Believe it or not, most of the hunting I do is business related so sometimes I have to make decisions based on business and expenses. For instance, when I hunted on my own I routinely went home with unfilled tags. I was perfectly happy to hunt for the biggest buck and go home empty handed if fate wasn’t on my side.
When hunting for TV I sometimes go home without, but it’s because the deer were smarter than me, not because I opted to pass. I was really torn on my last hunt right before Thanksgiving. Outfitter Dave Tatum who runs TNT Outfitters had spotted a giant of a buck with an estimated spread of two feet.
The first morning of hunting Dave confirmed its existence and we came close to putting the giant down. In the end all I was offered was a running shot and I held off hoping for a better opportunity. Three days later it never happened so instead of holding out and keeping hunting without my cameraman who had to leave to make it home for Thanksgiving, I made a business decision.
We’d been seeing another reliable whitetail at another location every night. The buck was on a pattern and a player who didn’t mind being seen. Even though I had time to hold out for the giant, I opted to make TV on a tight schedule. We slipped in late in the afternoon, still-hunted into heavy bedding cover and waited for Mr. Reliable to show.
Right before sunset he started chasing does with several of his counterparts and moments later we had a TV show. Sure I’m bummed that I didn’t get the big one, but I still felt proud of patterning this buck and slipping into his bedroom to bring you another great episode of Extreme Pursuits.
Another show in the can and I get to have Thanksgiving at home. It doesn’t get much better than that.