By Mike Bridger
In northern British Columbia, hunting mature whitetail bucks across huge tracts of forest requires the hunter to utilize all of the tricks and tactics. My favorite tactic is to use my array of Browning Trail Cameras over scrapes – either natural or mock scrapes.
Every year I start setting up cameras across hundreds of miles of northern boreal forest in the spring and summer, and begin the search for a large, mature buck to target during the rut in November. The summer and fall of 2023 consisted of lots of miles traveled, and tens of thousands of trail camera photos and videos to sift through. In BC, we are not permitted to use wireless/cellular trail cameras, so camera checks take time.
Plenty of handsome bucks were showing themselves on camera, some of whom I have been following for several years, and some of whom were new bucks. Leading up to November, I had a handful of very tempting bucks to pursue but hadn’t found ‘the buck’ that would be a no-doubter for me.
Well, that all changed on November 10th, when I checked one of my Browning video cameras set up on a scrape and first encountered the buck named ‘Chuck’.
It was clear this was a buck that I was going to target. This was an area I had monitored for 3 years, but this was the first time I had ever captured images of Chuck. He had been on camera in both daylight and nighttime on Nov.8th and 9th – so I began sitting in my ground blind on Nov.11th. On the morning of Nov.13th, I had to wait in the snow behind my blind for 2.5 hours before I could safely enter the blind without spooking the deer that were nearby that morning. When I was finally able to sneak into the blind, I hadn’t even been able to close the door behind me when I noticed a mature buck working down the trail towards me – it was Chuck.
The rest is history, as they say. Chuck presented me with a clean shot, and I capitalized. A beautiful, mature bush buck from northern BC. I would not have even known he was in the area if it weren’t for the Browning Trail Cameras. I can’t wait to be hanging cameras again next year in the pursuit of another great buck.