Mark DavisQ:  What time of the year do you do your scouting?

A:  I usually start mid summer and scout more as the season approaches.  With the use of trail cameras, scouting has become easier.  It enables me to check the patterns during all times of the day. But, walking in your areas and looking for trails and signs is definitely important to make sure you have your bases covered.

Q:  Do you use trail cameras to help you scout?
A: 
Yes, I use 3 cameras year round.  Cameras are your eyes when you aren’t in the woods.  You can learn their feeding habits and travel paths to determine the best times to get to the stand and be ready.

Q:  Do you use food plots or other food type attractants?
A:
I will buy some things to try each season, but the main attractant I use is corn. I don’t have access to large amounts of land to hunt so I do what I can with corn or purchase small plot items to hand plant so I can at least have something for the deer to keep coming back for…

Q:  How do you hunt big bucks before the rut and early in the bow season?
A: 
By their feeding and bedding schedules. As I have studied with mine in my pens at home deer are very predictable during “normal” times of the year… They eat, (browse) and sleep…

Q:  How do you hunt scrapes during the pre-rut?
A: 
  Use attractants and set up down wind. I also use rattling horns.  In some instances I will make mock scrapes in close proximity to actual one.  Another item I use is a drag rag to cover any possible scent of me getting in close to the scrapes and setting up.

Q:  Do you use scent control products?
A: 
Yes, I use Primos spray cover scent and store hunting clothes in plastic tubs during non hunting times. I will even wash my clothes in scent free soaps and try to disguise odors with cover scents or some attractants.

Q:  How important is wind direction when deciding where to hunt?
A: 
The wind will make you or break you.  It determines if the hunting location will be good for getting in close.  If you have done your scouting right deer often will approach from certain trails.  If the wind is against you then you are in for a bad hunt…

Q: Do you use attractant scents?
A: 
Yes, having a whitetail farm of my own, I definitely see the effects of some good attractants.  I purchase from local breeders and use it all during the rutting time.  It is excellent for concealment and attractant of a weary buck in search of  a doe.

 Q: Do you use calls?  If so, which ones and how much?
A: 
I occasionally use grunts to catch attention or pull one in, but if deer aren’t present, then I don’t call.

Q:  What is your favorite time of the hunting season to hunt?
A: 
In Oklahoma, I always love being in the woods around the first frost. This can come in late October during the Black Powder season or early November when the rut is starting to kick off.  The leaves are falling and it is a great time to be in the woods relaxing in a tree stand or concealed ground blind.

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Mark Davis

Oklahoma native Mark Davis grew up in Oklahoma City and now lives near Tulsa. He is the Whitetail Regional Pro Staff Manager for Oklahoma and Texas and is a full-time firefighter in Oklahoma City.

Mark lives on a small farm where he raises whitetail bucks for the hunting market. This business has allowed him to observe deer behavior in an up-close setting.

Mark has been chasing whitetail deer since he was nine years old and has grown to appreciate bow hunting over the past few years. Bow hunting gives him a chance to relax from the pressures of his job and enjoy nature. He can’t wait to share the outdoors with his son as he grows up.

Mark has fought some large fires in his job as a firefighter, but he says there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of having a bow in your hand and seeing a big buck walk your way.