Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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The Silence
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Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby The Silence » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:33 pm

Would love to get everyone's opinion. I had the craziest hunt last year. I was hunting off the ground during the rut when I a saw a dandy buck walking by at 60-70 yards up near a ridge. I was able to stop him with a grunt call
and he turned back around and started looking down toward the drainage where I was located. After he turned around, and when he was not looking my way, I pulled his chain a few more times with a light grunt call and he was really getting ticked off. Really wound up.
It was already after sunset, and I laid off the calling, hoping that he would lose interest and swing down around lower on the hill side where I could get a shot. He never showed himself again.

That was awesome,but here comes the crazy part. As I sat there in the dark, hoping he would work his way out of the area, I couldn't hear any movement above me. My exit route was a steep-banked drainage away from his location,
so I slowly moved out of the area, hoping to avoid his hearing. Normally, I don't use a small flashlight to get out of my hunting area, but that night I decided to do so, hoping I could avoid stepping on any twigs by accident. I'm so glad I did.

As I crawled out of the ditch, and slowly worked my way out of the area, guess who was waiting for me at the crest of the hill? My pissed off friend. I noticed him at 40 yards just waiting for me, out of curiousity or anger I don't know.
I started praying and shining the flash light into his eyes. As I got within 25-30 yards, he took several steps forward. I prayed harder. Wasn't sure what to do, so I held my ground and slowly kept plowing forward. I know I could have picked
up a stout stick and chucked it at him but I really didn't want to blow him out of the area for good. As I got within probably 20 yards, he jumped back as he was snorting. I kept tanking forward, and there he was, 20-25 feet behind where
he had been standing before. I kept going. He finally, slowly melted into the woods. I never heard him crash away in flight. As I walked back to my truck that night, I kept checking my back trail and off to the sides with my flash light.

I know he has survived to this year. I have only shot one mature buck in the past but I've heard other guys talk about how disappointing it can be to hold out for one particular animal. If any mature animal shows up, should I take
the shot or wait for The Beast?
I know he is in the same area as he was last year. I don't want to diminish the fact, that getting within bow range of any truly mature animal, shouldn't be taken for granted since these animals are so rare and so ghost-like.


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Tsom
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Tsom » Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:16 pm

Wow quite the hunt! Being from a low deer density area in southern nh I take about any opportunity I can get. No way I'd be passing up a decent buck in hopes to see one I know is in the area. Your story reminds me of the time I was treed by a moose a few years back where I had what I thought was a big deer coming in right before closing. Ended up being a big cow moose that hung around till well after dark. Yelling or shining my light did nothing and it just stared at me. After about a half hour I got got sick of it and climbed down and made some quick moves toward the truck while watching my tail for a ways.
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greenhorndave
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby greenhorndave » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:01 pm

Both encounters sound awesome.

I’d vote for going after Mr Big. Talk about a motivational opportunity!
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Cchez » Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:33 am

I understand your dilemma. I was in a similar situation last year. Long story short, I passed a buck i wouldve taken anywhere else i hunt, only because i had a very large buck in the area that i've got a 3 year history with. My friends told me i was an idiot for passing, but it was my goal to try and kill that other buck, and i had an hour of daylight left at the time. He never showed. I'm fine with passing that buck, because it was on our private land, and i hope he survived the year because he will be a beauty this year if he did ( he's the black faced buck i talked about in a previous post).

So, my answer to you is if you are fine passing other bucks for the chance to kill mr big, awesome. If you end up killing a different buck that revs your engine, awesome. No one will think less of you either way. Ultimately this is all personal preference. As long as you're loving it, do it.
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Drenalin
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Drenalin » Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:48 am

I have passed on bucks that would have been very good for me due to knowing about something bigger in the area. I haven't had it work out for me, but I'm not a great deer hunter. I'll probably do it again, even knowing this.
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby bigbuckhunter88 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:10 am

All depends on personal situation, goals, and mindset. I live in Iowa, have private land permission I share with family and hunt public. I have a love/hate relationship with targeting a specific buck. 3 out of the last 4 years I've hunted a specific buck each season. Last year burnt me out of it as everytime I zigged, he zagged. I have passed up bucks I would normally shoot on those 3 years and ended up eating tag soup with the bow. All 3 deer were definitely worth holding out for but it can be a grueling mind game and I lost those 3 battles. 2 times another hunter got the buck in October and last year he just won. This year I vowed I wasn't holding out for a specific deer and wouldn't ya know, first card pull mid August has a very special buck on it, and I'm still expecting the deer from last year and some other bucks to show up. I might have to dial it in again for 1 deer.
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The Silence
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby The Silence » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:56 am

Thanks for everyone's input. Pretty much agree with everyone's thoughts. Really comes down to how I feel about things. Really appreciate your personal examples. One thing that has struck me about this type of dilemma is that
we are always driven by the hope that we may be able to close the deal on Mr. Big. You've got to be a hopeful hunter to keep at the grind. It also reinforces the fact that these mature animals are survival experts. A very worthy rival.
One of the questions I've been asking myself is, "if I have the priviledge of having a mature animal within bow range, and pass on him for a different animal, is that not giving these "ghosts" enough credit and respect?
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Jdw » Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:20 am

I have targeted specific bucks in the past. It is a rewarding experience when it works and frustrating when it doesn’t.

For me it takes a bit of the fun out of hunting to hunt just one buck and by the time I learn enough about him to kill him the woods seem kind of empty when he is gone.

I live in a one buck state so I try not to use my tag to early unless it’s a big one.
The last couple years I have been making a point to have fun and enjoy the hunt until something trips my trigger.
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:33 am

No! These days I hunt for something that gets my heart rate up. I know what a good buck for my area looks like and the first one to give me an opportunity I jump on.

I respect those that do hunt down one particular buck. But IMHO if u don’t have a good chunk of private access it’s gonna leave u eating a tag more than anything.

Plus I just have awful luck with it, so I told myself never again. One of the first big boys I ever located I said him or nothing. Well I got the nothing and in March of that year I found out he was killed the first week of November. Was hunting a buck that didn’t exist for most of the season.

2 other times I found a dandy holed up the majority of the year on private. I put all my scouting effort into them only to get permission yanked from me either right b4 or shortly after the season started. For me, never again!
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Grizzlyadam
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:35 am

There is usually a top dog that I have my mind set on, but if something else comes by that trips my trigger I rarely have regrets.
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby tim » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:07 pm

I’ve been known to set my sights on a particular buck lol....best case scenario you have more than one that would make you happy . I hunt a few counties so lately I ry to pick one in each county I would be happy with unless there isn’t one and if that’s the case why hunt there . There’s always the unknown but that’s usually for the rut. If something shows up unexpected I have no problems changing goals
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Kraftd » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:54 pm

Time has to factor in too. Can you hunt or about almost daily? If not you just made staying in a specific deer much harder, even with cams, imo. Cell cams have made that a lot easier I imagine but keeping tabs on him is a must. I have some weeks I can get out most days and may have to skip a whole week sometimes. For me that means I’m happy with any buck that trips my trigger. Usually have a couple on private is like to run into but know I can’t usually put the scouting time in to feel like it’s worth holding in other bucks that make me happy.
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Re: Do you ever hold out for a specific buck?

Unread postby Wlog » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:19 am

If you see him or get a picture of him it would make it a lot easier decision. Do you know for sure he’s alive and hanging around there? If so then I say give it your best shot until you either get him or burn the area out.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.


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