Every deer hunter dreams of taking a trophy buck, but only a few will ever achieve that dream, because harvesting a trophy buck requires techniques that go beyond typical deer hunting tactics.

If you want to improve your odds of taking a trophy buck this season, there are a few tips that will give you the edge this fall.

The first rule when it comes to shooting a trophy buck is to find a trophy buck. Get out in the field and scout possible areas you would like to hunt. Do not scout the beaten path. Get deep into the woods or field, where others are not likely to hunt. Big bucks have survived as long as they have by finding places to live where they can avoid a hunter’s crosshairs.  Thick cover and remote areas are usually the top places to start with.

When searching locations, look for sources of water, such as, a creek, wetland or pond.  Also look for quality sources of food, which are away from heavy traffic. You should also keep an eye out for rubs, tracks and bedding areas.

If you locate and area with a trophy buck, an important tactic is to stay away until you are ready to hunt.  Continued trips to the area could throw the buck off his normal routine and put him on alert. Then your chances for success decrease dramatically.

Once you begin hunting, one key is to use stealth. Move in and out of your hunting area with extreme caution. This includes climbing into the stand. Stay out of sight and be quiet. Making a lot of noise or commotion when setting up will alert the buck to your presence and drastically reduce your odds for success. Also, keep your scent to a minimum. Enter your hunting area from a downwind direction and do not cross the buck’s travel path.

Another important tip in taking a big buck is to remain patient. Firstly, it may be tempting to take a smaller buck that comes into range, but avoid the urge to shoot. Wait for your big buck and when you finally see it, wait for a good shot. If you panic and shoot when you do not have a good shot, you could lose your opportunity.

Do not be afraid to try calling or rattling to bring that trophy buck closer to you. This can make the difference between a successful hunt or a disappointing experience.

Lastly, shooting a trophy buck can take time. One or two outings during the fall is not likely to get the job done. Hunt frequently. Get out as often as you can to increase your odds of crossing paths with that trophy buck. If you do not see the big buck after a few tries, change your location. Maybe the deer heard you or smelled you and is avoiding that location. Moving to a different area could improve your odds of taking the deer.