2023 was a great whitetail season. I was very fortunate to take 6 mature bucks with my bow, one in South Carolina, one in Kansas, one in Kentucky, one in Texas, and two in Mexico. I was, however, haunted by one buck here in South Carolina that I nicknamed “The Nomad.” Our season is over now in SC, and he was still alive a week ago, so I do believe I’ll be able to hunt him again next season. Of all the bucks I have hunted this guy has been the most challenging. He is never in the same place twice, I only got daylight pictures of him three times the entire year, and he will totally vanish for weeks at a time. The property is over 2,000 acres of river swamp hardwoods, some large old pines, and huge cutovers so he literally has limitless bedding and cover with no natural funnels. He is going to be a super tough buck to get but I am starting now getting ready for him.
He will not come to bait or food plots in daylight, but I did get a daylight picture of him on acorns and a lot of the grey light pictures I got of him were near these early season sawtooth oaks and later October white oaks. My plan is going to be creating some slight funnels this off season leading to these feed trees. I will be using brush piles and downed trees to hopefully create a consistent travel route for him. I will also be adding some giant mock scrapes through these funnels. Both areas are set on edges of giant super thick cutovers that I am pretty sure he beds in some of the time, so I feel this is the absolute best plan of attack for him.
I’ll be working on my shooting this off season as well, as I mentioned, this was a great season, but I feel my shooting can always get better. I’m going to be looking for a shooting coach to get some training from and really focusing hard on my shot execution and shooting drills in real world conditions. I think this is so underutilized and under trained in the non-hunting season and I can never get enough of this. I want to get as good as I possibly can at the things I can control, and shooting is certainly at the top of the list.
As always, I will be working on finding new areas and new properties to hunt. I’m already working on some new stuff in Kansas and in the Mississippi Delta. Boys, it will be here again before we know it and it’s what we do from now until September that kills the bucks! I am 100% committed to putting in the work and getting after it this time of year; it takes what it takes!