he Quick Buck It wasn’t just an oak, it was the oak. My friend Tom VanDoorn—a logger and the best big-woods deer hunter I know—and I had scouted dozens of similar trees within a 10-mile radius of his cabin since dawn, and this red oak stood out like a beacon. For starters, the giant tree grew like its only purpose was to attract whitetails. Situated 3 miles off the nearest gravel road, the oak had 10 acres of swamp grass to its west, a burbling creek 200 yards to its north, and a thick bedding ridge to its east. Every nearby popple whip had been rubbed, and several snapped cleanly off. Dark, wet droppings surrounded the oak, and tentative scrapes disturbed the duff under its sprawling limbs.