John's Journal...

Five Rules for Bagging a Monster Bow Buck with Toxey Haas

Rule #5:  Eliminate Noise    

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Toxey Haas, the president of Mossy Oak, took his first buck with a gun when only 8-years-old. But for the last two decades, he has hunted almost exclusively with a bow. Haas has learned that to consistently take a well-racked buck each season, he must give even the smallest detail of the hunt his maximum attention.Click to enlarge

Most bowhunters spend time, energy and money eliminating odor. Yet, they rarely expend as much effort eliminating the noise they make when they hunt. But Haas believes that hunter noise often spooks as many if not more deer than hunter odor does. "I think deer know that hunters ride 4-wheelers," Haas observes. "I've watched deer in the woods. When they hear a pickup truck, they often won't even raise their heads up from feeding. But if they hear the faintest purr of an ATV engine, they'll alert immediately, begin to stomp their feet, snort and run back into thick cover.    

"Many hunters have the mistaken idea that they can drive closer to their hunt sites with 4-wheelers than with a pickup truck and not spook the deer. But if I use an ATV to go to my deer stand, I'll leave my 4-wheeler further away from my stand than Click to enlargeI’ll leave my pickup truck."     Also, the sound of your placing a tree stand will put a buck into the wind, waving goodbye with his white tail. "To get a big buck in close, you must put your tree stand up in the tree and climb there without ever making a sound," Haas emphasizes.    

Haas has noticed that a trophy buck rarely moves much during hunting season. If you've found a bedding site where a trophy buck should hold, more than likely when you go up the tree, the buck won’t be very far away. He'll hear you if you're not as silent as Click to enlargea worm crawling across fresh-plowed ground. According to Haas, "I prefer to use fixed-position stands. I try to put my stands up in the summer or well before deer season arrives. If I have to place a stand during the season, I go to that stand site in the middle of the night. Then I put my stand up close to the bedding area when I know the buck is not nearby. Even if he is close, I may not spook him, if he's never heard the sound of a tree stand being put up at night."    

If Haas drops a piece of equipment or inadvertently makes a sound he believes will spook the deer he plans to bag, he'll generally leave that section of land without going up his tree stand and not return to that stand site for at least two weeks. "Remember that a trophy buck has learned every sight, sound and noise that a hunter makes," Haas reports. "To survive, he must remain away from areas during daylight hours where he hears, sees or smells anything that lets him know that a hunter is in the region."  
Sometimes a bowhunter will spook the trophy buck he hopes to take because he doesn't leave his stand site as quietly as he has come to it.  If a bowhunter makes noise and spooks the buck as he leaves the stand, he may not be able to hunt from that stand again the rest of the season because the buck has changed his bedding site. Then the bowhunter may not find the buck again for another year or two. "Once I enter the property I plan to hunt, I try and eliminate noise until I'm back on the highway headed home," Haas mentions.

Check back each day this week for more about "Five Rules for Bagging a Monster Bow Buck with Toxey Haas"

Day 1: Hunt an Area That Homes Big Bucks    
Day 2: Prepare To Hunt a Trophy Buck
Day 3: Rule #3:  Become a Scent Fanatic
Day 4: Rule #4:  Don't Hunt the Deer's Food Source
Day 5: Rule #5:  Eliminate Noise


Entry 469, Day 5