John's Journal...

Outthink the Buck Deer and the Hunters

Day 2: What Buck Deer Know About Hunters

Editor’s Note: To bag more and bigger bucks this season, you have to understand the minds of the other hunters as well as know what deer think. If deer always do what we expect them to do, hunters may have the ability to wipe-out all the deer in one season. However, deer don't read the same magazines, newspapers and books that we do, watch outdoor TV shows, rent videos and/or go to deer-hunting seminars. But deer do have very-keen instincts that cause them to react to hunting pressure in ways that allow them to survive.

Click for Larger ViewDeer pattern hunters better than hunters pattern deer. In a short time, deer will have noted when you go to a hunting area, where you hunt, and when you leave the woods, as well as when you'll most likely return. They know how to avoid you. Imagine that you've taken a hand sprayer filled with fluorescent-orange paint and sprayed it behind you every time you've gone into the woods. The areas you hunt the most will have the most and the brightest paint. Too, everywhere else you go, you will leave some bright orange paint behind. Then think of your human odor as that bright-orange paint. Click for Larger ViewThe deer can't see human odor, but they can smell it. They gain just as much information from that smell as hunters will learn if they see the orange paint defining your path.

Within the first week of hunting season, the deer have a clear description of where all the hunters on that land hunt, and which places the animals can go to avoid hunters. Since the older-age-class bucks have more sensitivity to human odor than the younger bucks, they'll retreat first into thick cover where hunters can't see them. The deer will learn after the first week of the season that most hunters:
* will enter the woods at daylight because they can't navigate through the woods in the dark;
* will concentrate their hunting within 150 to 200 yards of some type of road or firebreak;
* will leave the woods between 10:30 and 11:30 am and not return until 1:30 or 2:30 pm;
* prefer to hunt in areas where they can see 50 yards or more (even the bowhunter who only has a 30-yard range still enjoys seeing into the woods);
Click for Larger View* leave the woods at least 30-minutes before dark due to of navigational difficulties, particularly if they don’t have GPS receivers;
* don't go into thick cover, because they know they'll make so-much noise moving into that hard-to-penetrate cover;
* have a set cadence when they walk to and from their stand sites;
* won't hunt in the rain usually;
* slam car doors and talk as they leave from and return to their vehicles;
Click for Larger View* don't hunt on the way to and from their tree stands;
* can't sit still in their tree stands or in ground blinds and act more nervous than the deer;
* fail to thoroughly use scent-elimination products like Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way system;
* bring foreign odors like tobacco, gasoline, chocolate and other candies into a deer's environment;
* make so-much noise deer can hear them easily;
* move more during cool weather; and
* generate more odors during warm hunting weather.

Tomorrow: How Hunters Can Use What Bucks Know to Take Whitetails

Check back each day this week for more about "Outthink the Buck Deer and the Hunters "

Day 1: The Most-Overlooked Aspect of Deer Hunting
Day 2: What Buck Deer Know About Hunters
Day 3: How Hunters Can Use What Bucks Know to Take Whitetails
Day 4: Other Tips for Taking Big Buck Deer
Day 5: What Hunters Know About Deer


Entry 595, Day 2