Most of hunteddeers nowadays are getting from tree stands or ground blinds. Howerver, only biggest bucks with most prominent trophy antlers can be attained by still hunting.In order to reach them, we need to know their habits, predict their upcoming activities, and act like a predator in nature.These are things you should remember:
- Get the right gear: apart from a bow and arrows, a rifle, ect..that you should always hold in hand, you need a good binocularto spyyour surroundings, a pair of thin sole shoes,a fanny pack with snacks and water, a map, a GPS unit, a knife, maybe a grunt call.
- Don’t bring anything sparkling, noisy like watch, keys, ora strong smelling lunch. Wear fitted clothes and soft,quiet one like wool. Don’t wrap yourself too much, you will perspire later.Better apply a camouflage paint on your face and also on your clothes if possible. If you use a call, make sure you are good at it or else it will run the deers away.
Cover your human smell by bathing and washing clothes with unscented soap and detergent before the hunt. Keep your clothes in plastic bag with some cedar branches. Use scent elimination spray for your clothes and shoes.
- Go with your sun behind and wind on face or at least perpendicular to your direction. Light shine straight into the eyes will impair deers vision a bit. Never let the wind blow from behind you, if you need to go an extra mile to avoid this, do it.
Seek for deer in rainy days. Deers are more active these days, while the humid air blocks range of human scent and wet soil and continuously splattering rain covers footstep noise. You can go faster on this weather and get better chance to meet the animal. Windy days are also good for hunting, but deer will be less active. Try to find them on the leeward side of a hill or low, dense bush.
- Go as quiet and cautious as a deer. Make a step forward, stop to listen and detect for any sign of a flicking ear, a white tail, a pointed antler..Carefully put your heel first, then your toe. Crouch to lower your center and hide from deers view. Stop, watch, then repeat.
Avoid breaking any branch underneath, put your feet as lightly as you can. If you make a noise, try to stay still for as long as possible, maybe a fullminute, maybe more to make sure that the prey would forget it. By this speed, you may cover no more than 100 meters in one hour or one kilometre a day.
Keep your focus sharp all the time. You will never know when they appear and only 20 meters in front of you. Move from tree to tree and take a break behind a cover. You can rest and have water, lunch at some point to re-energize, but never make a noise, leave any trace, or else all effort so far will be nothing.
- Never move when you are in the sight of a deer. Deer can view 300 degrees around and only need to slightly turn their head to see behind. So even if they are lowering head to feed on grass, be careful! The only safe way for you to make a move is when their heads are behind a tree. Stay stiff as long as the deers are there and wait for them to move towards you.
- Check all the signs you see on the way and take note on the map or take a snapshot of them.It might be rubs,scrapes, a trail, a dropping, even a shed antler, or a bed.. Thesesigns help you have a good guess of its owner.
Only a buck has rubs, scrapes to attract does and warn other bucks. Buck droppings are nearly clumped, while doe and fawn droppings are smaller pellets. Buck front hooves are often dragged because of its swelling neck and heavy antlers, and round because of its scratching activity by front legs.. You can gain your reading sign ability by experience.
These signs might lead us to the bedding site of the deer or the route theyto their feeding site. Once you have detected the bedding site, stay away from it, or else the deer will leave the area when disturbed. Catch them on the way they search for food and for the rut.
- Keep your rifle in hand, ready for offhand shootingYou can shoot the animal on head or neck with an firearm in quartering positionif you are a skilled hand. But a broadside deer (when the deer is passing you, exposing its side) is best for a both firearm and bow shot. Aim at middle point to two third down from its back to right behindits fore leg. The bullet or arrow will penetrate through the animal’s lungs and maybe heart, result in much bleeding and quick death.
The shot deer will run sometimes to one kilometer if being shot in the abdomen. Don’t chase right after it or else they will run much faster. Follow the blood trail, and remember that the shot deer often run back to the route they came from if you don’t find any blood at some first distance.
Still hunting requires lots of patience and exertion. It’s an art can only be acquired by practice and some gift, but the triumph and exhilaration is great.