Pam Streeter works in the banking business, and she plays in the woods. But she’ll tell you the same principles for making “big bucks” apply in both worlds.
Her “Six Ps” give you a blueprint to follow:
“If you want to grow and kill big bucks, you have to set a goal for that. What you plan for, you will usually get. Gather information regarding the location of the best bucks in your area. Gain hunting access to that area by joining a hunting club or asking for written permission to hunt private landowner’s land. Start your nest egg with a small investment and watch it grow over time.”
“There are lots of products on the market to help improve deer habitat, health and hunting success. Start by obtaining good, reliable information about the land and what the land already produces. Have an idea of the carrying capacity of the area in which you hunt. Pinpoint areas of deer traffic by placing deer cameras. Feed near those cameras and spend time scouting the lay of the land. Know what lies beyond and what borders your hunting land. Supplement your area with products natural to that environment. We like the natural food plots, like iron clay peas, winter wheat and green top turnips. You can hold does and young deer around good food plots all year and when it’s time, the big bucks will come. During parts of the year when food is scarce, add corn or rice bran. A good camera provides a log of activity, which is vital in keeping up with bucks.”
“Now that you are armed with this knowledge and equipment, you will need to practice to reach your goals. This is the easiest one for a hunter to skip, but one of the most vital to being successful. Spend time locating the deer, preparing to make that once-in-a-lifetime shot and keeping yourself hidden from the deer. For big bucks, you have to go to them. They rarely come to you.
“Prepare yourself and your equipment. Archery hunters should keep in practice year round. Gun hunters must clean and store their weapons at the end of the season and again clean and maintain them during the season. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on club dues, private hunt fees, licenses, rifles, scopes, ammunition, side by sides, stands of all kinds, camo clothing, boots & scent protection and not be ready to make the shot.”
“You are going to have to be patient. Growing good bucks and hunting them takes patience. You make your own destiny. I believe a person gets back from hunting what they put in … Let the small bucks walk to have a chance at growth over another year. Bucks start out as spikes and take time and management to produce returns for a hunter. Keep your area accessible to does and fawns, and trap or shoot the varmints during the off season to protect the little deer and other wildlife.”
“Keep investing your time, be involved with your deer maintenance by providing a food source year round as best you can. Be aware of how your hunting area changes due to weather-related issues or timber company cuttings, make your strategy moves accordingly and anticipate any setback or relative changes that could influence your deer management. A good investor plans ahead of the market for success and doesn’t make knee jerk moves out of poor planning after the market falls on you.”
“The bigger an area you have where everybody is playing by the same rules, the more chance you have of growing not just one or two big bucks, but a consistent group of trophy deer that can be sustained year after year. This goes back to area knowledge and developing relationships with neighboring clubs and land owners.
“In other words protect your investment in that big buck by planting that seed with others which will make your investment continue to flourish. There is power in numbers.”