Hi. My dad and I are pretty new to bowhunting. He got a little whitetail last year, and this is my first year bowhunting, but seasoned rifle hunter (though I don’t have much to show for it, two deer back in the early 2000’s and an spike elk about 6 years ago.)
A little back story:
Hunting where we live is getting to be a pain. Many of the mature bucks are gone, due to heavy hunting pressure since there is only maybe a few thousand acres of public land left, and generally archery, muzzleloader, and rifle are each allowed a week long season, and that’s it. 3 years ago, one of the areas opened up a late archery season that starts on Nov 27th this year, prime for the mule deer rut in this area.
So my dad and I just learned about this hunt this year, and since we had our multi-season tag, we figured we would give it a shot. We decided this last week we would go up Saturday to take a quick drive and see if there were even any legal bucks running around (the area requires 3pt min on at least one antler.) So we get up there around 8am yesterday, and immediately find a little spike buck, not uncommon. We drive about another mile in, and not 20 yards off the road, we see [THIS](https://imgur.com/R32Ptgb) guy sniffing a doe, easily one of the biggest bucks in this area, and the biggest I’ve ever seen in person. We stare in awe, take a ton of photos, mark the area on our On X hunt, and move along. We drive maybe 200 yards down the road, and see another guy scouting for the season that starts in just 2 weeks. I know my dad is going to stop and talk with him, so I simply say “hey let’s not spoil that deer’s location. He’ll probably see it but I want to have the upper hand on this.” My dad nods.
We pull over and dad asks “Have you found anything yet today?” the guy responds “Just a couple forked horns, and some does that don’t have a buck with them yet.”
A quick pause in the story; my dad has been told by a psychologist that he has “first responder” type personality, where he will willingly give someone else help before him. that mixed with a weird need for validation by strangers, you can see where this is going.
“Just a couple fork horns” the guy says, my dad turns to me and says “oh, you *have* to show him the pictures!” Not wanting to cause an awkward situation or be rude, I hand over my phone and he shows them. Needless to say, the guy is impressed. My dad then starts to describe EXACTLY where the deer was, what it was doing, what was all with it, my heart is sinking. They start talking hunting, and it doesn’t take long for me to realize that this guy is a pretty seasoned bow hunter, and has had many rut hunts in his day.
Now I’m not making this post to cast damnation on my dad, he is who he is and I’m not going to fix that. My goal here is to try to get the best advice on what I need to do to maximize my ability to be able to get on this buck opening day before the other hunter can get to that spot and get the buck. Thank you for taking the time to read this.