5. Don’t Overdo It
Spending too much time in a single treestand or ground blind will lower your chances of spotting deer in the area. No matter how careful you are, too many repeated visits to the same set-up will invariably deposit scent, warding off wary big bucks during daylight hours. Instead, hunt a particular stand or blind just two or three times a week at the most. With this in mind, it pays to have several set-ups you can rotate through during the course of the week.
Having multiple options can also help prevent the deer from patterning you. Trophy bucks are the best at this, so you need to be unpredictable. Do this by hunting different areas of the property at different times of day, as well as by sometimes sticking it out all day. That doesn’t mean you have to park it in the same stand or blind from dawn till dusk—just be in the woods, hunting strategically.
At the beginning of the season, meanwhile, don’t over-scout the boss buck’s core range, which will typically be less than 200 acres, or roughly a quarter of his entire home range (the older the buck, the smaller the core range). Again, the less you move around, the less chance you’ll have of leaving behind unwanted scent or spooking your quarry. And once you’ve identified the buck’s bedding area within the core range—typically 20 acres in size—stay out and hunt on the periphery instead. You want to leave the bedding area as a safe sanctuary so that he remains in the vicinity.