with Marshall Collette
North Carolina will have a lot of hunters come in from out of state for early bow season in hopes of taking a buck in the velvet, but I've never taken a buck in the velvet. I prefer to let the bucks get in hard antler before I take a buck to mount. But I don’t have a problem with those hunters who want to take velvet-antlered bucks. Some of our club members enjoy hunting and taking velvet- antlered bucks. About 10 years ago, one of our members took a velvet-antlered buck that scored 140 inches.
My friends and I have been hunting two properties for so long that we've pretty well got the bucks patterned. On the 500-acre agricultural farm, my stand is on a hardwood ridge with a trail that comes up the hill from a creek down in the bottom. That creek bottom is right on the edge of an agricultural field that’s either planted in soybeans or corn every year. On top of the ridge, are plenty of acorns. Because deer are browsers, they don’t target just one food. They’ll eat acorns, and they’ll eat agriculture.
I have a tree stand on top of the ridge where the deer come out of the agriculture, go through the hardwood bottom and come up on top of the ridge to eat acorns. We call that stand the Lucky Tree. There's no telling how many deer have been taken from that stand that’s about 30 yards from the edge of the woods.
On the cattle farm, I hunt out in the cutover. We have stands on the edges of the cutover as well as out in the cutover, and we put stands around the food plots that are out in the cutover.