YOUTH WHITETAIL HUNT: The Journey Begins For a Bully Buck

Yesterday morning, I decided on a whim to change my Spartan GoCam VZW cameras to video mode to try and start seeing movement patterns to the camera locations, of which are all brassica food plots. Pictures usually do a pretty good job of this, but video is the optimal reconnaissance tool. Food plot traffic will continue to increase over the next month as the corn and soybeans start to dry out and turn brown. Deer are usually thinking with their stomachs, and palatability is key... the greens! The timing of this is unique to my first hunter of the year, my soon to be 8-year-old, Brantley, is going to go on his first deer hunt on Saturday evening. This is something that I have always wanted to experience as a father, and since the start of MDL, I have always wanted to see if I could get a "bully" buck killed prior to mid-October. My son will have his first hunt with me after a buck I named, "Boss."


Most of my hunters are unable and/or unwilling to come in so early without seriously concrete intel about a shooter buck on their farm. Most shooters turn nocturnal between Sep. 1st and Oct. 15th leading up to the start of the pre-rut. On major influence on that are bully bucks patrolling farms, covering more miles than most mature bucks, that keep the true shooters at bay between 1/4-mile and 1-mile away. Every year we lose good shooters to bully bucks. The perfect solution to that is to have a youth come in and harvest a bully, usually because the bully bucks are usually not trophy-quality with antler size/score. I don't trust many people, even friends, to hunt on my farms, so even taking my own son out is a little risqué for me. Yet, I know that if I stay between the white lines, and don't push it, we can do this as non-invasively as possible. Kill the bully buck, get in and out, and wait for the big bucks to gradually return between now and mid-October as the scrapes start firing.


Below is a cool velvet cropped pic of "Boss" from the Spartan GoCam. He's a walking tank.

And some non-cropped pics....

And a video from last night....


It seems that the more often I see him, the less I see of our other shooters, which has got to stop as soon as possible. As mentioned above, I have never had anyone hunting on our farms this early, so it is an honor to have my own boy go out to try and help this farm be more productive in the rut. In years past, we would just ride the wave gambling that he would eventually run off to a new farm and the door would be cracked open for the others to return. Getting him off of here w