Whitetail Tactics, From the Pros at onX

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Even the savviest whitetail hunters, who think they know every trick in the book, get outwitted by a mature whitetail buck every season. You need to add new tips and tactics every year to help you sneak into a big buck’s living room.

Tom Petry and Nick Ventura, of Become 1, have a lifetime’s worth of learning from, and getting fooled by, mature whitetail bucks all over the East, South and Midwest. Each year they think of new ways to hide from a buck’s eyes, nose and ears. Now armed with the Elite membership on the onX Hunt App, an awesome app for hunting whitetails, they have new scouting and hunting strategies across the country based on their favorite features.

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Access a Tree Stand With Waypoint Sharing

Walking to a new tree stand location in the dark is a risky plan at best. You risk stumbling around inefficiently and spooking any deer that may be around. This year, though, after a change in the wind affected how they were hunting a large farm, Ventura shared a waypoint of a tree stand location with Petry in an area he hadn’t had the chance to scout out yet. When shared, the waypoint automatically popped up for Petry, and he quickly planned out the perfect approach to the stand in the dark of early morning.

“I wouldn’t have risked walking to a stand I’d never been to without the exact waypoint,” Petry said.

Sharing waypoints also came in handy prior to the hunting season when Ventura needed to check trail cameras Petry set up earlier. Ventura had never been on this particular parcel before, but through Waypoint Sharing he knew exactly where to go and efficiently checked each camera for the mature bucks they were after.

Happy Landowners Make for Happy Hunters

When traveling cross country to a new lease of land, Petry and Ventura are incredibly careful to uphold the rules of hunting the piece and not cross any theoretical, or literal, lines.

The problem is, often the two find themselves with permission to hunt several tracts of land, but those lands are marked with different names, be it an LLC, company name, or whatever. The land is all owned by the same person and the two have permission to hunt every tract owned, but to help navigate, they will use the draw tool to highlight every piece they know for sure they are allowed on.

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“These are properties we don’t go on every day, so we don’t want to make a mistake and risk our access,” Petry said.

Knowing the surrounding property owners has also been an essential asset to the duo. More than once the two have set up tree stands near a property border, arrowed a buck and had to follow a blood trail over a fence. Quickly accessing the landowner’s name in the App helps when it comes time to knock on doors and politely ask to cross the border and follow their deer. This also makes the landowner who gave them permission to hunt look better to his neighbors by proving he only lets well-meaning, ethical hunters onto his property.

Share Info on the Big Screen

As handy as the App is in the field, when it comes time for scouting and sharing the week’s game plan with their hunting buddies, Ventura and Petry open up Web Map, the web-based version of the onX Hunt app.

The bigger screen lets five or six people crowd around to look at where tree stands need to be placed and the direction each person should come from to access those stands. Trying to get that many people around a smartphone screen may not be ideal for every situation Petry said, but on the full screen he can also show locations where deer were spotted one or two days before and possible travel corridors to target.

Once the corridors are spotted, Petry then draws a line from where he expects bucks to exit, to the tree he wants to hang his stand in. This gives him the exact distance from where a buck will walk out and where he will be waiting. Another way he utilizes the measure tool is figuring out the distance between trees to accurately space out how far he should be from his fellow hunters.


None of these tips can compare to luck and hard work and nothing in hunting is a sure thing. Petry, however, thinks these tips will provide confidence the next time you and your friends set foot in the field. Making that 4 a.m. alarm something you look forward to even more.

Learn more about Tom, Nick and Become 1 here, or check out their cross country whitetail season here.

Updated August, 2018

Written by Cavan Williams