The Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters

The Art & Science of Patterning Whitetails PART I

I have decided to dedicate two columns to a topic I have discussed many times over the years—patterning whitetails. In spite of thousands of words and hours of TV time, the average hunter still does not have a clue what “patterning” is, and what it means to his or her success in killing a trophy buck. In 1994, North American Whitetail magazine editor, Gordon Whittington, and I published a book on the subject, with the same name as this series.

Shortly after, a woman called my office wanting to purchase a copy of the book. “My husband says he has to get his hands on the pattering [sic] book,” she said, “and he wants it in time for Christmas. By the way, what is pattering?” Shortly after, a feeder manufacturer included a definition of patterning in the literature accompanying its feeder. “Patterning is getting the deer to come to your feeder, when you want them to be there!” Nothing really has changed, so I decided to attempt once again to clarify the subject.

Why am I so intent on explaining the art and science of patterning whitetails? Unfortunately, deer hunting has come to a

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