Bowhunting World: Mark and Terry Drury

Excerpt from the story I wrote about my buddies:

MH: How often do you go out on your farms and get skunked like the average guy?

MD: A lot. Most days we get skunked, just like everybody. I don’t care how much land you’ve got and how good it is and how well it’s managed, mature bucks win most of the time when you’re hunting with a bow.

Most of my worst days are when the wind is out of the south. Ninety percent of the mature bucks I’ve killed in the last few years were on a north wind, so concentrate your hunting on those days.

TD: Want a good example? A few years ago I killed my first buck of the year on my 60th day of bowhunting. That’s a lot of getting skunked!

MH: Some people complain there is too much emphasis on intensive land management and hunting for 5-, 6- and 7-year- old bucks like you guys do. They say this is not realistic for most hunters. What say you?

MD: I agree, it may be not realistic for people who hunt a few days a year to hold out for a 4 or 5 year old buck. But we hunt 150 days a season or more, from early September to late January, and so we make the decision to hunt fully mature bucks. We just have more time than most hunters do. But also, the older we have gotten, the more Terry and I have evolved as hunters, to the point where our ultimate goal is a wild, 6- or 7-year-old whitetail. That is the Holy Grail for us, it just doesn’t happen often enough!

TD: We don’t hold it against anybody who shoots a two or three year old buck, especially with a bow. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were shooting those bucks on film and putting them on the cover of a DVD! But I think that if most of the people reading this got to hunt as many days as we do, on private lands with intensive management and food, they’d raise their goals, too, and shoot for those old, thick-bodied, big-racked bucks that make your knees buckle when you see them.

BW: What advice do you have for the average Joe who has only 40 to 100 acres to bowhunt?

TD: We’ve hunted a lot of 60- to 80-acre spots in Illinois and elsewhere over the years, and the big thing we’ve found--the less time you spend on a small spot, the more deer and the more big bucks will stay on it! Keep out until the wind and conditions are right—maybe go in a day after the first cold front in October, and definitely go when the rut is on early November. Your tendency is to go to a spot and walk around and scout and hang stands all the time, but the more you do that, the more you mess it up.

MD: Good access is critical everywhere and especially on a small spot. Enter the woods from downwind and in places where you don’t bump bedded deer. Stay quiet and hidden. Also, hang your stands on the fringes of the woods, and hunt them when the wind is blowing out of the center of the property. All this reduces pressure, and that is a big key to killing mature bucks.


ebrown's Gravatar Cant wait to read the whole thing. Thats a good teaser Hanback.
# Posted By ebrown | 8/9/10 6:35 PM
Curt's Gravatar Mike,
I agree 100% with every word they said. They're not big buck snobs. They take advantage of their opportunities and realize how blessed they are in what they do for a living. Hell, I know I would raise my standards if afforded the same circumstances. Looks like a good read. Can't wait.
# Posted By Curt | 8/9/10 6:50 PM
Mark's Gravatar Wish i had 40 acres. 20 is what i got for now. To be shared with others. :(
# Posted By Mark | 8/10/10 1:01 AM
Scott from MI's Gravatar Good stuff! I've always like the Drury's...there hard core hunters that bring lots of good advise & knowledge to there shows and kill some amazing bucks
# Posted By Scott from MI | 8/10/10 9:06 AM
Mack's Gravatar Hi Flatlander,

Just talked with 2 new employees who moved back south from our plant in Valparaiso, IN- they couldn't take the cold weather, even though they love to bow hunt. Their dad moved up there to take a job with our company and they followed- for 1 winter. Thin blooded younguns They even had GOOD private land to hunt on! AAAAGGGGHHHHH.'
# Posted By Mack | 8/10/10 9:08 AM
ChadMS's Gravatar Thanks Mike for the "teaser" as ebrown says. I respect these brothers alot, and while not knowing them directly they have always come across as down to earth, and pretty grateful for what they have and what they do. It ain't easy making a living in the outdoor business, and it looks like they figured out how to do it, and do it well a long time ago. For those who say it isn't fair, well............ theirs is a business, and the DVD's are generated for Entertainment and Sales.
# Posted By ChadMS | 8/10/10 9:31 AM
Flatlander's Gravatar Mack, i understand that i have red marks down the side of one finger from Frost Bite! but i did get a deer the day i got a small price to pay......HA

Mike can't wait to read the whole thing........ def. two of the pioneers in continually hunting/managing the same land year after year...... you know it's always good advice to see what the successful guys are doing and follow their lead......
# Posted By Flatlander | 8/10/10 10:33 AM
Silverback's Gravatar Thats awesome. I really like those guys. Can wait to see the whole article.
# Posted By Silverback | 8/10/10 12:00 PM
allen's Gravatar I hunt several small acreage tracts and have found that if your small acreage borders areas with low hunting pressure, you can whack some nice deer. When in college I used to look for fingers of public land that were bordered by unpressured private land. These fingers usually had trails that would lead to and from the private land and made some good ambush areas.
# Posted By allen | 8/10/10 3:47 PM
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