BY GRAHAM VANDUSEN
I want to start this journey by saying a slightly unorthodox phrase, “I am no expert”. I want to start this way so my readers/watchers/followers (if there ever are any) understand that I am not trying to be some sort of “know it all” or “self proclaimed best hunter ever”. I just want to share my hunting experiences with anyone who wants to experience them, and somewhere along the way maybe I will share something that will help someone.
However, here is what I am. I am a simple guy from Longview (East), Texas. I am married to my beautiful wife Camille and we have a 10 week old son, James, and most importantly I am a believer in our Savior Jesus Christ. I am writing this in 2017 which makes me 25 years old. I grew up here in East Texas and I plan to stay here for the rest of my life. Like I said, I am no hunting expert, but I would like to say that I am an expert at my career; which is running my families timber business (www.vandusentimber.com).
I grew up hunting at a very young age; I killed my first buck when I was 9 years old (a small crab claw 8 point). My dad is a great hunter and he taught me a ton about how to hunt all kinds of critters. He was and still is the best squirrel hunter I have ever seen. I’ve seen him shoot a limit of squirrels (10) with a .22 pistol red dot with exactly 10 shots. He taught me how to walk quietly through the woods, how to shoot, how to follow a blood trail, and how to scout for white tailed deer. Like I said my dad taught me just about everything a young boy needs to know about hunting. If it weren’t for him I don’t know where all my spare time would go. Hunting is my one true passion in life.
Like I said, I am no expert, but I have hunted my entire life, and I would like to think that I have developed some skills. I started bow hunting when I was 16, and from the get-go I was hooked. I bow hunted in East Texas and south-central Texas with good success, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that if I wanted a shot at some truly massive whitetails I needed to travel to other states. So after I graduated from college (Baylor University) I applied for a non-resident tag in Kansas. And that is where this journey really started.
In 2015 and 2016 I went to Kansas hunting all public land and both years I came home with massive……..amounts of failures……no massive bucks……massive failures. Even though I saw some true giants, and had some crazy close calls on 150″+ bucks I came home empty handed. So here I am in 2017 starting a website about DIY hunting? Yes. I am.
I figured out that there is a ton more to killing mature bucks on public land than just showing up and hunting. It has taken me almost 3 years to compile all this information about gear, scouting, wind direction, thermals, crop rotations, annual travel patterns, phases of the rut, and so much more info it makes my head spin. So I thought to my self. It sure would have been nice when I started in 2015 if there was a web site or a you-tube channel that could show me everything I need to know. So here I am. Sharing all my knowledge, trials and tribulations, failures, successes, experiments, and so much more. Also, I got tired of watching people kill bucks on you-tube and not share how they killed them. So I plant to self-film all of my hunting adventures, and walk through every decision I make, show you on maps where I put my stand and why I put it there, and most importantly show you all of the mistakes I made so you don’t make the same ones.
So if you want to learn more about how to hunt the DIY WHTIETAIL way, this is the place.