I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many bucks over the years. Their pictures take up space on my phone and cover the walls in my office. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few them. Every detail of our relationship is easily recalled in my mind at a moment’s notice. I know I’m not alone here. Why is that? Remembering the items my wife told me to pick up at the grocery store only minutes before is next to impossible. But that big buck I saw three days after the season ended back in 2001 has stayed with me to this date.
I was looking through trail camera pictures the other day in an attempt to take them more seriously. They are mean spirited devices, each year providing me with pixels of antlered beasts that I’ll never lay eyes on during daylight hours. Sometimes, it seems that the sole reason for their existence is to inform me of what I’ll never end up shooting. It’s awful and exciting at the same time.
I must admit, my strategy for using trail cameras over the years has been pretty bland. I hope to pattern deer in an effort to better my chances of a successful hunt, but in the end I usually only end up with a general understanding of what is roaming the woods. What I lack is a solid understanding of how they are roaming the woods. Perhaps this is a side effect of heavily wooded areas like the northeast where the deer aren’t as easily patterned as their counterparts in the Midwest where open land is more abundant. When it’s all woods, the bedding and feeding areas are more scattered and less defined. This makes patterning Mr. Big a little more difficult.