You have painstakingly worked, planned, put out feed, placed your game cameras, and put your deer blind in that perfect spot, where you will take your shot at that future wall hanger. Now ask yourself, "What could you have possibly done wrong?" or better yet "What am I doing wrong now?"

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Here are my personal "Fearless Fave Five" tips, which I always ask of myself and my hunting brothers who have been planning and envisioning this very moment.

  1. De-Scent - Have I properly prepared by de-scenting myself and my clothing, and left my bad vices in the cabin or the vehicle? There's nothing worse than sitting in the blind and watching the deer coming out onto the edge of the pasture putting their nose in the air, then turning around and running off. De-scent properly.
  2. Timing is Everything - Granted, we all have responsibilities, we all have to work, but when you go hunting, make the time to get out there at the right time. Check your cameras and time stamps, and get there at least a couple hours before the deer arrive. Too many hunters run out to their blinds with only an hour of daylight left.
  3. Deer Calls - Do you want to kill the rut the minute you get there? Then start using the wrong calls at the wrong time. Just because you put out your doe-in-heat scent and start grunting or calling doesn't mean the deer will come running. Survey your surroundings, and read the deer's body language.
  4. Antler Rattling - Bucks love to do battle, challenging one another. They love one thing, even more - to watch other bucks do battle and wear themselves down so the really big guys come out at the end and do battle with only one. Rattling antlers only works when you do it sparingly to peak a buck's interest, drawing him out from the edges where he's hiding. I've always found that rattling, then setting the antlers aside tends to bring the big guys out.
  5. Patience - This tip is my biggest failure. Patience brings success every time, I promise. Many years back I was hunting on the Schreiber Ranch in Eden when a massive Boone and Crockett scoring deer stepped out from the edge of the pasture looking for the two deer he had just heard doing battle (I had been rattling). It was at that split-second decision-making moment when I leveled the cross-hairs and jerked the trigger back as fast as possible only to screw it all up.
    Yes, I missed the buck that I thought was huge. I yelled out an obscenity and stomped my foot on the floor of the deer blind only to notice about 50 feet away a Boone and Crockett record-setter that stepped out long enough to show me his impressive antlers, then run off.

Yes, "patience is a virtue" I've always heard, but I don't know what that means. So get there early, stay late, be patient, plan everything and prepare, prepare, prepare. I can't wait to see your B&C showpiece soon. Be safe and good hunting.

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