deer hunting

How to Kill Bigger Bucks


Today we are featuring a guest post by our friend Zachary Wolfe from his blog at Hunterz List.

They’re various tips and strategies that can make you a better hunter. However, those who implement what they learn compared to those who don’t, are few and far between. Today, thanks to Google, we have an abundance of whitetail knowledge right at our fingertips. But, those who don’t see immediate results after using tips from the latest hunting article, quickly get discouraged.

Let’s face it, we live in a society where everyone wants instant gratification. Some hunters are searching for the magical solution to killing bigger bucks. Guess what? There isn’t one. Unfortunately, some of today’s hunters are carrying this mentality into the woods. I’m here to tell you It’s not going to work!

Hunting is a far cry from that. We put in long hours in the stand, most of the time with nothing to show for it. But, that time isn’t wasted. Successful hunters realize this. They cherish their uneventful hunts just as much as their successful ones. Why? Because they step into the woods to become a better hunter. They learn from their mistakes, they pay close attention to detail and their experiences, and use this knowledge to hone their skills. They take action and consistently implement basic strategies every hunting season, not letting complacency take over. This is why they reap the benefits of harvesting mature deer year after year.

It’s time to focus on becoming a better hunter. Ask yourself what you could be doing differently. Realize that the outcome of every hunt will not be a successful one. Understand that mature deer aren’t taken easily. Stop searching for an immediate solution, take action on strategies that you’ve been neglecting and learn from your mistakes. There’s no better time than the present. Together we can bridge the gap!

You Can Start By Utilizing These Basic Strategies

Scent Control:

Every hunter should know that scent can make or break a hunt. Yes, we’ve all witnessed close encounters with deer when we haven’t utilized scent control. But, this has more to do with wind direction than anything else. Shower and wash your clothes with a scent eliminator prior to stepping into the woods. Also, use a scent blocker to spray down your boots, head and underarms. Most of your scent is omitted from these areas.

Analyze Weather Conditions:

Weather plays an important role in deer movement. Never force a hunt! If the wind direction isn’t ideal for your set-up, it’s smarter to skip the hunt rather than educate a mature buck on your property. Also, start saving your vacation days for cold fronts. These are some of the best times to be in the stand.

Pre-Season Scouting:

Preparation is important for a successful hunting season. Pre-season scouting will allow you to locate feeding and bedding areas, travel routes, and possible stand locations.

Utilize Trail Cameras:

Invest in a trail camera. Get your camera set up in late spring or early summer. They’re your eyes in the woods. You’ll be able to gather and analyze important information about deer population, mature bucks, feeding and moving patterns.

Hang Stands Early:

It’s important to get your setup hung pre-season. Be sure to set aside a summer weekend to check this one off your list. Getting this done early will help you choose the best stand placement, understand how deer move to and from your stand and allow the woods to calm down afterwards. The last thing you want to be doing is selecting your setup mid-season.

Practice your Marksmanship:

I can’t stress this one enough. You should be perfecting your shot during the spring and summer months. This will make you a more confident and fluent hunter in the field. Practicing will not only help you make a humane kill, but will also help you capitalize on big buck opportunities that present themselves.

Cut Shooting Lanes:

Along with hanging stands, cutting shooting lanes are just as important. You’ll be kicking yourself during the season if that limb is blocking your shot at a nice buck. Make sure you clear all necessary limbs that could block your shot placement. But, be mindful to keep enough natural cover to keep you concealed.

Deer Management:

Quality deer management is important. Season after season you’re in the pursuit of a trophy buck. Yet, so many hunters shoot anything with antlers and pass up on opportunities to harvest a doe. Does this sound familiar? Proper doe management and allowing bucks to mature are qualities of an educated hunter. Try implementing this on your property.

If you’ve read this far it’s because you have a passion for hunting. We’re not all perfect. I have my moments too. But, it’s time to ruck up and stop acting like a hunter and actually become one. It’s time to shrink the gap between those who kill big bucks every year and those who don’t, and it starts right now!

Until next time…Hunt Hard!


The 2012-2013 Indiana Rules Changes

As you might have read in an earlier post I made back last September, you probably already know that new rules for the 2012-2013 deer hunting season in Indiana were in the works. They have now been posted by the Indiana DNR so hunters can start to plan out their hunting trips.

We will go over the most drastic changes that will affect most hunters. You might agree with all or some of them but Indiana DNR makes the rules and we have to deal with them.

After reading the rules below, please chime in by leaving a comment below about what you think of the changes. Good, bad or a mixture? If we do not start the conversation in public forum where the Indiana DNR can see it, they do not know what hunters like or want from them. Have a voice and let them know what you like and what you would like to see changed.

First off, here is the Indiana deer hunting seasons:

(click to enlarge)

2012-2013 Indiana Deer Hunting Seasons

2012-2013 Indiana Deer Hunting Seasons

Overview for rule changes for 2012-2013

The major rule changes are as followed:

Deer Hunter License Bundle

Indiana has created a new license bundle for deer hunters. The price of the Indiana deer license hunting bundle is $65. With that price you will be able to bag one buck or antlered deer and two antleress deer. The bundle covers archery, gun and muzzleloader seasons. This license is not accepted in urban zones.

This new rule addresses one of my biggest complaints about hunting in Indiana though I still do not believe it goes far enough. I have always thought that Indiana requiring hunters to purchase a hunting license for every season (unless you had a bonus tag) was a crock. Though this rule is in the right direction I do not think Indiana should make you buy 3 tags knowing that most hunters only bag one, maybe two deer per year. I will not complain to much though 🙂

Added Firearm Season

In counties with a bonus antlerles option of 4 or more, you will have an extra week of antlerless deer hunting. The added dates are from December 26th through the first Sunday in January.

Archery Season Extended

You will now be able to archery hunt with no break in the season from October 1st through the first Sunday in January.

New Rifle Cartridge Length

Another regulation that I’m in favor of is the new cartridge sizes allowed. The new maximum length allowed is 1.8 inches allowing the .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf.

Crossbow Season Extended

You may now use a cross bow through the whole archery season from October 1st through the first Sunday in January. If you are looking for a buck you will of course need to get a cross bow license as it is not covered under the new license bundle which I think is crap. You may crossbow hunt with a bonus antlerless tag.

Hunter Orange on Deer Blinds

Any deer blind in the state of Indiana that is less than 4 feet off the ground and made of any man-made materials must be marked with hunter orange. The space requirements are at least 144 square inches on each side so that it is visible from any direction while deer hunting. A hunter orange flag on the top of your deer blind does not satisfy these requirements. This new rule must be followed on all land, public or private during any season where hunters are required to wear safety colors.

Deer CheckIN online

Hunters may now check in deer along with turkey online at You will need your Customer ID when doing it. You can find your number on the top left hand corner of your license. You can still tag your kills in person at any authorized check-in station.

There are other rules that you might want to look over. The above 2012-2013 Indiana deer hunting rule changes are only the biggest changes. You can find a full list for rules and regulations here. You will need a .pdf reader to open it.