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Magic Ways To Stalk Deer

Oct 12, 2007
Thousands of deer hunters head for the woods every hunting season with the avowed intention of bagging a deer. Most of these hunters are indifferent as to how this is accomplished, but the true sportsman likes to know that the kill is the result of his own efforts and that it is not merely the result of an accidental encounter. The highest goal which he can aim for is the unaided stalking and killing of a deer, preferably one that is resting in a bed of its own choosing.

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule which the hunter can use in order to locate these resting and bedding places. There is nothing to prevent deer from lying down anywhere they happen to be and they do this very thing during the night after feeding. During the daytime rest period, they seek seclusion where they will be safe from enemies and, to some extent, be protected from the weather.

It is seldom possible to stalk a resting deer by following its track to its bed, for it invariably watches its back trail. The hunter should use his knowledge of the area to which the deer seems to be heading, in order to judge where the animal might be located and then stalk that area or the most promising locations in that area.

Deer seem to be partial to low ridges when choosing bedding grounds and will often use them even when they are near well-traveled roads. Such places are almost impossible to approach from the road without detection by the deer. These locations should be approached from the opposite side, or the stalk should be made along the top of the ridge if wind or other conditions make the former approach undesirable. It is always best to try to approach any bedding area from an unexpected direction.

As a rule, deer do not use the same bedding place day after day. They have many of these places over their range and use one that is near the area where they are feeding. If they stay several days in one part of their range (which is unusual) they might use the same bedding place while in that area. If I should jump a deer from its bed on one day and if the signs indicated that the same deer was in the same section on the following day, that bed would be the first place that I would look for him.

When stalking deer, the most important thing for the stalker to avoid is the possibility of his scent alarming the animal. The only sure way to do this is to face the wind while hunting.

Noise is the next thing which the hunter must avoid if he expects to stalk deer successfully. Some hunters think that noise will alert a deer as quickly as scent, and perhaps they are right; but I am sure in my own mind that deer can identify an odor with more certainty than they can a sound.

The sound of footsteps can be reduced by wearing the proper footwear. It is almost impossible to travel quietly in the woods if shod in hard-soled shoes. Rubber is the quietest practical material for hunting footwear, but the soles should be soft enough so that minor irregularities in the ground may be felt with the foot.

The true woodsman walks with the knees slightly bent so that there is no solid thump when the foot hits the ground. The ball of the foot touches the ground first and the whole foot comes in contact before the weight of the body is transferred from the other foot.

The successful stalking of bedded deer is a task for the expert - the specialist of the hunting fraternity. The novice will have more success in stalking feeding deer. This should not deter the novice, or restrict his stalking activity. He should attempt all types of hunting, for this is the only way that he can improve his ability to the point where he becomes an expert.
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