The Hard Lessons
Ward learned that your stand has to be perfectly located for hunting mature whitetails. "The next fall, my buddy Eric and I moved that stand more than once based on deer movement, shooting lanes, and to take better advantage of the prevailing wind," he says. "I try to learn from my mistakes, pay attention to deer, and tweak sets until they're as dialed in as they can possibly be. Eventually, we got the stand in the perfect spot, with plenty of shooting lanes, and a true wind. And all that tweaking paid off that fall. I didn't get the Big 7, but my buddy Eric did from that very stand, after we'd hunted him for the better part of six years."