NC Land and Farms

provided by John Phillips

I’ve known and hunted with Mossy Oak Pro Mark Drury of Missouri and co-owner of Drury Outdoors for over 30 years. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch him not only evolve as a videographer and a TV host, but also as a land manager and hunter who’s learned the secrets of growing and taking big white-tailed bucks. Once you learn the Drury system of managing satellite hunting properties and keeping a log of bucks from 2-1/2 years old and older you’re planning to take, you also can produce more and bigger bucks on the properties you hunt just like Mark does. This week you’ll learn the system that the Drury family uses to consistently find and take older-age-class bucks with bigger racks and bodies than most of us ever have seen.

One of the biggest fears that many hunters have about planting food plots, managing timber stands and putting trail cameras out is that hunters on neighboring properties may take the bucks that they’ve been photographing and raising.

The solution is that there’s not a solution. You become friends with neighboring property owners, pat them on the back and say congratulations if they kill one of the big bucks you’ve been monitoring. Neighbors are going to take some of the big bucks you raise, but what you hope is that they understand what you’re doing and will want to use the same type of management system to grow big bucks on their lands. If you can get your neighbors on the same page with you, then not only will you harvest older-age-class bucks on your property, but they will on theirs too. Then you’re creating a larger area with more older-age-class bucks than you or your neighbors ever have had before, but only if they’re willing to work with you and practice good land management.

I’ve been fairly successful in helping my neighbors learn to manage deer like we do because most deer hunters I know are wanting to kill older, bigger bucks. The basic key to this system is that if you want to harvest big bucks each season, you can’t shoot the younger ones. Having said that, I never question another hunter’s decision on how he wants to manage the deer on his land. I just tell them what I’m doing, and if they decide to do that same thing, then that’s fine. If they don’t, I don’t argue with them. I know that my neighbors are taking some of the older-age-class bucks we have on our cameras that are feeding and bedding on our lands. But, we’re all in an evolutionary deer-management process. Some of us are further along in that process than others are.