John's Journal...

Outthink the Buck Deer and the Hunters

Day 4: Other Tips for Taking Big Buck Deer

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 ViewMost hunters, except coon hunters, have an inborn fear of staying in the woods after dark – one of the best times to spot a big buck. Once again you can use a hand-held GPS receiver to mark your vehicle as a waypoint. Then when you climb out of your tree stand, you can navigate easily through the woods and to your vehicle. Click for Larger ViewIf you don't have a GPS receiver, use Bright Eyes thumb tacks on trees near the ground to mark the trail back to your vehicle. Older-age-class bucks live in thick cover that generally will have some open spaces where you can hunt. You may spot these open areas by flying over that thick cover in an airplane or scouting after the season. By cutting a trail through the cover to the open regions where you can hunt, you'll have easy access to this buck's hot spot that you can walk to quietly. But don't cut a trail that other hunters can see. Begin cutting your trail once you've moved 10- to 20-yards deep into the cover. Then the hunters won't use that trail to hunt the spot you've found.

The hunt begins when you leave your vehicle. Don't disturb the woods, but do break-up the rhythm of your steps. Click for Larger viewI walk during deer season like I do during turkey season by taking two steps, next using the toe of my boot to lightly scratch the leaves, then waiting for a five count and finally taking one step and scratching. Then I count to five, take two more steps and repeat the technique to sound like a critter moving through the woods instead of a hunter. Deer usually don't move in a downpour and know hunters don't like to hunt in heavy rain either. But you can go to your tree stand in a downpour. However, watch for thunder and lightning, and don't sit in a metal tree stand and hold a bow or a gun with metal on it. Click for Larger ViewDeer will move frequently in light rains. Before you go hunting, watch the Weather Channel on TV. As you see a front moving through your area, try and predict when the front will move out. But by going to your tree stand in a downpour, the deer won't see, smell or hear you. By getting into your stand before the rain stops, you're in a position to bag an older-age-class buck before he begins to move. Older bucks usually start to move immediately after a rain starts or slackens.

Tomorrow: What Hunters Know About Deer

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 4