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November 17, 2013

MARTINO: Endurance, persistence are keys to successful fall hunts

It was exactly one week ago I welcomed the first hints of daylight as I was perched in one of my favorite tree stands. It wasn’t long before several small bucks appeared, chasing young does. After four hours of sitting in that tree the thought of a hearty man’s breakfast and a hot cup of coffee sounded better than staying in that stand all day. Not mentioning my backside was getting a little sore, even with periodic stints of standing. Now is the time of year I knew better.

“Sore butts save bucks’ lives,” I said to myself, as I unfastened my safety harness.

Several hours later, on a full belly, I headed back to the woods. In the few short hours I was gone, a buck had made a scrape directly in front of my stand. The ground was pawed clean under the red oak tree and limbs were snapped off at eye level. No doubt this was a good buck that had left his calling card for amorous does.

“Sore butts save bucks’ lives,” I said again.

As deer hunters, we become conditioned to hunting the first and last hours of daylight. We call it “prime-time.” We live for it, we love it and seldom do we miss those moments in the stand. But as the air cools and daylight draws short, things change. In fact, November is the month bucks are on a mission. This is the month for which for which the monarchs of the woods are created for. They are on the prowl in search of opportunities to fill their God-given purpose in life.

Now, more than any other, is the time to hunt mid-day. We all talk about seeing bucks chase does all over the landscape. Young bucks think they are big stuff and chase does with no regard to terrain, hunting pressure or time of day. However, mature bucks know when the time is right and when the girls are ready. They didn’t get big by being dumb.

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