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seth porter with whitetail buck

Aggressive Whitetail Tactics | Get Closer to Mature Bucks

deer hunting stand on field edge
Waiting for a mature buck to show up while hunting a stationary stand my lead to… lots of waiting.

There are some whitetail hunting “methods” that have been passed down through the years. Many hunters have been told growing up, “these are the stands you’ll hunt.” Or, “pick a tree on a ridge or field edge,” whether it be near food or common bedding.

If you see a buck while using these hunting methods, great. But, if not, you just have to hope one will walk within range… next time.

While there is nothing wrong with this hunting methodology, it’s important to strive to become more effective and efficient in getting close encounters with big, mature bucks.

It seems over the last few years, using aggressive tactics on whitetail bucks has become more popular. Instead of using the “sitting and hoping” strategy, hunters are finding and hunting the fresh, hot buck sign.

It is of high importance to understand what exactly your target buck is doing and why he is doing it.

“If you are waiting for something to happen, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.”

Greg Litzinger, “The Bowhunting Fiend”

We know that throughout the changing of the seasons, bucks change their paths quite drastically, walking longer distances during the rut. Having trail cameras set in the general area of where your buck is and moving them from time to time will help you visualize where he is traveling.

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Remember, trail cameras only tell half of the story. If you really pay attention and read the sign, such as where the wind direction is, rub lines, track marks etc., you can find where your deer is bedding and moving during those daylight hours.

It’s not one single piece of evidence that paints the picture, but rather several different components being pieced together that will get you headed in the direction that you want to go.

seth porter with buck
Moving toward where you think bucks are bedding may feel risky, but it could be one of the smartest decisions you make hunting whitetail.

Hunters such as Andrae D’Acquisto, and his son, Cody, from Lone Wolf Custom Gear, Dan Infalt, aka “Hunting Beast”, and another personal favorite Greg Litzinger, aka “Bowhunting Fiend,” have been perfecting this type of “run and gun” style for decades and have the deer on the wall to prove it.

I had the chance to message Greg Litzinger, who has been hunting for over 30 years, and he said, “I always use the [phrase], if you are waiting for something to happen, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.”

“Sometimes, we have to move towards what we want and some call it ‘being aggressive,’ but it’s not really aggressive if you think about it. If you know where the buck is bedded, and you are calculated with your entry, cover, and your sound control, that’s not really aggressive. It’s just being smart.”

One thing that all the guys agreed on was that there is a large learning curve. Especially when it comes to hunting buck beds. It will take a while to really learn the behavior of mature deer.

These deer don’t become old by chance, rather they have learned how to evade our tactics and ploys. You must expect to make mistakes. You must learn from those mistakes and apply the next time you head out into those woods.

A big thing that I have had to learn, especially hunting public land, is that there is always more than one buck. It’s easy to get caught up chasing one particular deer and thinking that if we spook him, he might be gone forever. Don’t beat yourself up. Trust the process and have fun being out in God’s creation. Hone your skills as a hunter.

Get out and go scout. Learn about the area you are hunting. Find those beds, and try getting up close and personal with that big buck you always dreamed of

seth porter holding a whitetail buck shed
Seth Porter, “The Bearded Nomad.” You can follow him on Instagram @the_bearded_nomad

Seth Porter

Seth has been hunting since he was child. He lives in West Virginia with his beautiful wife, Summer. He’s been hunting mostly whitetail his whole life and has been bow hunting since he was 10. He grew up with a father and a bunch of uncles who were fantastic bow hunters. When he turned 19, he started taking bow hunting more seriously and has become a die hard bow only hunter and enjoys the challenge. Seth loves hunting public land and appreciates all it has to offer. He spends any spare time scouting or figuring out what he can do better to have a chance at harvesting mature bucks. He enjoys staying physically fit so he can be prepared for anything nature throws at him. Ultimately, Seth is a man of faith and is grateful for the time and passion that God has blessed him with. Seth's podcast: The Way of Life

Comments (7)

  • Brent

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    Very nice, very nice. 👍🏼

    Reply

  • Tyler Sparks

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    I definitely have to agree with the “aggressive” style you highlight here. In the few short years I’ve been hunting, I have been much more aggressive each year. Many of the fellow hunters I share stories with have many trail cam pictures but ultimately never lay eyes on a mature Whitetail during the season. They’re almost timid to go after the deer. Maybe it’s a “fear” developed by the paranoia of covering your scent and sound that the industry seems to create? Not that those things aren’t important, but like Seth said, if you’re calculated about your methods, those things become routine and allow you to focus your efforts on strategy and game plan instead of worrying about the trivial things.

    Reply

  • Nick

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    Great hunter, and a great read! Atta boy Seth!

    Reply

  • Lucas Doss

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    Completely Agree! I’ve started seeing more and better deer since I’ve become more aggressive! Good Stuff!

    Reply

  • Cowboy Cole

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    Yeaaaaa boy!!!! Well said!

    Reply

  • Caleb Cline

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    With anything in nature, the bedroom is where all of the magic happens ; )

    Reply

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