Science of Deer Hunting
Patterning has become a term used quite frequently in the out-of-doors. Fishermen talk about patterning bass, duck hunters speak of patterning waterfowl, and deer hunters discuss patterning deer. What few of us fail to realize is that deer pattern people to survive. The older the buck, the quicker he learns to pattern hunters.
The greater the hunting pressure, the easier the people and the deer are to pattern. Young bucks often die quick. Older bucks that rely on their instincts from years past know when, where and how to retreat for cover when man enters the woods. If you are going to take a woods wizard, you must understand the mature buck deer and be able to think like he does. Each buck in every situation is different, but let's look at some examples of how to hunt the monarch of the woods.
The Field Buck
The field buck is a wise, older deer that can be seen feeding in fields and pastures all summer long and at the beginning of hunting season. But just about the time the sportsman decides to enter the woods, the buck vanishes. He can be spotted in the field at night, but rarely will he be seen during daylight hours. This buck realizes danger is in the woods when hunting season begins.
Since we know the buck is feeding in the field at night, the trick to bagging him is to find the route he takes to and from the field. After dark, navigation through the woods can be the key to taking that buck of a lifetime. You will find the later in the season you try to hunt a field buck, the further he will be away from the field during daylight hours. But by following this buck's travel lane from his field to his bedding area, you have two chances of bagging him -- at first light or 30 minutes before dark.
Once you have established the buck's route from the field to the bedding area and have picked out a tree to put your stand in, go to that stand well before daylight. This will require navigation skills using a compass and possibly marking a trail. To learn how to utilize a compass, order the Brunton Company's detailed and informative video, "The ABC's of Maps and Compasses," from 620 East Monroe, Riverton, WY 82501, Phone: 307-856-6559.
When you know how to use a compass, arrive at the tree 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise. You only may have 15 to 20 minutes of hunting time at first light when the buck leaves the field and heads for his bedding site.