Hunting and the outdoors have always been a big part of my life. As a young boy, my father kept me in the woods or on the water, which created a strong bond that we still share today. Cool, fall-morning squirrel hunting trips with my dad that started my addiction to the outdoors and enabled me to fine-tune my skills in the woods. My entire family hunts, fishes, and usually schedules vacations along with occasional sick days around hunting season. I grew up hunting the tough and rugged mountain country of southeastern Kentucky. Here a hunter simply doesn’t have the luxury of guides, foodplots or fences. In fact, there are not a lot of agricultural areas in the mountain country and just about everyone hunts making it extremely difficult to connect with a wall-hanger. I mainly hunt high-pressured tracts of public-land in the fall and love matching wits with these hard-to-handle whitetails. Legacy

Like most hunters my personal schedule is very demanding and sometimes it’s tough to spend the time you need in the treestand to consistently tag mature bucks. Being an outdoor writer, teacher and basketball coach can really cut into your hunting time, but my heart and soul always seem to stay in the woods. I enjoy spending every precious minute in the outdoors with my family and as a result I have experienced a great deal of success hunting over the years. When deer season is in and deer are on the move, there’s not very much that can keep me out of the woods. As a diehard hunter, I have more than 27 bucks hanging in my trophy-room—all from areas that receive intense outside hunting pressure and that practically anyone can hunt.

I plan on sharing a lot of innovative deer hunting strategies, monster buck profiles and hunting stories with you on Outdoor Life’s Big Buck Zone. We will take a look at everyday hunters who find ways to close the deal on pressured bucks and also ask some nationally recognized hunters for their insights along the way. Hopefully you’ll spend time some time with me in Big Buck Zone deer camp in the days ahead.

—Travis Faulkner