Scott Davis | Mossy Oak ProStaff
Managing deer hunting pressure on your land is key to the number of bucks you can hold on your property, no matter how large or how small the land is. If we identify a buck we’d like to take in a certain part of our property, we don’t hunt that buck except when the wind, the weather and the hunting conditions provide us with the best opportunity to see and take that buck.
If we go in and hunt a place where we know there’s a nice buck, and we don’t see that buck and/or harvest that buck, we may not return there for a week or two, when the conditions are right for hunting there. By studying our trail cameras and understanding the wind and weather conditions needed to take that buck and only hunting that buck when everything is right, we put the odds in our favor for harvesting that mature buck. However, if we don’t take that buck, we back out and let the region rest for a week or two before returning to hunt that same place again. We don’t go into a spot to hunt just because we have a day off to hunt and know for sure there’s a big buck on the property.
Some of us can hunt on the weekends. Our other members can only hunt during the week. During bow season, we text back and forth to learn who can hunt during the upcoming week. Then everyone agrees on what stand that hunter should hunt from to maximize his chances of taking a buck. We all agree about where each person should hunt that week.
I guess that one of the things that really helps us is we try to work as hard to help each other take an older-age-class buck, as we do to find and harvest an older-age-class buck for ourselves. For instance, one of us hadn’t taken a nice buck all season. So, we all worked hard to get him into a place where he could harvest a good buck. Over the years, we’ve each taken some nice, older-age-class bucks. We’re just as excited to put someone else on a big deer as we are to take one for ourselves.
I feel that we’re successful with our deer management program when we’ve done the work to create food plots, improved bedding habitat, run trail cameras and harvest older-age-class bucks. And, we make those bucks available not only for each of us individually but also for all the people who hunt our properties. When we see one of us take a very nice buck, we all feel a sense of pride in the effort that’s been put in to see the smile and the excitement of the hunter who’s harvested that nice buck.
Mossy Oak GameKeepers ProStaffer Scott Davis of Louisville, Kentucky, grew up hunting on his family’s farm. Davis shares that The GameKeepers program fits his family’s lifestyle, giving back to the land and to the animals and giving more than you take.