Featured Guide: Tom Indrebo, Bluff Country Outfitters owner (bluffcountryoutfitters.com)
Location: Buffalo County, Wis.
Biggest Buck: 135-class typ.
Biggest Client Buck: 200˝ gross nontyp.
On the Big-Buck Craze: "I used to be all big-bucks-this and big-bucks-that, but it's not as important to me now. Part of that comes from realizing that hunters don't have as much control over things as we think. Bucks can get killed by a whole lot of things besides us. Plus, only a tiny handful of bucks grow up to be exceptional. So now, when someone kills a 2-year-old, I don't get upset. How can I complain if the hunter is happy?
On "Nocturnal" Bucks: "When an early-season buck stops showing up at a food source, a lot of guys assume he's gone nocturnal. Probably not. No matter how careful you are about bumping bucks off the feed—I pick up my hunters in a truck and drive right to the stand or blind—you're making some disturbance, and some bucks will start hitting the field late. That's when I make a midday scouting run and search for a perimeter trail, usually 20 or 30 yards into the timber and paralleling the field edge. These are the trails big bucks use to linger and watch the field to make sure it's safe. Set a stand on that trail, and you've got a good shot at killing your 'nocturnal' buck."
On Running Bucks Out: "I disagree with a lot of guys who think you can bump a buck out of his core area. He picked that area for a reason, and he's not leaving because he ran into you one night in a treestand. He might move a little later or avoid certain areas, but he is still right there, living where he wants to live. Give him a rest and try again."
On Crowding Bucks: "But that doesn't mean it's O.K. to crowd bucks. In fact, it's the worst thing you can do now, when their core areas are very small and they bed very close to the feed. If you're not 100 percent sure you can approach a stand without tipping him off, back away from that woodline and set up on another edge of the field—or right in the field."
Favorite Early-Season Setup: "In the early season, even big bucks can be very predictable about what field they like to feed in, but they often enter it on different trails, depending on where they bed that day. I've learned to quit trying to guess which trail to set up on and just put a blind in the field itself.