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“LUCK FOR A BUCK” by Tim Burnett

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BIG BUCKS IN BIG COUNTRY

This time of year when the snow starts to burn off and the winter blues seem to fade away, it can mean only one thing when you are a bow hunter living in Nevada. Its time to get your hunt applications in and start your daily prayer session to the hunting Gods that you can draw that tag of a lifetime.
For me, drawing am early archery Mule Deer tag is the main goal. Sure, I’d love to chase sheep or elk but then again drawing one of those tags is rare and just a dream that may or may not ever come true. But if you play your choices right on deer and not get too greedy, good archery tags every season are there to be had.

GOOD DEER IN EVERY AREA

Even though I have been lucky enough to draw a “semi trophy” area for mule deer before, I mostly look at the areas where my draw odds are the highest. I like to hunt and the thought of not getting a tag every fall for my home state, is painful. I believe that there are “good deer” in every area.
If you’re not just after the 200 incher and you are looking for a good solid 4×4 or even just a chance at any buck, I think Nevada has great opportunities in almost all of their hunting units. I’ve hunted several different units in Nevada for Deer and have never been disappointed. Sure, I’d love to draw a “Trophy” zone but that will just have to come with luck. Cause I’m not sitting out the fall without chasing big velvet bucks.

DON'T OVERLOOK THE OVERLOOKED

When the draw results come out in June, its time to either be excited or scared. If I know the area I draw then great but If I don’t, I am always a little apprehensive to what I might find.
This particular hunt was going to be in a new spot for me. I’ve heard from other guys who had hunted up here before, that it is decent, but I have never actually been there myself.
The one thing I always do first is to lay down a map and chart out what looks like the best area to focus on, where the habitat and water are optimal. Maybe even the highest peaks or areas nearest the alfalfa fields. And then, I put a big X through it. These are areas that most other hunters will hit first too, but for me, I want to be as far from people and other hunting pressure as possible.
The areas I focus on are often the overlooked areas. I don’t mind the desert, I don’t shy away from a steep climb and I sure don’t mind having the mountain and valleys all to myself.

ONE GOOD DEER

When I do find that one good deer to chase, I generally take things pretty slow. This time of year the bucks are super visible and spend most of the day conked out cold, sleeping through the day. I like to put the bucks to bed in the morning, and then plan out a methodical stalk that will give me the greatest percentage for success. I treat the first stalk like it will be my last. For four years in a row I have had a shot at a good deer on my very first stalk of the season. Some years I connect with a shot and others I have not. This stalk just happened to be one of the lucky ones. Everything seemed to play into my favor.

LUCK FOR A BUCK

When I was sneaking into position on these bedded bucks, I was figuring that they’d lay in their beds until just before dark. And then slowly get up and casually walk into one of my flying arrows. But unfortunately fortunate for me, I rolled a rock with my foot that got the bucks up out of their beds. Instead of being spooked and bolting into the next county, they just casually decided to feed my way and eventually end up 3 yards in front of me.
I’ll take a little luck for a buck. I had no cover, no shade, and no time to think about how I would react. Basically all I had to do was sit, focus and shoot. The rest just fell into place and the hunt was over. Nothing left but the pack out and the pain.

MORE ABOUT ME

I can’t thank you all enough for the continued support over the years. Each new season brings its own unique set of challenges and adventures. I love to share them and help to motivate others along their own paths and journeys.
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