By Ron Schara|
Without starting any unnecessary arguments, it's assumed that most deer hunters agree that bowhunting requires more knowledge of the animal to be successful.
In other words, the time required of bowhunting gives archers more experience in observing deer behavior.
John Larson of Burnsville, Minn., is a veteran of more than 35 deer seasons with bow and arrow. John Brand of Rushford, Minn., has more than a half-century of deer hunting experience with firearm and bow.
With uncountable hours in the woods, Larson and Brand have reached a few conclusions about the trials and tribulations of seeking whitetails.
If you're hunting on unfamiliar ground, it can be an exercise in futility. Scouting is extremely important before the season unless you rely on luck on opening day.
Trophy bucks march to a different drummer. In pre-rut, bucks have fairly predictable patterns of movement. In rut, bucks may be found almost anywhere, although bucks tend to be where does and fawns are most abundant.
Bucks seldom are found on main deer trails. Rather, large bucks tend to utilize trails in thick brush, ravines and so forth.
Wind determines what deer stand to use. Choose stands that can be approached upwind.
Select deer-stand locations long before the deer season opens. The higher the stand, the better, depending on laws. A high stand, 16 feet or better, minimizes scent, especially in the morning, when the air is rising.
Carry a safety harness and wear it in the stand.
Weather can determine deer movements. Light rain often means deer will move earlier in the evening and move more.
Never bust into a deer bedding area during the day. The deer may not return to that spot for days.
In the evening, does and fawns tend to arrive first to feeding fields. If you're buck hunting, wait farther from the field in evening. At dawn, bucks tend to leave fields before does and fawns.
While bowhunters seldom still-hunt, the technique is effective for firearm deer hunters. Remember to walk and stop often. Look for flicking ears or tail.
Learn to use your ears, as well as your eyes. Binoculars are a handy tool for spotting deer movement. Make sure of your target before you shoot.