Killing a deer is difficult in most hunting situations.  Killing a really big buck is very hard and is often the compilation of many small things done correctly.  Time is often a compounding factor when hunting.  For example, I just returned from a seven-day elk hunt in Northwestern Colorado and during 80 hours in the mountains had 15 seconds of opportunity.  I saw two bull within range, yet could not get a shot at either.

The Time Factor

Because deer hunting opportunities are so brief and infrequent, a hunter rarely has time to debate his best course of action.  Unlike a golfer about to make a putt who looks at the situation from various angles, tests the wind, and debates the best course of action with his caddy, hunters must make split second decisions at times of great excitement.

Time Commitment

Allocating enough time for a plan or tree stand to work is equally challenging.  One of my best local deer came on a day I was checking camera pictures in early afternoon.  While pulling a media card I noticed a huge new scrape under the stand and thought, “I better climb in.”  Luckily, a 3.5-year-old buck came along 10 minutes later and I made a lethal shot.  I was so unprepared, I didn’t have a knife and had a dickens of a time getting the big animal in my truck.

Hunting Habits

Josh Honeycutt does his usual fine job of highlighting deer hunting tactics and the 12 he posts on the Realtree website are easy mistakes to make.  Hunting actions often become habit forming so try to avoid these:

I’m going to start this off by saying that I’m not a great deer hunter. In reality, I’m probably an average one. But I am confident in my abilities to find, target and kill mature deer because I pay heed to all the little things. The details. All of the minute factors that lead up to a successful hunt. Because of that, I’ve connected on quite a few mature bucks throughout the years. Not because I’m a great deer hunter — I’m not. But I’m constantly learning something new, studying my mistakes, and learning from them. And at some point or another in my hunting career, I’ve made every mistake on this list. But I made it a priority not to make them again.