Typically when hunting season opens I like to have a large-antlered mature buck picked out to target. Some years everything falls into place and I have a giant on one of the multiple properties that I have access to hunt. Other years I am left doing management work by culling out older bucks with antlers that will never be bigger than average. These bucks can be just as much of a challenge as their bigger antlered cousins but somehow the excitement isn’t at the same level as it is when I am hunting a true giant.
With opening day just around the corner and no giant bucks on camera, I am left searching for alternative “goals” to make the season both challenging and exciting. On a recent Chasing Giants podcast I unveiled my unique goal for this season. Now keep in mind that I also stated that it is very unlikely that I will achieve this goal this season but I will keep plugging away and eventually get it done.
My new goal, starting with the 2019 season is to tag 3 bucks in a single season that all gross score over the Boone & Crockett minimum of 170”. But there is a bit more … these bucks have to come from 3 different properties and be killed during 3 different times of the season – one early season buck, one buck during the rut and one late season buck.
I have killed great bucks during every phase of the season but will I be able to kill bucks during each phase all in the same hunting season? … and from 3 different properties? This is the new goal I am now chasing.
The driving force for this unique goal is very simple; I want to be a well-rounded deer hunter, not one who simply has a great property and has figured out how to best hunt it. Being able to kill 3 gross Booners in one season on 3 different properties and during each phase of the season will be no easy task and may likely take years for me to achieve. That’s fine. I prefer tough goals that require me to go the extra mile. I have always had this approach and it is a big reason that I have had the degree of success that I have. One thing that is really going to make this goal tough is the fact that my home state of Illinois has a 2-buck limit so for me to fulfill this goal at least one of the bucks will have to come from out of state.
To follow along as I strive to reach this new goal you can tune into my new podcast – Chasing Giants. As part of the show I will be detailing my quest throughout the season.