Why, Where and How to Find Buck Deer in Funnels
Day 1: Larry Marchinton Tells Us How to Identify Funnels That Deer Use
Dr. Larry Marchinton, retired professor of wildlife sciences from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, has studied and hunted white-tailed deer throughout his life. He has contributed volumes of information from his studies and observations about deer habits, deer communication, deer-movement patterns and deer socialization. Much of what we know about the language of the white-tailed deer, scrape hunting, rub hunting and when and how the deer use the licking branch have come from Marchinton's research. Marchinton knows where to find white-tailed deer.
A few years ago, I asked Marchinton, "If you only could pick one area where you think your odds were best for taking a buck, what would that area be like, and why would you pick that one site?" Marchinton didn't hesitate when he answered, "To take a buck at any time of the year, your odds are best when you're hunting a funnel."
Any type of terrain break that causes two vast expanses of land to neck-down to a small piece of thick cover through which deer can pass forms a funnel. To understand what a funnel looks like, consider an hourglass with sand in one end. For the sand to move from one side of the hourglass to the other side, it has to pass through a small opening in the middle of the hourglass. If we take that hourglass concept and apply it to the property where you hunt, where can you find that hourglass design on that land? Try to identify where:
* the corners of two fields come together and make a small bottleneck between two large woodlots on either side of the bottleneck;
* a pine plantation corners into another pine plantation with hardwoods on either side of that bottleneck;
* a creek or a stream bends into a young clear cut, creating a bottleneck with hardwoods on both the stream edge and the edge of the pine plantation;
* an agricultural field corners into a road with a woodlot on either side of that narrow neck;
* a huge field and two narrow points of woods neck-down the field to a small opening; and
* a river bends into the land, bends out and then bends back in again creating a bottleneck between the two bends of the river.
Tomorrow: Shrinking a Bottleneck to Find More Deer