Editor’s Note: Mike Monteleone lives in Westminster, Maryland, and has worn Mossy Oak camo since 1988 and hunted deer since he was 13-years old. He also is a member of PSE’s Pro Staff (www.pse-archery.com) and is the Mossy Oak area staff manager for Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New Jersey.
I had permission to hunt a 6-acre piece of property several years ago. I took two bucks that made the Pope and Young record book there, during three consecutive years. (I no longer have that property, because the land was developed, and the woods are no longer there). Actually all I need to hunt deer is a small piece of property to hunt where I can see 40 yards or less. If that 40-yard circle of land has a pinch point or a bottleneck, you’ll see more deer than if you have 100 or 200 acres, since all the deer on either side will pass within bow range of the pinch point at some time. Too, if no one else hunts that small pinch point, the woods on either side become sanctuaries where big bucks go to dodge hunting pressure. That’s exactly what happened with that magic 6 acres that produced six Pope & Young bucks in 3 years.
This property was a little community of 20 landowners, and one landowner granted permission for me to hunt his 6-acre portion. I was the only hunter allowed to hunt in that community, so I was able to manage and manipulate the entire deer herd. I couldn’t plant BioLogic food plots, but I could use mineral supplements to improve the deer’s health. At that time, hunters could take six bucks per season in Maryland, including two bucks with a bow, two with a muzzleloader and two with a modern rifle. Hunters also had to take a minimum of two does, before they could take their second bucks.
At that time, we could take an unlimited number of does from September 15 through January 31. The deer were doing so much damage in this community that the landowner wanted me to take as many does as possible. I would take two friends of mine to the property late in the afternoon, and most of the time we’d get two does each. We harvested as many does as we could at the beginning of gun season, and then we stopped and hunted for bucks exclusively.
Tomorrow: Why Long Driveways and Expensive Houses Equal Big Bucks with Mossy Oak’s Mike Monteleone