John's Journal...

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

Day 4: Camouflage Your Stalk for Deer by Wearing Mossy Oak Camo and Odor Eliminating Products and Walking Like a Whitetail

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 ViewNow that you know how to walk and stalk a deer, you must prepare for the hunt. This preparation also is critical to your ability to get-in close enough to take a shot at a buck with a bow. “I begin by bathing with some type of odor-eliminating hair and body soap,” Larry Norton, a hunting guide and part owner of The Shed Hunting Lodge, says. “I wash my body and my clothes in this product to eliminate human odor and to put odor barriers in my clothing. Next, I use either fox scent deer lure on my feet and my hat to mask whatever human odor my body gives off after using an odor eliminator.” Norton chooses Mossy Oak camo. Click for Larger ViewHe wears a hat, gloves and a mask when he stalks a deer. “I want to be as invisible as possible,” Norton emphasizes. “In the South where I hunt, there always is some type of green in the woods year-round. Along the edge of thickets, you’ll see greenbrier, Japanese honeysuckle and water oaks that still are holding green leaves. Even out in the hardwood bottoms, many times patches of honeysuckle, briars or other green foliage that matches the green leaves of the Mossy Oak camo I’m wearing will be present.

“Another reason I prefer Mossy Oak with its leaf-pattern camo is because I’m moving when I stalk. If I’m hunting in the wind, the wind will cause the leaves of the foliage to move, like I’m moving, whereas the bark of a tree can’t move. Therefore, if I wear a total-bark-pattern camo, the deer will be more likely to spot me. I’m convinced when you’re stalking deer, utilizing a leaf-pattern camo will mean you’ll be less likely to spook deer than if you wear a total vertical pattern that resembles a tree trunk. If I see a deer 80- to 100-yards away, I mentally decide that 45 minutes to one hour will be required for me to get close enough to that deer to take a shot.” As Norton slips through the woods toward the deer, he makes mental notes of the way the buck behaves – whether he’s calm, nervous, feeding or walking. Norton also keeps-up with the wind’s direction and only will attempt a stalk when he can move into the wind or when he has a crosswind that keeps his scent away from the deer’s nose. “A slight wind helps to cover any sound you may make,” Norton reports. “Too, the wind causes trees and bushes to move, which also hides my movement.”

Click for Larger ViewAs Norton walks, he never looks down. He uses the soles of his feet as his eyes to determine what’s on the ground where he’s placing his boot and his eyes to concentrate on the deer. According to Norton, “I’ve learned some general rules of deer behavior that are beneficial to me as I stalk. Most of the time, a deer will swish its tail back and forth before it lifts its head to look around. Generally a deer also will swish its tail back and forth before it puts its head back down to feed again. If the deer is undisturbed and not nervous, the animal usually will keep its head down feeding for at least 5 seconds at a time. When I see a deer’s head go down, I start counting the seconds off. I attempt to take my steps within that 5-second window when the deer’s head is down. Although the deer may keep his head down longer than 5 seconds, I never assume he will. Click for Larger ViewIf the deer’s head is down for 3 seconds, and I see his tail swish, I’ll stop my stalk short of my 5-second limit.” Norton uses fox urine as a cover-up scent. Then if the wind changes as he’s stalking, he believes the fox urine will help prevent deer downwind of him from smelling him and giving the alarm snort that will spook the deer he’s trying to bag. “As you move through the woods, whenever possible, keep a big tree between you and the deer you’re stalking,” Norton says. “Then, when a deer looks in your direction, he only will be able to spot a portion of you rather than seeing your entire outline.” 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: Larry Norton’s Secret to Success When Stalk-Hunting Deer

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 4