John's Journal...


Understanding Where Others Are Hunting

Editor’s Note: Sportsmen across Alabama know Don Taylor of Birmingham, Alabama, as an avid deer and turkey hunter, and Dr. Bob Sheppard of Click to enlargeCarrollton, Alabama, as a bowhunting instructor. Bob Zaiglin, a wildlife biologist from Texas, has done extensive research in managing and hunting trophy white-tailed deer and is a nationally-recognized expert for his rattling and calling techniques. These three longtime outdoorsmen know the importance of Scouting for deer after the season.

Bob Sheppard says, “I like to scout after deer season because I can learn where the other hunters on my property have been hunting during the season. If you've taken several nice bucks and have a reputation as a deer hunter, the folks on your hunting lease or property will attempt to learn where you're hunting and put their tree stands where Click to enlargeyours are. Usually, these hunters don't consider the wind or any of the other factors that make a particular site a good place to hunt on some days and a not so good place to hunt on other days. They'll foul-up the area where you're hunting if they know where you are. Since very-few hunters scout after the season, I can go into the woods and find the best spots to hunt when no one else is in the woods. I also can learn how to get to these places unseen by other hunters. I can move into areas I won't walk in during hunting season for fear someone else will see where I'm going and possibly walk to that region later with the wrong wind conditionClick to enlarge and spook the deer I'm trying to take. After the season, I can scout without being scouted by other hunters.

“I also scout after the season to find out where other sportsmen's stands are and how they've been hunting. I've had stand sites before that I was confident would produce a buck, but I'd hunt the site all season and never seen a buck. Then, after the season, I'd reconnoiter the area and discover a tree stand 100 yards upwind from where I'd been hunting. Generally once you've learned where hunters have hunted during the past season, you can accurately predict where they'll be hunting the next season. Hunters, like deer, Click to enlargeare creatures of habit. They most often will hunt from the same tree stand sites or in the same vicinity where they've hunted in previous seasons. When I know where other sportsmen will be hunting, like the deer, I'll try to avoid the hunters. Most hunters will leave their tree stands up after the season, and these tree stands are like red lights to show me where not to hunt. Hunting deer is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The more parts of the puzzle you have, the quicker you can solve the puzzle. Post-season scouting is a valuable tool in learning about deer. The more you understand about deer, deer habitat, deer habits and what other sportsmen on your property are doing and how they're hunting, the sooner you'll be able to find and take your buck of a lifetime.”



Check back each day this week for more about deer hunting after the season

Day 1: Learning About the Deer and Their Habitat and Trying New Hunting Tactics
Day 2: Understanding Where Others Are Hunting
Day 3: Looking for Deer Sheds with Bob Zaiglin
Day 4: Locating Dead Deer with Bob Zaiglin
Day 5: Determining the Condition of the Herd with Bob Zaiglin



Entry 339, Day 2