How to Adapt Your Hunt When the Deer are not Cooperating

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This has been an interesting deer season so far. My “Honey Do” List has been holding back the amount of time I usually spend in the woods, but good planning and observing deer behavior has paid off nicely this year.

The early deer season is always phenomenal, for the deer are not pushed and their movements can be observed during any time of the day.

This means you have a high probability of seeing deer and bagging one too. Now once the deer start getting shot at, they are quick to change their habits. What would you do if some armed locals in hunting orange garb started to shoot at you.

Yea, you would change your habits or else face getting that headstone marked RIP.

The moon phase can also hamper your hunt. When I did the early Black Powder season in October, the first three days were not very productive for the deer were not moving.

I noticed a full moon during these first 3 days.

Now for the inexperienced person, this may mean nothing, but the seasoned hunter knows this is not good. You see, deer are nocturnal creatures and will feed at night.

Given the full moon conditions, this means the deer will feed late at night and minimal deer activity will be observed during legal hunting hours. When you get full moon nights, deer act like teenagers. They eat all night, chew the fat so to speak with the other deer, then in the early morning hours, drag their butts home to their bedding area and take a long sleep.

So what does one do? I have noticed some hunters sitting on fields hoping for the deer to come into their gun sights. Field hunting is productive if the deer are not being pushed or the moon is not in a full state, but when the deer fail to show up, you are out of luck.

One thing you may consider is adapting your hunting technique. Instead of sitting on a field, go in the woods and look for an area where the deer have to travel to go to the fields.

Well traveled deer trails are easily found and buck scrapes on small trees show activity in an area.

This will allow you to get to the deer before they get to the fields and hopefully in legal hunting hours.

Try putting out scents too to lure the deer in. During the deer rut when the bucks are seeking their doe’s, use scent, and some deer calls. The buck grunt call and rattling antlers is effective during this time. When deer hear antler rattling, buck grunt call and smell the scent of deer, this is a broadcast of a party.

This reminds me of West Side Story with gangs fighting over turf, with the primary topic of who gets the girl, but in the deer world this is girls. Some bucks will show up to protect their claimed territory and pick a fight with bucks that are trying to challenge them.

Other bucks will slip in and try to steal the does while the bucks are fighting. Doe’s will be attracted too for they may be seeking a buck.

These hunting techniques pay off. I took a doe on the last day of Black Powder in October, and the following Saturday, I took a spike with my Crossbow. In both hunts, I used scents, antler rattling, and buck grunts. The deer I bagged came right to my tree stand on their way to the fields. Oh yea, tree stands are best for still hunting for deer don’t normally look up. When they do look up, it is too late.

In my next articles, I will discuss how to hunt “Daniel Boone” style and how having a 5 year old son or daughter can really help out on your hunt.

So get out there and adapt your hunt when the deer that don’t want to cooperate. Bag that deer and be safe.

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