Hooked on HuntingPa
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Schuylkill Co., Pa (4c)
Hunting mature bucks
First of all, I understand that hunting for mature bucks in Pa isn't for everyone and I fully respect how others go about hunting deer. My intent here is to get ideas from those of you who have consistently taken mature bucks. What your strategies are and which ones seem to work best on highly pressured mature bucks. I'm willing to tell all regarding the strategies I have used up to this point.
Secondly, I classify a mature buck in Pa as any buck 3.5 yrs or older. I have "held out" or targeted (however you want to interpret) older bucks off and on since 1996. Better way of saying, most years, I wait for older bucks and eat tag soup while other in between years I've taken a couple buck for whatever reason. Quick example: 1996-2004 between killing a buck, 2004-2009, 2009-2012 etc.. The bucks I did kill were all 2.5 yr. old 8pts.. Which I have no problem seeing every year. A little background, I hunt large public land areas with the smallest parcel being 6k acres. All of these settings are ridge and valley locations with mountains bordered by farmland to one or both sides. I also absolutely know there's more than "one" mature buck stomping around in these locations. Several get shot, mostly in rifle, every year and I do see them occasionally but usually while spotting.
Lastly and most importantly!!! Now is when I do my scouting for next season. I'm looking for feedback on post-season scouting that will help in targeting mature bucks. My scouting strategy for this year is to find rub lines that contain larger than usual rubs, large tracks if there's snow and backtrack them hoping to find a bedding area, and secluded scrapes in cover.
I look forward to feedback on this post and others on different tactics for improving the odds for taking a king of the woods. Thanks
Good Luck & Shoot Straight