Western Sportsman magazine. September/October 2012: Beat Them To It. On page 69 I reveal seven of my favourite early season deer hunting tactics that may help you too to get an early season buck this year. Here is a teaser.
Hunt Escape Routes.
Once you figure out what hunters do, where they are going, and what routes they are using, pinpoint the thickest and nastiest thickets inside the woodland. Now find an easy access route that provides some form of cover for the deer to these thickets and you will have found yourself a deer escape route and refuge.
When I hunt escape routes I try to set up as close to the thicket as possible and be in the stand well before the other hunters arrive. All I have to do is sit tight and wait for the other hunters to head into the area and start pushing the deer my way.
BC Outdoors (Hunting & Shooting) magazine. Fall 2012 issue: Whitetail Deer Rut Myth Buster. On page 26 I attempt to clear up some of the oldest held, but flawed, beliefs about the deer rut and replace them with scientific facts. If you have hunted the rut with these old rut hunting tactics and never had the success you expected then this article will turn your luck around. Here is a teaser.
Fact: Here’s the skinny on scrapes. Did you know that over 90% of all scrapes are random? Meaning, the buck that made them will never return to it again? But hang on, it gets worse. Does make scrapes too and no, you can’t tell the difference from a buck and doe scrape. Scrapes come in all sizes from as big as a car-hood to as small as a dinner plate; some scrapes are only used by bucks, others only by females and again others are used by both sexes. Then there is the little known fact that the majority of mature bucks visit scrapes only at night. Now add to this confusion that a buck can make 40 or more scrapes in his territory of which none is regularly visited and others never attended to again and it becomes obvious how slim the chances are to plan on encountering a buck at a specific scrape.
All these limiting factors may be the reason for the answers I got from “scrape hunters” when I asked them about the success rate of employing this particular hunting tactic. It can be summed up like this: if you hunt over the same scrape from dawn to dusk for several days, even weeks, a buck eventually will walk by it. To me that sounds more like depending on luck - not a sound strategy.
In the same magazine on page 100 you can read my “Last Light” column, a somewhat humorous look at hunting. This column highlights some of the characters you may encounter in a hunting camp. Here is one of them.
The Wise Guy
This is the guy everybody likes to keep at somewhat of a distance. He knows everything about anything. This is the guy who will sit in camp reading a hunting magazine or texting to one of his many friends around the word when you come back to camp after a day of hard hunting but have nothing to show for. This guy will start to lecture you ad nauseam about what you did wrong and provide you with hot tips on how to improve your hunting fortune. He also talks a lot about how his friends killed monster bucks after they paid attention to his advice. Just don’t ask him about his own hunting success. If you do you will be subjected to many and long stories of trophy bucks he’s encountered but somehow never managed to shoot. Usually it’s the fault of other hunters, the terrain and, failing those he will put blame squarely on the deer for being “uncooperative”.