Deer hunters cannot expect to bag a trophy every year

Hunting can be challenging or downright frustrating at times. If you are expecting to shoot a big buck every season, you may be in for a rude awakening.

It seems that if you don't harvest a trophy buck the first couple years, you will likely be in for a long wait. Beginner’s luck seems to bless many of us, unfortunately, it is typically followed by a dry spell. Call it fate or luck, either way, many first-timers harvest a nice buck. Their next reaction is to expect more of the same the following season. Many will realize their expectations to be a bit far-fetched. Some believe harvesting a big buck by your second season is a blessing, while others may learn to view it as a curse.



I can speak from experience on this topic. My first season was successful, although it was only a one-horn buck. I wanted to harvest a deer, and wasn't worried about size at this point. The plan changed a bit my second season. I learned to rattle and grunt deer in over the summer, and set my sights on a bigger deer.

My next buck was taken the following year, which was the winter of 1995. We had been hit by a substantial snow fall with accumulations reaching nearly three feet. I remember trudging through nearly waist-deep snow on my way into the woods. I wondered whether I would even see deer in such conditions. Experience now tells me these are the best conditions to hunt. Deer tend to break trails in deep snow; they then repeatedly use these trails to conserve energy. My dad and I split up at the wood line, and headed to our spots. Around 10 a.m., my dad made his way over to me to see how I was dealing with the cold. I was fine, so he headed back out. He only made it a few hundred yards before he spotted a deer. He took the shot and downed the small buck. I made my way toward him to find heavily used criscrossing trail systems. I made my mind up to sit in the spot the following morning. We dragged his deer to the truck, which was nearly a quarter mile away. To this day, I don’t recall a more exhausting drag.


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