Tips on Stalking the Deer

By: rhusain
There was this deer that I hunted for four days but could never get him. I had underestimated his intelligence or his warning system and every time he would escape. And it is good to remember that the deer do not use one bed place day after day. They have many places for bed. Remember what you have to take care of when stalking the deer. The directions of the wind and storm or even the slowly blowing air can alarm the deer. They better sense odor than the sounds.

I remember one deer which used such a place and I stalked his bed four times in one week in an attempt to bag him. He was there each time, yet I failed to get a clear shot. Each time that I jumped him, he used the same escape route, following a trail for at least a quarter of a mile. So I decided that, since I couldn't bag him alone, I would station a friend on his escape route and when I jumped him, one of us would be sure of a shot. I tried this procedure, but I underestimated the deer's intelligence, or its warning system, and when I started him he went in a northwest direction instead of northeast, as he had other times I jumped him. I never did get that deer.

As a rule, deer do not use the same bedding place day after day. They have many of these places over their range and use one that is near the area where they are feeding. If they stay several days in one part of their range (which is unusual) they might use the same bedding place while in that area. If I should jump a deer from its bed on one day and if the signs indicated that the same deer was in the same section on the following day, that bed would be the first place that I would look for him.

While many of these bedding areas are almost impossible to stalk successfully, the knowledge of their location will often enable the hunter to bag a deer by waiting in the late afternoon for the animals to leave their beds for their feeding grounds. If he is stationed in the right place, his chances of sighting a deer are good. I have shot several which were leaving one bedding place that has been in almost continuous use for a good many years and that I have never been able to stalk successfully. I do not enjoy hunting in this manner, simply because I lack the patience to wait without the assurance that deer will come my way.

When stalking the deer, the most important thing for the stalker is to avoid the possibility of his scent alarm the animal. The only sure way to do this is to face the wind while hunting. Sometimes it is possible to approach an animal across the wind if the wind is quite strong and steady with no cross currents and eddies. If there is no apparent air movement, it is sometimes possible to approach a deer down the wind, if the hunter is able to move towards the animal faster than air carries his scent towards the animal.

Noise is the next thing which the hunter must avoid if he expects to stalk deer successfully. Some hunters think that noise will alert a deer as quickly as scent, and perhaps they are right; but I am sure in my own mind that deer can identify an odor with more certainty than they can a sound. Very few men can travel the woods without making quite a bit of unnecessary noise. The breaking of dead branches instead of avoiding them is an unconscious habit with many men. Holding living branches until the hunter has past and then letting them swish back into place, makes more noise than most men realize. Avoid this noise by keeping the hands away from trees and branches except when necessary to protect the face and eyes.

It is often impossible to avoid body contact with trees and brush; however, the noise of such contacts may be minimized by wearing the proper clothing. Woolen cloth is the quietest material for woods wear and hard-finished cotton, corduroy, leather and rubber are the most objectionable.

Stalking the bed areas of this deer is almost impossible. Therefore the hunters have to place himself in such places where he can stalk into those areas and at the same time have a good knowledge of the possible next bed areas of the deer. This can help him to spot the deer much easier.

So traveling in the woods with as much less noise as possible is very important when stalking the deer. It is impossible t avoid noise but you can always minimized it. And the kind of clothes and shoes that you put on can also comes into important factors. So take a good care of them.
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