DANG NEIGHBORS KILLED ALL THE GOOD ONES
I don’t know your neighbors, but I know this: The lengths of BS spun at a buck pole will usually out-measure the inches of antler hung on it. Deer hunters love to tell tales and, dare I say it, stretch the truth. It’s easy to assume that big buck you’ve been watching is dead when you aren’t seeing it anymore. But big bucks get big because they have played this game before. Odds are much higher that the deer isn’t dead. It could be tucked away with a doe or on a walk looking for one. There’s plenty of data highlighting how little some bucks actually move during the rut, but that same research shows that some bucks travel a long, long way from home. The fact is this: Killing a big buck is hard, and so the odds of your neighbors killing every single one in the area are slim to none. Until you see a dead buck with a neighbor’s tag on it, keep hunting him. —T.H.