Getting that trophy Buck
Dreaming of that big trophy Buck! Here's a few tips that may help that dream become a reality. Mature bucks are less active than other deer. A buck that's lived 5 years or longer has learned to conserve critical energy, and he's also learned to avoid humans. To get a shot at a big buck, you may have to hunt at odd times (during the middle of the day) and in odd places, where deer seldom encounter humans. Use Enough Gun - A trophy buck is a much larger and tougher animal to drop than an immature buck or a doe. Many trophy whitetails are shot each year with light rifles and bullets designed for varmints. A hunter should never select a rifle that recoils so fiercely that he dreads squeezing the trigger. On the other hand, he should select enough gun to humanely dispatch his quarry under less-than-ideal circumstances. When you finally get a shot at the buck of a lifetime, that animal probably won't be standing broadside at 50 yards. Most trophy whitetail veterans prefer a rifle that handles a well-made bullet weighing at least 130 grains. If recoil is a factor, install a premium recoil pad or even a muzzle brake that reduces perceived recoil by as much as 60 percent. The drawback to the muzzle brake is increased muzzle blast. Hearing protection should be worn whenever a firearm is discharged. Know Your Firearm - Whether you hunt with a shotgun or a rifle, practice with the firearm until you are certain of its capabilities and your ability to handle it. Trophy deer hunting usually means long periods of inactivity punctuated by the sudden and often unpredictable appearance of a target buck. The entire season may hinge on a five-second opportunity. This is no time to wonder where your rifle will shoot at 200 yards or whether the buckshot pattern is dense enough for a clean kill at 60 yards. Those issues must be settled during practice sessions in the off-season, which is also the best time to experiment with various bullet designs and loads to determine which load works best for your particular gun. Once the hunting season begins, making the shot should be second nature.