This video ended up being prophetic as to how yesterday’s evening deer movement would play out. I recorded it at 1:30pm, shortly after getting on stand.
Something every outfitter tells you when you arrive in camp is “don’t guide the guides.” The assumption is that the guides know this territory way better than you and have a better understanding of how deer move here. In my limited experience with guided whitetail hunts (this is the fifth one for me in the past 20 years), I can say this honestly: always question the guides. If you think they’re wrong about a certain stand in a certain situation, speak up. I wish now that I’d done that yesterday.
This spot is a good example of how you can have the best terrain features, and even an ideal food source, and still strike out. The weather will always be the x-factor, and should be considered when choosing a stand location to hunt. Ignore common sense and you end up burning time in a low percentage stand instead of setting yourself up for success.
It’s hard to question, though, when the guide is excited about a buck being seen in a specific field. A tall 8-point with dark antlers was seen crossing the field by this stand the evening before. But here’s another thing I’ve learned about mature bucks: they seldom do the same thing twice. If they did, that would be called a pattern, and that would make them predictable, and that would get them killed.
It’s hard to fight the urge to believe anyway. Which is why so many guys hunt the same stand over and over again after they’ve seen a big buck, even if that sighting in that location was a fluke. They’re hoping for lightning to strike twice, but it rarely does—at least not in the same way—and almost never on back to back days.
In the video, I point to the far tree line and comment something like, “I feel like I should be over there in that bottom.” Well, when the guide picked me up, one of the first things he said was that I should’ve been over there because right before dark he watched two shooters and a group of does feed in cut corn right in front of a blind that was already set up there. Can you guess what buck was there? You got it. The tall 8-point with the chocolate-colored antlers.
But as they say, that’s hunting!