provided by John Phillips
I’ve known and hunted with Mossy Oak Pro Mark Drury of Missouri and co-owner of Drury Outdoors for over 30 years. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch him not only evolve as a videographer and a TV host, but also as a land manager and hunter who’s learned the secrets of growing and taking big white-tailed bucks. Once you learn the Drury system of managing satellite hunting properties and keeping a log of bucks from 2-1/2 years old and older you’re planning to take, you also can produce more and bigger bucks on the properties you hunt just like Mark does. This week you’ll learn the system that the Drury family uses to consistently find and take older-age-class bucks with bigger racks and bodies than most of us ever have seen.
During the summer months, we spend most of our time working on weed control and mowing and spraying our clover fields. The herbicide we use kills the grass and the broadleaves, so that there’s more nutrition and moisture in the soil for the clover. We mow the clover first, and then we spray it with the herbicide. During first week of August, we start planting our fall perennials, including BioLogic Deer-Radish for the early season, BioLogic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets for the winter, and BioLogic Final Forage for all-around. One of the things I like about Mossy Oak BioLogic is that the company’s biologists can tell you what seeds should produce best, when, in the area where you live and the time of deer season that you want to take your bucks.
You may be wondering how I’ve figured out what to plant where, and I’ve done this by studying the photos from my Reconyx trail cameras each season. I stand by the company’s slogan, “See What You’ve Been Missing,” because those trail cameras don’t miss a picture, the camera quality is amazing, their battery life is second to none, and in my opinion, they’re the Cadillac of trail cameras. I know my bucks. I’m even able to identify which bucks I can hunt at certain times of the year. In other words, I see quite a few different bucks during the rut, and they only may be coming through a certain place where I hunt during the rut. Some bucks I have kept records on for five years, so I know which bucks will show-up either in the early season or the late season. That’s why I plant certain foods to cater to different bucks, depending on when they show up throughout the year.
One of the big advantages of hunting fair-chase deer is that you’ll have different bucks on your property at various times of the year. So, if you learn to recognize those bucks, you often can watch them and allow them to grow to be 4, 5 or 6 years or older before you harvest them. Now this is not an exact science, because some bucks live through deer season and some bucks don’t. Also, other bucks may be on your property for a year or two and then vanish. However, keeping up with the pictures of the bucks on the lands I hunt enables me to go into bow season with a really good idea of what bucks I’m likely to see on what stands at certain times of the year.