John's Journal...

Hunt Your Buck Deer Indian Style for Success with Bowhunter Larry Norton

Day 2: When and Where to Find Deer to Stalk

Editor’s Note: Stalk-hunting deer with a bow was the way of the early Americans. Indians were deadly effective at taking game by using a bow. However, today, because of our hurry-up society, most hunters can’t refrain from walking too fast to stalk successfully.

Click for Larger View“The best way to learn to stalk deer with a bow is to mentally give-up any possibility of having the opportunity to take a shot,” avid bowhunter Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, explains. “When I first started stalking deer, I decided there was no way I could move close enough to a deer to get a shot before I spooked him. But I tried to move-in as close as possible to a deer before I spooked him – just to see how close I could get to the animal.” Norton, a hunting guide and part owner of The Shed Hunting Lodge, found that by giving-up the possibility of a shot, he didn’t feel the pressure of having to hurry to the deer. Click for Larger ViewThe stalk, not the shot, became the game. He also learned that the slower he moved through the woods, the more likely that he would take a shot at a buck. When asked why the majority of bowhunters choose to hunt from tree stands while he prefers to stalk-hunt bucks, Norton answers, “When I’m stalking and moving through the woods, I locate much-more deer sign and learn more about the deer’s movement patterns on the property I’m hunting than if I spend that same amount of time in a tree stand. Also, I enjoy pitting my skills at close quarters with a white-tailed deer. Personally, I feel that stalk-hunting a deer with a bow is a far-greater challenge than taking a deer with a bow from a tree stand.”

Click for Larger ViewBecause the woods are generally most quiet immediately after a rain, Norton prefers to stalk deer then. “If you can’t move quietly through the leaves, you’ll never be able to get close to a buck,” Norton reports. Clear cuts, briar thickets and other types of dense cover provide the backdrop for Norton’s tactic. “I attempt to move along the edge of the cover as close to the thick places as I can get without actually being in the thickets,” Norton mentions. “I want to be able to see out into a hardwood area, so I can spot a deer. But I also want to use that thicket as back cover. Click for Larger ViewThen the deer won’t see me while I’m looking for him.” When Norton is scouting, if he spooks a deer, he goes to the site where he’s seen the animal to determine what the deer has been feeding on and to try to learn why the deer has come to that area at that time of day. Once Norton observes a deer in a region, then he assumes that place may be good for stalk hunting, since deer are creatures of habit. Norton waits for a clear morning after a rainy day and then returns to that area to begin his stalk. To learn more about The Shed Hunting Lodge, go to call (334) 341-1415, (334) 247-2444 or (205) 459-2614; or write: The Shed Hunting Lodge, 253 Pleasant Hill Road, Gilbertown, AL 36908.

Tomorrow: Bowhunter Larry Norton Explains the Walk of the Stalker

Check back each day this week for more about "Hunt Your Buck Deer Indian Style for Success with Bowhunter Larry Norton

Day 1: Larry Norton Explains How to Hone Your Stalk-Hunting Skills in Pre-Season Scouting
Day 2: When and Where to Find Deer to Stalk
Day 3: Bowhunter Larry Norton Explains the Walk of the Stalker
Day 4:Camouflage Your Stalk for Deer by Wearing Mossy Oak Camo and Odor Eliminating Products and Walking Like a Whitetail
Day 5:Larry Norton’s Secret to Success When Stalk-Hunting Deer


Entry 580, Day 2