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Thread: Deer Hunting

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Deer Hunting

    If you're like me and deer hunt you probably know a lot of people who deer hunt also.
    Now everyone has there own style and methods when hunting time comes around. And the method and reasoning behind how they hunt and why their style of hunting is as varied as the species of trees in the woods.

    Here are some styles and types of hunting I have observed over the years and odd hunters as well.

    Still hunting; I'll put this at the top as it is the type of hunting I do.
    The still hunter mosies into the woods to a predetermined area and sets down and waits for deer to show up to shoot. In some parts of the country this is called stump hunting.
    But after 2-3 hours the still hunter will start to move, thinking the advantage is in a different location. The still hunter will take a few steps and look & listen for several minutes to see if any deer are in the area, and do it again and again until he arrives at his new location and sets down again for another hour or two.

    The blind hunter; the blind hunter is not much different then the still hunter, except he sets in a stationary blind and doesn't usually leave the blind to move from one place to another like the still hunter. The blind hunter has several advantages over the still hunter.
    1) Stealth, is the big one. If the deer can't see you, you're not there.
    2) You can run a heater to knock off the chill.
    3) Separate yourself from the weather if it is foul.

    The tracker; there are not many of these type of hunters around and probably never were as it takes a lot of stamina, strength and perseverance to track a deer. Tracking deer through the woods is best done when there is fresh covering of snow on the ground, and even better when the tracking snow is still falling. This gives the tracker an idea how far behind he is from the deer.
    I have only seen two trackers in my nearly 50 years of deer hunting, the one that might prove to be the most successful was following the tracks of the deer that was out of range for me, so I took no shot, but the tracker was close behind it and may have gotten it as I heard a muffled shot through the falling snow minutes later.
    The second tracker was not as experienced or as savvy as the first tracker was. He was following the tracks of a big doe that just passed by me 30 minuted before. But this was at a time when it was bucks only here in Ohio and I couldn't shoot because I didn't have a doe tag. The tracker passed close enough to me to ask if I saw the deer run by, I said, Yes, and he was on his way. I know he never found the deer, with the direction he was traveling he might have found the place where the deer was born, but I doubt it.

    The walker; I know one of these types of deer hunters personally. This guy will go to the woods, that he owns and walks a zig-zag course through his woods in the hopes of walking upon a deer to shoot. He says that he sees a lot of deer on opening day, but they are out of range running away. About 20 years ago, he did get a deer. He was just approaching the edge of the wood when he spy's a deer running through an open field to where he was and the deer stops within 20 yds. from him. This may be the only deer he may ever get, but who knows.

    The tree stand hunter; this type of hunting is self explanatory and is almost exclusive to bow hunters. But gun hunters do use this form of hunting from time to time. Hunting from a tree stand has advantages over ground hunting.
    You are higher and can see more and see it sooner.
    Your scent won't alarm deer if you are elevated above the ground.
    Hunting from a tree stand is not the safest form of deer hunting, unless you strap yourself down, especially while trying to stay awake or trying to get a nap, but, remember, 20 winks and tree stands are not compatible. A broken back or pelvis puts a kink in your hunting for the rest of the year and most certainly will have an effect on your holiday season.

    The stalker; stalking is a time honored way of deer hunting. There is no great mystery in how to stalk deer. The stalker first establishes the fact that deer are in the area that he plans to hunt, then keep an eye on where they go, what they do., and the routes they travel, what time they get there and how long they stay. A lot of deer stalking involves thinking like a deer and to anticipate the movements, habits and actions of deer.
    I once hunted with a guy in Pennsylvania who knew the habits and movements of deer in his area, so much so, that he took me to a tree in the woods and showed me how and where to stand by the tree, almost hugging it, with my rifle pointing up, and said, "The deer will come out of the bottom there," he was pointing, "there will be between 6 & 8 of them and they will come up the hill to that flat, they'll stop to catch their breath, before deciding to break left or come up the hill and when they do you'll have about 10-15 seconds to pick out the one you want and shoot it. But, at this angle and distance you'll have to shoot 2" low to hit it where you want. Give me about 25-30 minutes to bring them around, and whatever you do, don't move one inch from this tree."
    Sure enough, 30 some minutes later I had a big fat doe laying on the flat.

    The pushers & shooters; this method is considered by some to be unethical and unsportsmanlike way of deer hunting. The process for push & shoot is pretty simple, a half dozen shooters will unload along the road and face the woods while another 8 or 10 pushers will walk through the wood whoopin' and hollowerin' to get the deer to run out of the woods to be killed by the shooters.
    Push & shoot can be a very productive way of getting deer, but, it's not my style.

    Drive and shoot; this is a type of deer hunting that is illegal. These types of "hunters" basically drive the countryside and shoot deer from their vehicle whenever they see them. Sometimes these people work in conjunction with the push and shoot crowd to get any deer that escapes the shooters. Again, it's not my style.

    The scientific hunter; this type of hunting is a lot like stalking, only it goes to a higher level when all aspects of the current and upcoming weather are paramount in how, where and when you hunt.
    Example, if a big and bad winter storm is to hit your area in two days, deer will scene the coming storm and will feed heavy and will be unusually active to prepare for the storm. A prudent hunter will take advantage knowledge and give himself as much woods time as possible.
    Another example, after 2-3 days of cold and wet rain, the weatherman says that it will be warm, clear and sunny for several days, this is also a good time to hit the woods, because deer like to feel the sun on themselves just as much as anyone. So, they maybe out and visible.

    The experimenter; this is a the sort of guy all deer hunter should have for a friend, someone to set down with and drink coffee while gleaning the knowledge of what he knows, what he's done and most importantly the type of bullets and guns and calibers that do the best job at harvesting deer at any given range and condition. And if he is one who hunts with cast boolits then you may have struck the mother lode of wisdom & knowledge.

    And lastly there is the hunting camp type hunters; this type of hunting involves going "up north," going "down south" or "out west" to get to the hunting cabin.
    This style of hunting can be broken down into 3 different groups.
    1) The determined hunter with nothing more on his mind but fellowship with friends and getting that 30 point buck.
    2) The second group I call the drunks with guns. These are the ones who show up at hunting camp with 2-3 cases of beer and a bottle or two of good Bourbon. Their goal always seems to be get drunk everynight and maybe hunt in the daytime if the hangover isn't real bad. Or if the hangover is bad and they do hit the woods, a little 'hair-of-the-dog' in a flask with their favorite drink to help smooth out the hangover while hunting and hoping that they don't see a deer and have to shoot it before their head feels better.
    3) The third group is a little like the second group, while drinking is part of it, women are the objective over getting soused. This involves going to town to a bar or nightclub where loose women seem to hangout. You can use your imagination beyond this point, but they are hunting the wrong type of deer.
    Last edited by Hickory; 08-09-2017 at 07:01 AM.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    "The pushers and shooters" also known as "deer drives" is illegal in Maine, although hard to prove at times.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Put me firmly in the tree stand camp, bow or rifle. There are guys who think it takes no skill, but the hunting and scouting you do prior to picking a spot is critical and every bit as much hunting as any other type. I do set up on the ground sometimes, but the principle is still the same; plan and execute an ambush by figuring out where they are going to be and then being there, unobserved, when they show up.

    Personally, I think trying to walk around and surprise one is a waste of time. Pure luck for the most part, their senses are much more highly attuned than a man's ever will be. Besides that, in al likelihood, you're going to be taking a running shot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub MAGA's Avatar
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    I'm a "still hunter"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    Still hunting, ironically, is not still.
    You walk a bit, then stand still for a bit to listen.
    Repeat.

    I hunt/harvest from a blind.
    I'm just out there for the meat as efficiently as possible.
    I also want to minimize the stress on my old, broken body.


    Doesn't make for a good story, but that's me.


    Good topic!
    WebMonkey
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Regrettably, there is another type of "hunting camp" hunter. The drunks who are too cheap to buy good bourbon and drink junk like Kessler's or Canadian Mist.

    I have one of those "camps" less than a mile from me but I do not "hunt" with them. Good guys but basically alcoholics.

    I still hunt on my own land for the first week. I have an open invitation to hunt my neighbors 220 acres the second week and he has 8 blinds set up. Hunting out of a blind spoils you.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well I fall in the still hunt or stalker. Its way hard to slip up on a deer, that's exactly the idea. My best friend hunts my farm also and has lots of tree stands and a ground blind (tent). I got past climbing trees better than 20 years ago, but that ground blind is mighty nice when its spitting rain and cold!
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Deer Hunting

    I don't ageee w/ quite a bit of what's said about tree stand hunting. Your location determines if you use one more than anything. Area around me is to populated to use any other form of hunting. There isn't enough open area to walk around and hunt. You're typically setting up a tree stand on the one deer run that runs through your property. Or you're setting up along the edge of a corn/bean field. The thing about that is that there will be stands all around the field so you aren't the only one hunting.

    Tree stand hunting in these conditions keeps everyone safe. No one is walking around. And the stands are set up so there are no overlapping lanes of fire.

    If you're in a tree stand you don't strap yourself down. You tie your harness off to the tree. Sitting in a stand w/out a harness on us quite foolish. I have no problem telling you that some of the most relaxing sleep I get is in my stand during early archery season. Deer aren't moving much and w/ the temps in the eighties it's really comfortable. Now rifle season where it's typically below freezing and you have thirty layers of close on stand hunting sucks. That's when I wish there was room to walk around and keep warm.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    So true, tree would be the only choice on most public land arround here as well. I have the good fortune of hunting on the land I live on and adequate space to stay away from areas I might get shot, like near the road ! Personally have gotten where I an not comfortable in a tree, now a ground blind is real nice!
    Every area has traits that accommodate some styles better than others. Only one I can't abide is road riding arround here , and there are places out west that I wouldn't find it objectionable. Also suspect a tree stand in Wyoming might not be the best approach, don't know never hunted there but I never saw a tree that would hold me up
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    IIf you're in a tree stand you don't strap yourself down. You tie your harness off to the tree.
    I didn't mean to ruffle anybody's feathers, but I don't hunt off the ground and never hunted from a tree stand and know almost nothing about it. I figured that a person strapped themselves down like a seatbelt in a car. Again, I'm sorry for getting it wrong.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    then there are the really fortunate like oneself who are the couch hunters regularly tag out out on all manner of species thru the week (evenings or days) while sitting on the couch, occasionaly on sat or sunday if swmbo not home ( I get the remote to outdoors channel) But the best is when you look out the back door at several thousand acres of crown land and spot this years freezer fodder 50 yards from the deck!!!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master tdoyka's Avatar
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    i haven't seen anybody do a deer drive for years. it has to be 15-20 years ago, but i did deer drives and i think that they are ethical. but most pushers are not aware of their surroundings. i have seen many bucks(great big ones) that sit still. i have seen this myself. i was pusher when all of then sudden i heard a shot ring out. my dad shot a 9pt ,30 yards from me, 175 yards from him. i never knew the 9pt was there. my dad waited till i was clear, and then he shot it.

    when i was young hunter, i did a lot of still hunting, that led me to being a tracker which in turn led me to being a stalker. but since my stroke, i am blind/treestand(i have make to steps and i don't go that high, just 6 or 7') hunter. i did luv that stalking, so now i'm more of sitter.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickory View Post
    I didn't mean to ruffle anybody's feathers, but I don't hunt off the ground and never hunted from a tree stand and know almost nothing about it. I figured that a person strapped themselves down like a seatbelt in a car. Again, I'm sorry for getting it wrong.
    No need to apologize. If you've never done it you don't know. You should wear a fall harness when in a tree stand. The only difference between one you'd wear on a construction site is the camouflage color. They make quick attachment straps that secure to the tree. I always carry one w/ me regardless of if I plan on sitting in a stand or not. Learned the hard way that if you leave it attached to the tree someone will take it. You have a lifeline that attaches between your harness and the anchor point on the tree. Just like a construction site it should be one that helps decelerate you. And most importantly you should have a rescue plan in place. The circulation will be cut off to your legs if you're left hanging for to long.

    Most people ignore all I've typed above. My family members gave me all types of grief because I wear a harness. I work on industrial sites and you won't find one that doesn't require fall protection. The only difference I see is that I actually need it when in my tree stand. Requiring fall protection when going above 4' on a ladder is a bit ridiculous when you factor in how high you have to attach your anchor point so the lifeline works.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    As a youngster growing up in South Africa I learned only how to stalk and ambush. Having a tracker that knew the area and the animal movements well was priceless.

    Fast forward many years and I find myself in deep South Texas and invited to go hunting. Blinds and drive 'n shoot are the name of the game here. Yes, I have done these but the satisfaction of a stalk and ambush on a number of Nilgai and many hogs are what memories are made of.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    No need to apologize. If you've never done it you don't know. You should wear a fall harness when in a tree stand. The only difference between one you'd wear on a construction site is the camouflage color. They make quick attachment straps that secure to the tree. I always carry one w/ me regardless of if I plan on sitting in a stand or not. Learned the hard way that if you leave it attached to the tree someone will take it. You have a lifeline that attaches between your harness and the anchor point on the tree. Just like a construction site it should be one that helps decelerate you. And most importantly you should have a rescue plan in place. The circulation will be cut off to your legs if you're left hanging for to long.

    Most people ignore all I've typed above. My family members gave me all types of grief because I wear a harness. I work on industrial sites and you won't find one that doesn't require fall protection. The only difference I see is that I actually need it when in my tree stand. Requiring fall protection when going above 4' on a ladder is a bit ridiculous when you factor in how high you have to attach your anchor point so the lifeline works.
    I use one too. People think of them as fall protection, I tend to adjust mine such that it would keep me from falling in the first place. When I was younger, I was sloppier about things like safety, now I wouldn't do it without one. Doesn't take much of a fall to break your back or something.

    I've had good luck with people not messing with my tree stands on public lands. I do use a chain and pad lock, but those wouldn't stop a determined thief. My main "honey hole" tree that I usually shoot at least one a year from is high in a twisted locust tree that really takes quite a bit to climb into. In fact, as I age and gain weight, it's getting tough to get into it with all the heavy clothing I need to wear in the Winter. I really like being above the ground, but setting up on the ground can be good to. I used to use those pop-up tent blinds when the boys were younger, but can usually conceal myself adequately without one. Definitely safer, but I really do prefer to be off the ground.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I've worked in a hospital in the middle of one of the biggest deer countys in the state and almost all of the hunting accidents seen here are from tree stand falls! Tree stands are 100 times more dangerous than firearms during deer season. I started hunting from the ground years ago and find I'm at no disadvantage for it. Ground blinds are becoming more and more popular around this area for bow hunting, but during gun season you wouldn't believe how many deer I've killed sitting on a hill side in an open field.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Like anything else, you mitigate risks. Wearing a harness to prevent falls is sound advice, just like wearing a seatbelt in a car or a helmet on a motorcycle. I'm 51 and not about to quit using tree stands, but I am more careful about how I place them. Used to be willing to put them in some places that took some real climbing ability. I snap in as soon as I can reach the point I attach to the tree, but there's always the possibility of falling while climbing in or out. There may come a time when I quit using them, but they give a big advantage to getting close and I like to get close. I also like to shoot deer that are unalarmed and they are a big help there too.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I hunt to enjoy being out in the woods. I don't enjoy heights therefore I keep my big old be hind in a ground blind. Deer and turkey walk right past it most of the season. I set it up on a slight ridge overlooking a saddle. Bring a Thermacell for bow season and switch to a propane heater for gun season.
    I occasionally get out and do the well armed mosey err.. "Still Hunting" but it is amazing what you see from a blind.
    You left out hunting with hounds. I believe that is still practiced in the South just not my cuppa tea.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick R View Post
    You left out hunting with hounds.
    It's not something that is legal here in Ohio.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    One reason you don't see as many trackers or stalkers is that East of the Mississippi you often have limited sized areas to hunt in. I can walk a few hundred yards and be on the neighbors land. I sit by a tree or in my tree stand on our land. IMO it takes several years to get to know the character of a piece of ground and the deer on it. I never hunt on any land but ours and very seldom pass a year without a couple in the freezer or canning jars.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

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