John's Journal...

Road Map to Whitetail Rendezvouses

Funnel Deer to Your Hunting Spot

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Effective hunters utilize a combination of various road maps to bag their bucks because they know that four driving forces – food, water, fear and sex –cause deer to move in a direction or toward a destination where a hunter can intersect with a buck. These outdoorsmen also understand that whitetails are creatures of habit using the same paths and performing the same routines every day, except when changes in the weather and the availability of food affect these routes. They are aware of the deer’s acute senses – good hearing, a keen sense of smell and sharp eyes. Although color-blind, deer can detect the slightest movement of a hunter. Here are routes to follow that will direct you to a whitetail rendezvous this winter.

Road Map #8: If deer are using several trails to travel toClick to enlarge their feeding areas, funnel the animals to the spot where you’re set up. “Usually, when there are three or four possible trails the deer can use to get to his food source, I go into the area I want to hunt three or four days prior to the day I plan to hunt,” Dr. Skip Shelton of Mississippi, explains. “I build natural barriers utilizing limbs and branches across the other trails, so the deer have to funnel onto the trail I want to hunt. This tactic is especially useful for bowhunters who have to bring deer in close for a shot.” Generally, a whitetail won’t attempt to leap these barriers, although a deer can clear an 8-foot hurdle from a standing position when it’s frightened.

Road Map #9: Know the best places to hunt a preferred food source, based on the tiClick to enlargeme of day. Since deer are primarily nocturnal feeders, the best time to hunt a preferred food source is either in the morning when the deer are leaving their feeding areas, or in the afternoon when the animals are returning to their feeding regions. “If a hunter moves into a feeding area before or at daylight to take a stand, the chances are extremely-good that he’ll spook the deer already feeding in the region,” Shelton says. “The morning hunter will find a better place to hunt, if he takes Click to enlargea stand on the trail from the feeding area to the deer’s bedding site, or anywhere along the route from the food source to thick cover or a bedding spot.”

Many afternoon hunters choose to hunt over green fields or agricultural crops. These sportsmen will sit on the edges of the fields and wait on the deer to come from the woods into the fields to eat. However, outdoorsmen who want to hunt in the afternoon should consider the advice of longtime hunter, Ron Fowler. “The hunter who finds the deer’s trail from the woods will be far more successful in bagging a buck than the hunter who depends on the deer’s coming out into the field. The larger bucks often will stay 20 to 30 yards in the woods and wait until nightfall before they come into the fields.” So, the hunter who meets his buck on the trail leading to the field may kill a bigger and better buck in his region than he would if he waits on the deer to step into the field.

Tomorrow: Let the Does Do the Work


Check back each day this week for more about "Road Map to Whitetail Rendezvouses"

Day 1: Ambush a Buck
Day 2: Utilizing Food Sources
Day 3: More Road Maps for Hunting Bucks
Day 4: Funnel Deer to Your Hunting Spot
Day 5: Let the Does Do the Work



Entry 381, Day 4