John's Journal...

You’ll Often Bag Little Bucks at Green Fields

Predator Hunting Vs. Green Field Hunting 

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you saw your cousin, your brother, your sister, your uncle and your aunt get run over by an Click to enlarge18-wheeler every time one of them tried to cross a six-lane interstate, then you probably wouldn’t attempt to cross that interstate yourself.Just like you would learn not to play in traffic from observing what happened to your family on the interstate, older bucks with large racks and heavy body weights learned at an early age that if they went into a green field during hunting season in the daytime, more than likely they never would leave the green field. But most hunters plant green fields to grow bigger bucks and think they’ll bag them at the green fields. Here’s the reality – the mature bucks will become nocturnal first. Because younger bucks haven’t learned the danger that awaits them in the green fields, hunters who sit in shooting houses over green fields have noticed they generally take smaller, younger bucks than hunters do in stands 50- to 200-yards away from those green fields. Now scientific evidence proves the truth of this assumption.

Through radio telemetry, Dr. Grant Woods and his team of deer researchers have reinforced whatoutdoorsmen already have known - that deer actively avoid hunters. For instance, the research shows that deer will gravitate toward a food plot not hunted and avoid an intensively-hunted food plot. With two food plots producing equal amounts of food and located 1/4-mileaway from each other, the food plot with the least amount of hunting pressure consistently will have the most deer on it.Click to enlarge

“Deer seem to do an extremely-effective job of Click to enlargepatterning hunters,” Woods emphasizes. “I believe that today’s hunters for the most part are no longer predators as we once were, but we instead have become observers. When you go to a football or a baseball game, you’re an observer. Many deer hunters today think they’re at a sporting event. They want to sit over a green field and watch to see what happens. They’re not making things happen, because they’re not hunting like predators. Think about the way a mountain lion, which is the best deer predator, hunts. A mountain lion spends a lot of time laying beside a trail and waiting, but he also scouts. His nose is always in the wind, and the lion takes full advantage of shadows and shade, camouflaging himself so that he can take deer, and moving very quietly and slowly when he stalks. A mountain lion never sits on the side of a green field waiting for a deer to come out.” 

Tomorrow: Better Deer Managers – Less-Effective Deer Hunters

Check back each day this week for more about "You’ll Often Bag Little Bucks at Green Fields"

Day 1: Researching How and Why Deer Move
Day 2: How Humans Affect Deer Movement
Day 3: Predator Hunting Vs. Green Field Hunting 
Day 4: Better Deer Managers – Less-Effective Deer Hunters
Day 5: Hidey Holes – A Possible Solution to Take Green-Field Bucks


Entry 491, Day 3