My quest to tag a giant 6-year old whitetail buck I named “Trump” is starting to heat up. With the month of October now half-way over I thought it was time for an update. After all, the most common question I seem to get asked lately is “Have you seen Trump yet?” Thus far I have to say the Trump is winning the game. I have not yet laid eyes on him but the pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together.
I have hunted in Trumps area a few times without seeing a single buck of any size. My trail cameras are starting to provide some clues however. On one hunt I took a wireless trail camera in with me to place over a scrape near my stand. The hunt was uneventful but later that evening my cell phone alerted me that my camera had just captured its first photo. You guessed it … TRUMP! Just five hours after leaving my stand at sunset, Trump showed up to work the scrape 20 yards away.
I now have several cameras within Trumps range and a few more just outside where I have proven he roams. I am trying to determine the boundaries of his range in an effort to find the one spot where I have the best chance to kill him. I have gotten several more photos of Trump since hunting season opened 15 days ago. Among these are two series of photos taken 18 minutes apart from two different cameras seperated by more than 1/4 mile and on different sides of a major road.
I still do not have a single photo of Trump in daylight but I do have photos of him on multiple scrapes. This leads me to believe he will take part in the rut and I may have my best chance to tag him in November.
As I sit in each stand within Trumps range I am taking notes of things I need to do in the off season to kill Trump next year. I am primarily making note of things like new stand locations, mock scrape locations and other details that are better addressed in January and February. While I am making every effort to kill Trump this season, in all honesty I dont expect it to happen. If he survives to next year my odds of tagging him will be much better, although still not good.
I have also been charting every series of photos I get of Trump. I note the obvious – date, time, etc but just as important I am noting the direction he came from and the direction he goes when he leaves. These clues will help me learn where he spends his daylight hours. The direction of travel determined from a series of photos can be combined with the time of the photo to determine where he is likely bedding. For example, evening photos show Trump as he is moving from his bedding area whereas in the pre-dawn morning hours he is likely heading towards his bedding area for that day.
We have about 3 more weeks before the really good rut hunting starts. I will spend a good deal of time moving and checking trail cameras to try to be in position to have a chance at Trump once things really heat up. Stay tuned, my best chance at tagging Trump this season is just around the corner.