check his property for the upcoming gun hunt.

I wrote the deer off only to find out he appeared again about an hour after I had gotten out of the stand.

Just go out and enjoy yourself, if you spook a deer one day one way does not mean that it will happen that way next time, remember nature has few rules when it comes to these behaviors. We wait all year for this short window of opportunity and often put too much stress on ourselves, leave that in the truck.

Until next time...

Author Scott Stankowski
Scott Stankowski
Scott Stankowski is the senior outdoor writer for and produces weekly articles, typically highlighting getting kids active in the outdoors. His family prides itself on living off of the land. Scott also takes the mantra into the classroom where he teaches environmental science at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. Scott and his sons have won numerous titles in turkey and deer calling at the state level. Scott and his sons have a national outdoor television show titled Growin' Up Wild and can be found on Facebook.
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