Hunting When Deer Don’t Move
Dr. John Woods 12.09.15
You’ve waited all year long for the season opener for deer hunting. All the preparations have been made. The camp work is mostly done, plots are in, stands are repaired and readied, and guns and gear are checked, cleaned, packed. Camp house menus are planned, and the grocery shopping is done. You’ve studied the weather for the weekend as the excitement grows.
Now, there you sit in your favorite stand. You crept out before daylight. A slight breeze blows in your face and the dawn breaks crisp, clear, and blue. You say a little prayer of thanks to be back in camp enjoying some hard earned recreation. The clock ticks on.
Back in camp by mid-morning you wonder where the deer were. Cooking the traditional brunch breakfast for the camp, other hunters roll in with the same news. The deer were not moving. One hunter spotted a lone spike buck jumping across one of the trails and that was it.
Repeat this again for the afternoon hunt and once more the next morning. Well, the excuses start. It’s early in the season. The wind blew too much. A couple coyotes ran through and that probably caused the deer to hunker down. Who knows?
I can’t count on all my fingers how many hunting days this scenario has happened to me. Hunt after hunt, no deer are sighted and nothing is moving but the hunters coming and going. How do you hunt these conditions?
First of all, know one thing. This will change. Deer don’t move for a wide variety of reasons. Just go back and re-evaluate all your hunting methods and double check all your preparations and techniques.
Follow these suggestions to see if your luck does not change eventually. Switch up stands on a regular basic. Don’t hunt the same stand two times in a row. Make sure, positive sure, that you hunt with the wind in your favor. If your scent blows across the plot or woods in front of you, deer are going to catch that. Spray down liberally with scent killers.
Try walking into your stand rather that riding the ATV there. In fact, leave your ride parked a minimum of 100 yards out of sight from your hunting stand. Sneak in and out quietly. Try hunting mid-day. Change up your tactics, and I assure you, deer will be seen.