Are You Willing To Pay The Price?
This is a tough time of year for a hunting tip...The North is experiencing its first real cold spell as hunters lament the end of even the late seasons. Meanwhile, Buckmasters' home state of Alabama is just heading into the peak of its rut, and hunters are out in force. But here's a thought you can ponder in either situation: Are you willing to pay the price for taking a trophy buck? Many hunters lament the fact they've never killed a big buck, but few realize the mental toughness it takes.
Of course some of us luck into a big buck now and then, but if you really want to increase your chances of tagging a wall-hanger, you have to change how you think. Can you keep your finger off the trigger when the basket-racked 8-pointer walks out and offers a broadside shot late in the season? Can you handle the peer pressure from buddies who have filled their buck tags and laugh that you haven't taken a buck in years? And such questions are not for those who have only one buck tag. In fact, it's probably more important for hunters with multiple buck tags to pass on the small bucks since they have so much opportunity to keep bucks from getting older in the first place. Not to mention how many times a smaller buck is taken while Mr. Big is just outside the hunter's vision or maybe is skirting the edge of the food plot until things get a little darker.
And while many of us reach the stage where we want to hold out for a big buck, then comes the "should have" thoughts after a season without a buck. "I should have taken that 6-pointer when I had a chance." Sound familiar? It takes a lot of mental toughness to shrug off those thoughts and to be strong the next season.
No doubt about it, trophy hunters pay a mental price far beyond anything required in terms of tactics and equipment. But the rewards can be oh, so worth it!
(Note: If you are holding out for a big buck, please do your part to take some does if your hunting area needs it. You should be able to pick times and opportunities that are less likely to mess up your chances for a big buck. You might even want to set up a few stands targeted just for does.)