Patience and Improvising Are Proven Big Buck Strategies

(Photo courtesy of Tom McMillan)
(Photo courtesy of Tom McMillan)

Patience can certainly be a virtue in the whitetail woods, but as you wait, Tom McMillan says to patiently analyze your situation and be willing to improvise your way to big buck hunting success

When it comes to putting big bucks on the ground, #DeerWeek co-host Tom McMillan knows a thing or two about the subject.

After all, he hosts a tremendously successful television program on Sportsman Channel, not to mention running one of the Midwest's best whitetail hunting operations on his home turf in Kansas.

And then there are his big buck hunting pals, well known outdoor industry faces like fellow #DeerWeek co-host Michael Waddell, along with Travis "T-Bone" Turner and Nick Mundt to name a few.

So when it comes to figuring out big Midwestern whitetails, McMillan says that one of the best things that a hunter can put into his or her hunting pack this fall is a good dose of deer hunting willpower.

"You obviously have to be patient," he said. "We all have limited time in the woods, some more limited than others. When it comes down to it, (though), patience pays off."

In today's instant gratification oriented society of tapping our foot impatiently while waiting on instant mashed potatoes to cook in the microwave, McMillan knows that this idea might seem a little outdate and old fashioned.

But in his mind it isn't and he's got a wall full of big whitetails to prove it.

"None of us get enough time in the woods, some get even less than others," said McMillan. "But at the end of the day, we have to be patient, to put in the time to get the reward. (Patience), it's still a virtue when it comes to hunting."

But keep in mind that being patient doesn't mean that a deer hunter just mindlessly waits, and waits, and waits.

Instead, as they wait, they need to do so proactively, carefully adjusting to the constantly changing autumn game of deer hunting.

And as the game changes - i.e. different weather conditions, changes in local food resources, farmer's harvesting agricultural crops, the various stages of the rut, and even pressure from other hunters - a successful deer hunter needs to understand what's happening in his own corner of the woods.

And as he does so, he'll want to carefully move the big antlered chess pieces on the woodsy board until they reach the big buck moment of checkmate sometime this fall.

"You've (got to) be able to improvise in whatever situation you find yourself in," said McMillan. "Whitetails, they are a patternable animal, but they also have a personality and they have things that change their movements throughout the day, throughout the season, etc.

"So you've got to be able to not lock yourself into one type of hunting," he added. "You've got to be able to improvise.

"If things change, if patterns change, (then) change with it."

But as McMillan also advises, do so with a dose of good old-fashioned patience, being willing to patiently improvise your way to success in the autumn whitetail woods.

"Obviously, patience is still a huge part of success in the whitetail woods," he says with a smile.

True words indeed, even as you're waiting on the microwave to finish up your morning breakfast burrito on the way to the local deer woods.