John's Journal...

Why, Where and How to Find Bucks in Funnels with Dr. Larry Marchinton

Identifying a Funnel

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Dr. Larry Marchinton, a retired professor of wildlife sciences from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, has studied and hunted white-tailed deer throughout his life. Marchinton knows where to find white-tailed deer. Dr. Marchinton has contributed volumes of information from his studies and observations about deer habits, deer communication, deer-movement patterns and deer socialization. Much of what we know about the language of the white-tailed deer, scrape hunting, rub hunting anClick to enlarged when and how the deer use the licking branch have come from Marchinton's research. This week, he’ll tell us how to locate funnels (bottlenecks) and hunt them to our best advantage.

A funnel or bottleneck is formed when two vast expanses of land neck-down to a small patch of thick cover through which deer can pass. To understand what a funnel looks like, consider an hourglass with sand in one end. For the sand to move from one side of the hourglass to the other side, it has to pass through a small opening in the middle of the hourglass. If we take that hourglass concept and apply it to the property where you hunt, where can you find that hourglass shape on that land? Try to identify where:

* the corners of two fields come together and make Click to enlargea small bottleneck between two large woodlots on either side of the bottleneck,

* a pine plantation corners into another pine plantation with hardwoods on either side of that bottleneck,

* a creek or a stream bends into a young clear cut, creating a bottleneck with hardwoods on both the stream edge and the edge of the pine plantation,Click to enlarge

* an agricultural field corners into a road with a woodlot on either side of that narrow neck,

* a huge field and two narrow points of woods neck-down the field to a small opening,

* a river bends into the land, bends out and then bends back in again creating a bottleneck between the two bends of the river.

Any time you spot an hourglass shape on the landscape where two-different habitat types come close together to create a small opening, you've discovered a bottleneck or a funnel.

If you hunt a bottleneck with a wind that blows your scent away from the bottleneck, you'll see more deer passing through the bottleneck than you'll spot on either end of the bottleneck. Bowhunters enjoy hunting bottlenecks since usually they can see across a bottleneck and shoot from one side of the bottleneck to the other.

Tomorrow: Shrinking a Bottleneck

Check back each day this week for more about "Why, Where and How to Find Bucks in Funnels with Dr. Larry Marchinton"

Day 1: Hunt a Funnel
Day 2: Identifying a Funnel
Day 3: Shrinking a Bottleneck
Day 4: Using Weird Funnels
Day 5: Finding Success at Funnels


Entry 475, Day 2