How to Detect Deer Movement
Day 1: Understanding Deer
There are two methods of bagging a buck. One is luck, which is a factor that a majority of hunters in many areas depend on solely. The other way of taking a buck requires experience – knowing the deer, his movement patterns, his behavior patterns and what causes him to move from one place to the other. Being able to predict deer movement is the stock in trade of the hunter who bags a buck year after year. Very little guesswork is involved in this type of hunting. The sportsman takes a set of given facts, studies the terrain, the available food, the deer's mating habits and the weather in his region, correlates them with deer signs he finds in his area and comes-up with a hunt plan that logically should put him in a position to see and hopefully bag a deer on any given day he hunts.
Actually the hunter's mind is the ultimate weapon. Like an onboard computer, an outdoorsman feeds-in data, the information is processed between his ears, and the answer of where the buck should show up on any given day is fed out and put into the outgoing box of his intellect. Let's look at the factors that are fed into a knowledgeable hunter's brain and see how he comes up with hunt plans that consistently pay-off in buck sightings.
To be a consistently, successful deer hunter, you must adopt a philosophy which dictates that scouting is far more important and critical to hunter success than shooting. The effective hunter will spend 80 percent of his time in the woods scouting and trying to determine where and when a deer should show up and only 20 percent of his time in an attempt to take a deer. Less-knowledgeable hunters will spend 80 percent of their time wandering around in the woods or sitting on a tree stand, because they find a few deer tracks or some droppings. Then these same men only will spend 20 percent of their time trying to predict where the deer will show up. But as a hunter once told me, "The most- important deer tracks to the hunter are the ones the deer is standing in when the hunter is ready to shoot."
In most areas of the country, you will find several consistent hunters who seem to always bag their bucks within the first 2 hours of the opening day of deer season. Although luck plays a role in their success, if you question them closely, you will find out that before the season opens they have spent days and weeks studying their deer, picking their stand sites and paying close attention to the details that result in their taking bucks. But there are no shortcuts. To regularly take deer year after year, you have to spend more time scouting than you do trying to shoot a deer. Three times of the year are the most productive for scouting - before the season, during the season and at the end of the season.
Tomorrow: Learning Deer Movement Before the Season Starts