Hunting mature bucks - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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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
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post #2 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:22 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

join QDMA, and plant a food plot
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post #3 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:29 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

my advice first bow hunting small over looked areas that you can't rifle hunt in..permission on land that is bow hunting only doesn't hurt either. Not saying that there isn't huge bucks way back in but I see and have taking some monster bucks close to developments..shopping centers ect
if you don't have those choices now is a great time to scout with snow on ground. following them in the bedroom now isn't going to mess you up at all for next season. Usually a bigger mature buck is going to use the flow of the land to his advantage..wind direction ect.
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post #4 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:36 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Alternate good areas...
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post #5 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:38 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

find a huntable mature buck

hunt fresh stands in november

don't give in and shoot young bucks
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2 weeks of rifle season is ruining the flintlock season
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post #6 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:38 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Right now (actually the last couple weeks) is THE TIME to inventory any older bucks that might be left in your area.

Like it or not, the weather we've been having makes deer hungry. A few bushels of ear corn in front of a trailcam will give you a darned good inventory as the "hungries" don't just affect younger deer.

Finding the rublines is a good next step. There's no way to know if the deer you're getting pictures of on the corn are the ones that made those rubs or if they even survived. But the neat thing about older bucks is that one generally tends to run the same patterns as others have in the past. Pattern ONE good buck in your area JUST ONCE and you'll have valuable info for stand placement for a LONG time to come.

demokraten saugen
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post #7 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:41 PM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strut10
Pattern ONE good buck in your area JUST ONCE and you'll have valuable info for stand placement for a LONG time to come.
excellent observation.

2 weeks of rifle season is ruining the flintlock season
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post #8 of 920 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Thank you guys. Strut you speak the words I've been telling myself FOREVER!!! I do believe what your saying about older bucks, I just haven't put it all together yet and why I started this post. Thanks.

I have cameras' out since Monday after muzzy season. Batteries are surely dead by now but I'm going out Sunday and Monday to scout, change batteries and relocate cameras in other suspect locations. Plan on pulling them out entirely around beginning of March. Good idea??

Good Luck & Shoot Straight
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post #9 of 920 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 12:03 AM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckman4c
Plan on pulling them out entirely around beginning of March. Good idea??
Good idea unless you like buying batteries.

I have noticed over the past 5-6 years that the mature bucks start showing up on my cameras within days of the same time EVERY year. Leads me to believe they are summering somewhere else and the areas I hunt don't figure into their yearly pattern until about August.

demokraten saugen
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post #10 of 920 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 12:16 AM
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Re: Hunting mature bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven hill
join QDMA, and plant a food plot
...Guy starts a thread asking for input and you rigt away start off with a snide remark. I'd like to see just one post from you that's not sarcastic, snide or whining in Nature.
CROW MASTER and outofstater like this.

Obama/Biden-Change You Can Believe In If You Feel It's The Government's Job To Provide For You.
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