By Dan Infalt

Lets talk football for a minute, but trust me, there’s a deer hunting lesson here. If we take a close look at the quarterbacks of the NFL we would find that most of the good ones are pretty close in skill level. They can each hit a running receiver, and given some protection can get the job done. So what makes a “great” quarterback? Well, in my opinion, a great quarterback doesn’t necessarily have a lot more skill than a “good” quarterback. The biggest difference is that a great quarterback does what it takes to win the game. He will play just like the good quarterback until its third and long, or forth and short, or until the pressures on, and then he kicks it into high gear. An example of this kind of quarterback was Brett Favre. A lot of people either hated or loved Favre. He took a lot of risks. You would not see him lay down and take a sack very often, he would run for a touchdown himself, throw the ball while being tackled or scrambling, etc. Like it or not he was a “great” quarterback. With those chances he took though came some interceptions, some big losses, and big hits. But I venture to say, those risks that made him lose a few games, are the same risks that got him into the Superbowl several times, and made him break so many records. I think that there is a similar correlation between great hunters and the risks they take as well.

Just as there is with quarterbacks, you can say there are good hunters, and then there are great hunters. What makes some of us excel over others is making an aggressive move when we need to. Most hunts we do the same thing as everyone else. We hit the same “good” stands, go thru the routines etc. But, when it’s forth and inches we don’t punt the ball away. Yep, just like ol Favre, every now and then we toss an interception and watch our buck run away laughing. But also just like Favre, every now and then we launch a risky 50 yard pass and come home with a monster worthy of the wall.

When I look back at my biggest bucks, few were taken hunting the routine stands. Most were taken when I made an aggressive move, even though the majority of the hunts are routine. I think a “good” hunter goes to his routine stand and hopes he sees a shooter, and hopes its his day. A great hunter goes to his stand and thinks about the sign he’s seen on the way, and thinks about whether or not he should bust a move, or sit back and see what happens. A great hunter is always thinking, always plotting, trying to figure out why the buck did not show, and where he might be.

Believe it or not, I often take my hang on and sticks with me on my back even when I plan on hunting a fixed position stand. Why? Because if I see sign, or see something that I want to go after, I don’t want any excuse for not going after it right then.

My biggest buck ever I tried getting the routine way. But he just would not venture far enough away from the bedding area I glassed him in all season. So one day when the wind changed midday and I figured he would be vulnerable, I bet the farm and crawled up to his bed. I shot shot him at close range right there.

Without taking that risk, I may have never gotten that buck or others that I took with risky moves. As you can guess, I have blown it on a few real good bucks too. But if you want your receiver to catch the ball, every now and then you gotta throw it at him.

Dan Infalt
The big buck serial killer

(Editor’s Note: Be sure to click the link above and check out the forums on They are some of the most active and helpful forums on deer hunting online, and there are loads of helpful tips shared and discussed)