Make sure to dig into all 3 parts of our Q&A session, as well as Do Your Tag Justice.
Q: Did you ever find yourself with a similar mentality that limited your potential in those ways?
A: I didn't really have those traditions and habits because we moved a lot. When I was young I lived in Moab, Cedar City and New Harmony. We lived in lots of different areas and we also hunted in a lot of different states from the get go. Whereas, a lot of people hunt locally and have a lot of local experience but very limited knowledge and experience outside their home state. I had a some experience but in a lot of different areas, and consequently, I never had the traditions that most families do. For the most part I grew up learning new units all the time. I always had the mentality that I'm going to go into a unit and just learn it.
I had no such prior experiences or traditions to inhibit my mental capacity to hunt the entire unit.
Even with my extended family and their favorite units or their home units – with what should have been my home unit – was somewhat new to me. People aren't going to tell you where they have traditionally killed big bucks, so I didn't have that experience. I didn't have the depth of experience of knowing that this place has produced, and place B has produced, and place C produced this kind of buck four years ago, and so-on. I didn't have that background, so for me it was all up for grabs. To me, there was no area better than another. I had no such prior experiences or traditions to inhibit my mental capacity to hunt the entire unit. Consequently, I hunt it from top to bottom, and when I find a big deer I don't stop with that big deer.
I find a big deer, great. I know where he is and he should be within five square miles of that spot until October. I go find a second big deer – rarely going back to check on the first. Simply because, if you don't see him you tend to get nervous. But in reality, he was probably just bedded or maybe in a different draw. I don't want to get nervous. I know that deer is there, so I just put him in my back pocket and go to the next place. Which also provides me much needed back-up plans, whereas a lot of people will only hunt or want a deer until they find a deer, and then that's the deer they're going to hunt. They stick on that one deer, and they inhibit themselves by doing so.
I have found that a lot of my success has come from hunting the entire unit and not stopping at the first big buck I see.
More often than not, the reasoning for only following one particular deer is to save gas money and time, or it saves hassling with the wife or family etc. It becomes easy to put all your eggs in one basket, so-to-speak. However, if he accidentally gets blown out by you or another person or whatever it may be, you'll have no plan B or plan C. Now you're just scrambling to hunt random deer. I have found that a lot of my success has come from hunting the entire unit and not stopping at the first big buck I see.