Mega Bestsellers and Monster Bucks

April 29, 2013
hole in horn buck

The Hole in Horn Buck. Photo Credit


Today’s post is the outdoor sportsman’s equivalent of the stroke of luck and work required for mega bestselling books. The city person’s version is winning the lottery, but most of the time this only addresses the luck part of the deal, not the work. There isn’t really any work involved in winning the lottery. Sure, you must buy a ticket to play and the rest is just plain luck. You may work at your job to earn the money to buy the ticket, but that’s about it.

You will probably see more commonalities with this illustration than the lottery, but I will let the reader decide.

For today’s post I will use the legendary Hole-in-horn buck–the No 2 highest scoring white tail (at 328 and 2/8), but the largest rack in the world. The only thing that kept it from being number one was that it was not symmetrical a.k.a non-typical. Nit picking aside, let’s go!

Getting Into the Field

You won’t get a chance to get a glimpse or a shot (video camera or rifle) at a mega bestseller or a monster buck unless you get into the field. That’s step one. Getting into the field is really the beginning. 99.9999% of people are not going to see a monster buck on their first hunt. Your best training and learning of skills comes from the field, not off. The field will throw curveballs that aren’t in the textbooks, so you can’t “prepare” for them. There is some preparation training done before, but it’s nothing like the action of “being out there”.

Most of my best lessons for both the book and outdoor world were learn on the field. I didn’t have teachers or mentors for the book world, and I had a dad that took me into the outdoors as young as age 3.

Look for the Signs

Another type of work done on the field. You must go where they are. You don’t find them by setting in any random spot in the woods. You must find the signs and learn their patterns. This is usually done months and months before the season starts. You don’t find the monster until you find where all the deer are. You find the deer by looking for the signs of their activity (scrapes, hair, poop, bedding, hoofprints). A monster buck will sort of follow the herd but yet they do not. He didn’t get that big doing what everyone else does–he does to a point but then does something different. This is why finding one can be a challenge!


Not only are you looking for the signs, you are also working to bring them in by planting food plots and feeding them. They won’t come or stay unless they have food. Even humans won’t come to the party unless there’s eats around–best of all–good eats! If anyone doesn’t know how much work goes into planting… The maintenance isn’t a such as a garden, mind you. We don’t worry so much about the weeds since the deer eat them too :). We also build feeders. There is camp work to be done before season. Everything must be maintained before hand. Food plots must be grown before season. Other wildlife will come into the plots to for a morsel or two. It’s a treat to see a bobcat cross the field and get him on tape.

Sometimes work must be done during season when patterns change. The environment, animal behavior, or other factors come into play. Adjust. This is true for the book world as much as the outdoor world.

Patience and Perserverance

This is the big one. Any person who has got a snapshot or a crackshot at any sort of trophy will tell you they have “done their time” when “it became their time”. Anyone with a “brown it’s down” mindset all the time won’t get there. Neither will the person who quits after their second hunt because they didn’t get the big one. There will be times you won’t see anything even a fawn. If that happens go to a new spot. You don’t hunt just one area. Animals move, so you must too. That adage “the patience of a hunter” didn’t come about by happenstance.

Any trophy whatsoever is nothing to be sneezed at. Probably most people will never get an opportunity at a legend like the Hole-in-horn, but that doesn’t stop them from getting out there and trying. There is always the possibility of “maybe”. Seeing a whitetail at half the size of the Hole-in-horn is still a nice thing whether it is on the side of the road eating or in the field. That’s why my husband and I keep a camera in the car or look at the scenery when we travel. We also don’t want to hit a monster buck with our car. It’s not as cool saying I hit the Hole-in-horn buck with my car as well as the cost for car repairs.

Somehow there is this illusion that mega bestsellers and monster bucks happen “overnight”. This is far from true. While it may seem that way, most do not realize the amount of work that it takes and the years of things that go unnoticed before the big moment. Most don’t find that out until the story about how the person got to the big moment is finally told. Then then it comes to light the amount of time and work that actually went into preparation of the moment before it happened.

Get Your Game On

You have to do and be your absolute best to get a deer like the Hole-in-horn in your viewing screen or your crosshairs. Truth be told, he didn’t get that large by being dumb. Not only do you have to outsmart his aged wisdom, you have to beat his keen nose and his sharp hearing and eyesight. You have to get into the head of the beast. Even with a movie camera.

You must set up ahead of time. Make sure all your equipment is up to par. Put on your best camo. Your skills must be polished. Have everything ready, don’t do it in the heat of the moment since you only have moments or seconds to pull this off. One wrong move, and he’s gone just as quickly as he came.


The stories about the big day and everything before will be wonderful to share with everyone. People will want to hear that story. The influence the great success brings with it the validity of everything that came before. Then people will want to go back to the field hunt their own legend or try at any rate. They hope they will be next.

Truthfully, I have not snagged a mega bestseller or a legendary monster buck, but I am in the field and doing my time. I don’t disregard the possibility at any time. I go and do my best. I have seen some really awesome whitetails at half the size of this legend and other wildlife in the woods. I have some fun stories to tell for the book and outdoor fields. I am along for the adventure. No one ever knows what the future holds–you have to be in the field.

AK Taylor

About the Author

AK Taylor

AK Taylor is an award winning YA author who has been writing novels since age 16. Beekeeper, outdoor sportsman, avid adventurer, and animal lover. Taylor lives in the backwoods of Middle GA where she continues to write stories.

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