Locating book bucks

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may21581
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Locating book bucks

Unread postby may21581 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:50 pm

Was just wanting to get a general idea of how and when alot of guys are locating their really big bucks? Are you finding them in the off season such as later winter spring time and monitoring them from then on? Do you find them in the summer with glass? Are you usually finding them and it takes a year or two to get a crack at them? Just wanted a general idea and I encourage any stories, details, and photos.


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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby SplitG2 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:05 am

I cannot speak for book bucks as I’ve never shot one before, killed a couple somewhat close but no book bucks yet. I don’t necessarily go after antler size and when it comes to book bucks they’re just simply not common enough in most areas for a guy to hang his hat on a whole season to kill a booner. I usually just try to shoot the first 4+ year old buck that provides me with an opportunity. That’s not too say that I don’t like big antlers, I do just as much as the next guy and I would happily shoot a big antlered 3 year old but my main goal is to try my best to shoot 4+ year old bucks.

For me, it all starts the previous season. By the end of the previous season I have typically already inventoried all bucks I seen or captured on camera that I’m confident they’re 3, 4, 5, 6 ect ect years old. I take note of the time of the season that they are seen or caught on camera......I’m a big believer that not all, but most mature bucks hit the same areas every year around the same timeframe and some of these bucks that’s your only crack at them all season, I’ve just seen it too many times. Some may only provide you with a short window in your area and some may be in the neighborhood most of the season, you just never know. Anyways, after that I try to locate sheds, beds and whatnot, then try to locate them in feeding areas in the summer just to see if or how much they’ve grown and to confirm they’re still around. Usually I’ll have a few picked out that I’ll keep an eye on all summer. After that it’s just waiting for season and specific weather conditions to hunt specific spots for specific bucks that only provide small windows and the rest of the time I’m just hunting the first 4+ year old mature buck that provides an opportunity.

Not sure if any of that makes any sense or even helps but hope it does.
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Rich M
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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby Rich M » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:05 am

Read the record books and target places with the most "book bucks", then they try to get private access, lease, see what kind of public is available etc. Go put your cams up, spot if legal, etc. and see what you get.

Keep repeating the process until you find one you want, then hunt.
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may21581
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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby may21581 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:52 am

Lots of good points. I was just kinda wanting to get a general consensus on if it was generally several years in the making, a fall strategy or finding one and letting him grow if one can and going after when the time is right. Seems to me when talking to some folks that there are some common similarities that keep popping up when we talk about those getting the job done.
In the last several years I have found success and almost 100 percent of it has been on public. I have reached most of my goals I believe for the areas I hunt. I do believe there is still some room to grow as a hunter with the locations I have but feel with how things have been trending in my area i may be starting to chase ghosts. With that said i will discuss a few things that have really stuck out to me.
First thing i have noticed is about 80-90 percent of the time the hunters have history with these bucks. The watching and learning game generally goes on for several years. From the time they start getting intel till they really get a good grasp on a deer is a year or two.
We all have learned that bed hunting is the way to kill the big ones. The reason being is pressure trumps everything. Big bucks just dont move much in the daylight. We have seen first hand the effects of pressure and how the mature deer respond. They either change their routes up, shift to another property or become almost nocturnal. It's not a coincidence why the opener and closer of the seasons can be so good, i contribute this to pressure. When the pressure is on they simply respond different than the rest of the herd.
There is a farm I know of the is absolutely perfect for buck hunting. They planted it with corn this year that is leased from a farmer. A few out of towners hunt it and went about it the wrong way. They never watched their access, hunted it at the wrong times and over hunted the place. Needless to say they never shot anything out of their. The other day when I was driving by I saw two giant bucks standing in the cut corn an hour before dark. Their access trail was right by a tree close to the home. It was the last week of the season and no one had been in there since the the beginning of December's gun season. Also the timing was right with the food and weather. The bedding was from another owners property where they could not go.
And the third thing I'm seeing is the ones getting this done are the ones really focused on details. I mean their really analyzing their pictures, scouting, timing, winds, ect. You often hear hunters talk about the time they have into studying their targets, the setups, and so forth.
And lastly I'm seeing that it takes a certain attitude to get the job done. These types of hunters make their mind up at the beginning of a season and that's it. Their the swing for the fences type of folks who are willing to eat their tags at the end of the season to succeed. One has to be willing to pass the 130" bucks to get to a 170" buck. It takes a special hunter to do this. For some it comes natural, for some it comes with time and experience, and for some it never will come to them. But attitude is one of the biggest factors for this elite group of hunters.
Thoughts, opinions, and comments?
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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby Rich M » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:07 am

may21581 wrote: And lastly I'm seeing that it takes a certain attitude to get the job done. These types of hunters make their mind up at the beginning of a season and that's it. Their the swing for the fences type of folks who are willing to eat their tags at the end of the season to succeed. One has to be willing to pass the 130" bucks to get to a 170" buck. It takes a determined hunter to do this.


This the foremost thing.

Most guys will not let a decent buck pass in hopes of getting something better.

Most folks just don't want it that bad. You gotta be hungry for huge antlers and willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want - including letting nice deer walk.


I'm not one of those guys, my goals and priorities are diff - hunting is a series of fun vacations for me as opposed to being a driven passion.
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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby mheichelbech » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:50 am

Any and every way possible that is legal. Prior history as mentioned. I am constantly on the lookout. Everyday driving to and from work I look at fields and even around subdivisions. In season, out of season, whatever. To give you an example, my brother had a pic texted to him of a buck another cop who was guarding the local water company several years ago when terrorists were still a big threat. This is a small town of maybe 40,000 people and they guarded the water company 24/7. Anyhow, the cop had gotten a pic of a big buck in the middle of the night walking across the parking lot..on pavement..lol! My brother didn’t feel like going after him, he is getting older and not quite as motivated as I still am. I did. This was a super thick brushy area of about 20 acres between this water company and an apartment complex. I went in once scouting, ruined a pair of pants due to stickers...found where I most likely thought he was traveling based just on tracks and a rub line and a bedding area I found. I also found by the rubs, an area of about 50 yards around with a bunch of scrapes. I set up and killed him the first time sitting there...on the ground as there weren’t any trees to get in. This place was so thick it took about 6 hours to get him out and it was only about a 200 yard drag.

It’s the buck on the right in this pic. Bottom line is I think you have to look any and everywhere and any and every way you can...legally of course!

Not sure why the 2 pics of the woods shows up..they are not a part of this story.
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tim
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Re: Locating book bucks

Unread postby tim » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:07 pm

may21581 wrote:Was just wanting to get a general idea of how and when alot of guys are locating their really big bucks? Are you finding them in the off season such as later winter spring time and monitoring them from then on? Do you find them in the summer with glass? Are you usually finding them and it takes a year or two to get a crack at them? Just wanted a general idea and I encourage any stories, details, and photos.

My intel mostly comes from trailcams and hunting. Some bucks get the pass and watch them grow on cams a few years others show up that year and get killed that year. I don’t have any deer in books though so technically I have zero “book bucks” so I can’t speak for that


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