Lakecaster Online

Guides Corner
by JOHN PLUMB

It's hunting time again I guess that deer hunters think more about deer than anyone. I'm a deer hunter. I think about deer all the time. Probably the best source of information about deer would be from someone who has spent many years more than I in pursuit of them. That's what I did. I asked lots of questions of a bunch of different people.

One thing most agreed on was that big bucks were more nocturnal than daylight critters. That they were real smart and wary, and that's how they come by all them horns. Eight points or better seems to be the draw line for what is a good buck. Depending on the part of the state you hunt, an 8-pointer may be a monster, or marginal.

Stand hunting seems to be the most used method of concealment. What with the really good camo wear that's available now, ground hunting is gaining ground. See, if you're in a box stand 15 feet of the ground, you don't need camo clothing. You could be wearing a clown suit and it wouldn't matter. A deer probably won't look too high up, unless it sees movement or hears you.

Deer see in 2-dimensional, black and white. Like if you were watching a black and white TV. That's all they see. However, their ability to detect movement at great distance more than protects them. Their hearing is quite acute, and just the slightest noise can send them the other way.

Smell is the number one sense that deer depend on the most. He may see you and not run. He may hear you and not run. If he smells you, he's history, and so are you. Most folks seem to believe strongly that stand placement according to the prevailing wind is the only way to have a chance at going
undetected.

Deer will change their habits once activity starts in their area. They'll move to a more secluded spot. If you wait until a day or two before opening day to place stands in those secluded back forties, your chance of ambushing a nice deer is better. I heard both sides about activity just before
hunting begins, but you drive right out to the feeder to fill it, so I can't see it.

Deer have been dealing with trucks, cars, tractors, fences, and people for a long time. They live right next door to you. You can likely ride right up to one on horseback. They pay little attention to such things, really. People scare deer. After dealing with everything, we are the one force they cannot ignore.

For the sake of convenience, I use a tripod stand. I like to be able to move it. And sometimes it's necessary.

When you do your initial scouting and place your stand, it's usually because you've seen evidence of activity. That may change, and a move will be necessary. Do it in midday, but not too late in the first month. You may surprise that one buck you're looking for.

What to shoot was a big topic. The size of your gun seems to be some kind of status. If you hunt at distances of less than 300 yards, you do not need a cannon. Over 300 yards, you need big power, 7 mm mag, 300 mag, etc. Most folks seem to agree with me that a .270 was just about middle of the road perfect. Second was the venerable .243. More emphasis should be put on marksmanship than caliber.

Safety, and confidence in the folks in the field with you is probably the one most important thing to stress. I do not want to hunt with a wild or careless hunter. I want to know that person won't shoot in any direction that could result in hitting another hunter. Goofy behavior with guns is a
deadly game , and not to be tolerated.

Making a ground blind before hunting starts can be useful. You may see a deer using an area, but can't get a shot. For a few bucks you can build one that will assemble in minutes, and can be set anywhere. Feeders made from 5 gal. buckets are handy for use with these portable blinds. Well, it's going on. Deer season is here, and while you're reading this, I'm hunting. You should be to. I still have openings for day hunts. For information call 936-646-5051. See you IN THE WOODS.

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