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Unca Walt's Deer Hunt Strategy

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This one is by Unca Walt ... our own Unca Walt.  It has also been posted on the webpage.   :hugegrin:


Unca Walt’s Deer Hunt Strategy


Deer are sneaky.  They are skulkers.  The short film clips you see on television showing a dozen monster bucks gamboling about in an open field is almost certainly something you will NEVER see in your lifetime.


Not that it does not happen…it’s just that it happens rarely, and in rare places.  We are gonna go hunting the deer that us normal mortals might have a fair chance of success of harvesting.


There are lots of folks who have gone hunting year after year… with no success at all.  Unca Walt was definitely one of these. 


There were very real reasons why it came to pass that for sixteen years, I was totally without success.  And, there are sound reasons why for the last twenty years, I have not missed getting a deer.


Someone took me aside and showed me some basics.  I intend to pass them on to y’all in this epistle.  They are NOT the kind of basics you will read about in hunting magazines.  These are homely, but utterly real basics.


First, you have GOT to be where the deer are.  This obvious point is amazingly unknown to a great many hunters.  Hunters of this ilk will choose an area to hunt based upon convenience to their campsite.  I know this is so, ‘cause I used to do it.  It is important to look for deer sign.  There are several types of deer sign.


Rubs are the easiest to discover.  A “rub” is a tree that has had the bark scraped off it by the deer as he rubs off the soft covering of his antlers.  Typically, rubs are in a reasonably straight line along a path.  The larger the rubbed tree, the larger the deer.


Then, there are scrapes.  A “scrape” is a cleared-out area of forest floor about eighteen inches across.  The buck will come by every day to check his scrape for doe action.


Now you have found some rubs and scrapes.  DON’T touch them. The next thing you must do is figure out how to sneak up on a crittur that can hear, smell, and see better than you can, and is more familiar with the forest than you are to boot.  A challenge, eh?  There are many methods, but we are gonna discuss Unca Walt’s Way.


Climb a tree.   High.  Use a climbing stand.  But this will not avail you much unless you fulfill some other subtly important obligations.  For instance:  movement is a no-no.  But how can you stay still when the air is full of saber-toothed, chainsaw massacre mosquitoes?  You can’t… UNLESS you bring a magical gadget with you called a Therma-Cell.  This device uses a small propane heater to heat a pad that then emits a skeeter-chaser scent.  As luck would have it, this scent does not bother deer.


OK.  You now have the first step complete, which I call Step 1.  Let’s go to Step 2.


You stink.


You REALLY, REALLY stink.  Just because YOU can’t smell you, that does not mean that a deer five hundred feet away cannot smell you.  Remember I told you about the better sense of smell?  It is seriously better!  So how do we mask our stinky selves from Mr. Supernose?


Surprisingly, it is easy.  You pour some raccoon tinkle on a five-inch square piece of towel.  Get it good and wet.  Pee-YOO!! Tie that little rag to a six-foot string, and tie that string to the bottom of your climbing stand.  Now there is a major stink wafting through the trees, originating from UNDER you… and that stink is one the deer is used to and will recognize as no threat.


This little trick is one that is truly crucial.  It will almost certainly make the difference of you seeing deer or not seeing deer.  Simple as that.


OK, now you are up in a tree, outa sight ‘cause you are holding still (sometimes I read a book so that my achy bones don’t make me wiggle even though I have the skeeters held at bay with my Therma-Cell gadget).  And your stinky body is masked.


We now go to Step 3.  Deer tend to move around just at daylight, or just at dusk.  So you must be IN your stand well before both.  There is a secret added bonus to doing this:


While you are up there in your (comfortable!!) chair-stand, sitting reasonably still and stinking like a raccoon’s toilet, you will get to see amazing things that other folks never get to see.  You will see the owl get chased by fifty crows; the mama raccoon and her babies trundling along; the armadillo crashing through the brush louder than ANY deer on earth; wildlife in totally natural setting.  It can be beautiful.


But sooner or later, you will be idly scanning the forest… and OMIGAWD!!!!  How did he get there??  There will be a buck that has absolutely materialized right in front of you… without ever being seen before in the distance like you expected.


The trick now is not to drop your rifle, not to gasp, not to do ANYTHING but S-L-O-L-Y bring your gun up and take careful aim.  And what do you aim for?  It is easy:  try to hit the deer’s far side shoulder!  Imagine the track of the bullet, and make it so that it exits his far side shoulder.


Then, try not to have a heart attack.



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