Bucks in the Tuck
Dr. John Woods 12.16.19
When it comes to deer hunting, there is never enough time and space to cover all the clever ideas that can help hunters at all skill levels to up their game just a little more. And for the youth and other beginners just getting into the game, some fresh ideas never hurt to give them something to ponder while on the deer stand.
Many states begin their annual deer hunting with an archery season, which personally I think is discriminatory against gun hunters. I mean a dead deer is a dead deer whether shot with an arrow or a bullet. We should all have equal opportunity, especially on private lands, to hunt deer that haven’t been harassed by other hunters for several months. Be that as it may, bow hunting means close quarters shooting.
Despite the TV shows and others seemingly advocating bow shots beyond 50 yards and in some cases as far out as 100 yards, bowhunting after all was meant to be the challenge of getting close to a deer before making the shot, usually well under 50 yards. In my old days of hunting with a bow, 30 yards was a good range.
To do this, it’s helpful to determine potential deer travel, bedding areas, feeding spots, funnels or other deer hiding habitat structure. So, where exactly might you expect a deer to tuck itself away out of sight? The deer species are masters at camouflage, and you might walk by and never see the deer or they might sit for hours virtually right under your nose without being noticed.
Hunters have to learn the art of eyesight or optical device scanning. As I read recently, you have to put down the iPhone sometimes and do your due diligence. Whether bow hunting or gun hunting, the hunter’s job is to constantly search the habitats around the stand looking for signs of deer hiding or movement, which might only be the twitch of an ear or head turn.
This means look closely, examining every bush and nearly every leaf as you try to peer into the shadows where deer hide motionless. Look for tips of antlers, an ear, an eye glistening in the sun, or a tail twitch. Deer are famous for blending in, so search the tuck for the buck.