Denny Brauer built a career chasing big bass in the waters of country. Before retiring after last season’s final Bassmaster Elite Series event, the dean of top professionals stayed at the top of his game for three decades.
A big part of that success is as simple as one word: Patience.
He utilizes that trait in not only waiting for the right moment to catch a lunker bass, but in the off-season when he’s hunting trophy bucks.
His patience has been rewarded many times. On the fishing side of things, he won the Elite Series Diamond Drive on the Arkansas River in 2011. On the hunting side of things, four months later he downed 177 6/8-inch main-frame 10-point that most hunters would rate as a deer of a lifetime.
But as in all great things the outdoors can produce, it didn’t come easily.
“I was hunting a ranch in east Texas,’’ Brauer said, “with a man I actually met at one of our tournaments.”
Brauer was on Tommy Brown’s Heartland 10-10 Ranch for the fishing, but a deer hunt was the result. For the latter, though, the conditions weren’t perfect.
“I actually hunted for three days, primarily looking for a 150-inch class buck with double drop tines,’’ Brauer said. “The conditions, though, weren’t ideal. It was hard hunting. It was hot and the deer weren’t moving.
“And it was so dry from the drought in Texas that few food plots had been planted, so there weren’t those automatic magnets that would draw deer.”
On the first day, Brauer saw one deer at about 800 yards. On the second, he saw three more right at dusk at about 500 yards. But on the third, his patience paid off.
Early that morning a nice buck came by that had two tines broken off and probably would have scored in the 150-inch class if not for the battle wounds to his head gear. Brauer passed up on that deer.
At 9 a.m., that morning, his trophy strolled through a strip of woods and out in front of him where a group of doe were feeding. He watched the deer for five minutes waiting for the perfect shot to open.
“I was hunting with Brown who is a cardiologist and he told me ‘you must really enjoy deer hunting, because I noticed your breathing totally change when you saw that deer,’’’ Brauer said.
The deer was dropped 125 yards away and scored well over the hopes of what Brauer was hunting for. And the credit all goes to patience.”
“The biggest thing that translates to one sport or the other (hunting or fishing) is patience,’’ Brauer said. “You understand the conditions that are positive and those that aren’t as good.
“But regardless of what they are, you just have to stay positive. If you stay persistent, sooner or later something good will happen.
“If you have the time, wait it out. Stay in productive areas long enough for deer or bass and it will happen.”