Someone posted this tactic on another website, and Im not sure how I feel about it..I would think that 99% of the times, the buck would relocate to another bed, but maybe Im wrong.. what do you guys think?
I had a buck patterned extremely well. I had his food sources, his scrapes, his rubs, his direction of travel, his bedding area and his timing was like yours. 100% nocturnal. I had hunted all of the travel coridors hard and even the in/out routes on his bedding area when I felt like I could get the wind right but I never went in the bedding area after the initial scouting rounds much earlier.
Now it was gun season and I had no luck seeing this buck in the daylight. I started laying out my case with the most knowledgeable big-buck-killer I knew and here is what he said.
1. Pick your day when you know you want to kill him.
2. Stink yourself up to the best of your ability. Wear your gym clothes, tennis shoes, whatever it takes. Put in a dip, spit on the ground, wear dirty socks on your hands, and walk right smack dab into the middle of the bedding area when you know he will be there. Find the beds and hang your stand where you can shoot into it. Feel free to take a leak while your there and then walk right back out on the exact same trail.
3. Let him have the place back that night and the next day.
4. Go in there the following night, walking the exact same trail when you know he'll be gone. Use your normal scent control practices. (for my case this was not long after midnight)
5. At daylight, kill him in his bed.
That is exactly what I did.
Now, I know exactly how crazy this sounds and that is what I thought when he was telling me this. But I also knew how many big deer he had killed in highly pressured public hunting grounds and I knew he wouldn't lie to me. His reasoning was that you could get away with this because it would be like we had come home to our apartment and it had been ransacked, we'd check the place out, find nothing missing, noone was hurt, we'd do the research (walk the trail of scent from one end to the other), and then return to our normal pattern that had kept us safe all of our lives. We might be skittish but we wouldn't sell the apartment over one break in and we felt like we had the theive's info now.
By stinking it up and leaving a trail, we basically leave the door unlocked for the next violation. The buck circled most of the bedding area that night and even got down wind of me but never spooked. He came right in and went to bed just before daylight.
Call me crazy but the 10 pt main frame with a kicker off the base is still on the wall here.
The point is to make it obvious that you were there and posed no real threat (like other hunters that he has become accustomed to).
By stinking it up, you effectively are placing your cover scent/trail for your real hunt.
Think of it like this, after your apartment was burglarized, you probably didn't get everything cleaned up in one day. So you are ready for things not to be normal when you return home from work for a day or two. You are going to look around to make sure something else hasn't happened but the clutter covers up small changes (you, now with scent control).
Word of caution, your scouting needs to be complete and accurate. You've got to get him the first time. I think that a failed attempt would mean you are going to have to find him in a new area, probably next year.
As for finding the beds, big deer will often use the exact same bed. If you can find beds in there, you should be able to tell which one is a big buck just by the size as compared to others. It seems like there is often a rub very close by that will most of the time show you his entrance/exit routes to establish direction of travel.