Terry Drury’s Bowhunting Tactics
Day 1: Terry Drury Explains the Ways Not to Hunt High-Pressured Deer
Editor’s Note: Longtime avid bowhunter Terry Drury of Missouri, the brother of nationally-known hunter Mark Drury and co-owner with Mark in Drury Marketing and Drury Outdoors, is an active member of PSE and Mossy Oak’s Pro Hunt Teams. Terry likes shooting his reliable PSE Dream Season X-Force bow.
Question: Terry, what happens when anyone tries to hunt high-pressured bucks?
Answer: I'm going to answer your question by saying the word, "they," when I'm referring to other hunters who surround properties where we hunt and thereby cause pressure. The first thing we see them do with frequency is either walk in or drive in and push out the deer they're trying to hunt. They may be accessing their stands with the wrong wind direction or parking their vehicles or driving into areas that they shouldn't be driving to and pushing bucks out of little hollows and small ditches. As most informed deer hunters know, places where "they" least suspect a deer to be often are the areas where a big, mature deer will lie down. Perhaps they'll drive a pickup into these fields in the dark of early morning and pass by a deer lying at the head of that draw. Then they just will have pushed out of that little draw the deer they're trying to hunt. The most-frequent occurrence we see probably is guys walking into or out of their stands or driving to their stands and pushing those deer out before they ever get there. So, obviously, anyone who knows what he's doing when he's hunting high-pressured bucks will be at the hunt site early, will climb into his stand early and only hunt it with the right wind direction. Then when that deer is bumped out of an adjacent parcel, he'll be there to try to intercept it.
Question: So, in other words, hunting pressure around the land you hunt actually drives deer to you.
Answer: Yes, hunting pressure by other hunters who don't think about the mistakes they're making will help us be more successful when we hunt high-pressured regions. You can make that work to your advantage, but you have to be smart about how you do it. Here’s another of my thoughts on hunting pressured deer.
Seldom Calling or Not Calling at All in High-Pressured Places:
Question: Terry, what are some other things you see hunters do wrong when they're hunting high-pressured bucks?
Answer: The other hunters who cause the pressure around the land where we hunt do a tremendous amount of calling, rattling and grunting. We're close enough to hear somebody rattling non-stop, which has happened to us with regularity. Sometimes, we hunt in Pike County, Illinois, probably the most-highly-pressured hunting county in the entire United States. We hear guys sitting on the perimeters of the surrounding farms, grunting and rattling, grunting and rattling, yet we're not making a call. We go in and do just the opposite of what they're doing. Since those deer hear calling from October 1 all the way through mid-January, we refrain from calling them. They hear calling every day and are immune to it. Calling just doesn't work with deer in high-pressured areas. The deer may come and take a look at who's calling, but they're not going to get within bow range. You may get a deer to come within gun range – 70, 100 or 125 yards. He may go directly downwind and check to see from where that calling has come. But nine times out of 10, you won't get him within bow range – particularly a mature deer, because he's grown-up with it. Since all he's ever heard is calling, right away he knows, "Hey, I need to circle downwind and make sure that's other approaching bucks."
Question: So, if you hear a lot of rattling and grunting in high-pressured areas, don't do either one.
Answer: We resist from calling in high-pressured areas, although we do rattle and grunt in places that aren't pressured by hunters and their calling.
Question: So, even though your brother Mark Drury created M.A.D. Calls, you don't call at times?
Answer: Yes, so what I'm saying is not really lucrative for a call company, but there's a time and a place for grunting and calling. And if we're in an area of high pressure, we simply refrain from it.
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