Hunt Your Buck Deer Indian Style for Success with Bowhunter Larry Norton
Day 1: Larry Norton Explains How to Hone Your Stalk-Hunting Skills in Pre-Season Scouting
Editor’s Note: Stalk-hunting deer with a bow was the way of the early Americans. Indians were deadly effective at taking game by using a bow. However, today, because of our hurry-up society, most hunters can’t refrain from walking too fast to stalk successfully.
Droplets of rain still hung from the limbs of the trees, because of the downpour of the night before. As a light breeze gently nudged the branches, a few droplets left the limbs and hit the ground where they splattered to bring renewed life to the forest. The fog slowly lifted from the hardwood bottom. A 6-point buck inched his way out of the thicket at the edge of the hardwoods. He first looked at the rotting wood of the old tree stand hunters had used long ago. Then the buck spotted the new ladder stand that someone had put-up just that week. Carefully, he walked into the clearing, stopping frequently to test the air for human scent and watch for danger. Thirty yards from the thicket, the buck lowered his head and fed on the white oak acorns the rain from the night before had freed from the big tree above. Occasionally, the deer looked-up. Then he stopped and stared for a long time at a form he’d never seen before. But after he tested the wind, stared at the form and saw that it didn’t move, he ate once more. The buck only had fed for about 45 minutes when he heard the muffled sound of a bow string. As the deer coiled to leap, a broadhead entered just behind the buck’s third rib. After sprinting 60 yards, the buck stumbled and fell in the leaves, never to rise again. Longtime, avid bowhunter Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, had claimed his trophy.
Stalk-hunting deer with a bow is the way of the early Americans. Indians were deadly effective at taking game using their bows. However, today, because of our hurry-up society, most hunters can’t refrain from walking too fast to stalk successfully. But Norton, raised in the rural west/central part of Alabama, has stalked deer most of his life. “From the time I was a little fellow, if I was out scouting for deer, I’d try to see how close I could get to the animals before I spooked them,” Norton recalls. “Even today, when I’m scouting before the season, if I spot a deer, I attempt to stalk it to learn what the deer is feeding on and to keep my stalk-hunting skills honed in preparation for bow season.” Norton has harvested deer consistently with his bow for several decades. A hunting guide and part owner of The Shed Hunting Lodge, Norton stays in the woods almost daily throughout deer season. The tactics he’s developed will enable you to bag more bucks with your bow. To learn more about The Shed Hunting Lodge, go to www.theshedhuntinglodge.com; call (334) 341-1415, (334) 247-2444 or (205) 459-2614; or write: The Shed Hunting Lodge, 253 Pleasant Hill Road, Gilbertown, AL 36908.
Tomorrow: When and Where to Find Deer to Stalk