John’s Note: We all understand that bagging big bucks isn’t easy or else every hunter would take one each season. To bag a really-big buck this hunting season, you’ll have to disarm the buck by defeating his senses of sight, smell and hearing, or you’ll have to get lucky. When I take all the precautions to defeat the buck’s defense mechanisms, I’m much luckier than when I don’t.
Have you ever listened to a hunter walk through the woods? A freight train probably makes less noise than most hunters do. Going to your stand and coming away from your stand, you may spook more deer than you’ll see all day. To solve this problem, Dr. Randy Ulmer of Cave Creek, Arizona, one of the country’s leading 3-D archers, a master woodsman and recent inductee into the Archery Hall of Fame, hunts in his stocking feet.
“I hunt trophy elk with a bow,” Ulmer explains. “I have to get in close on big, smart bulls to be successful. I’ve learned when stalking these animals that I can move quicker and quieter through the woods by wearing heavy wool socks than I can when I wear hard-soled boots, and the same is true of deer hunting.”
Pete Shepley, the founder of PSE Archery in Tucson, Arizona, has a special boot covering known as Bear Paws (http://www.bearpaw.com) that he’s helped design for the big-game hunter that a deer hunter can utilize effectively. These over-sized soft slippers muffle the sound of cracking limbs and rustling leaves and enable you to move through the woods quicker and quieter than if you wear conventional boots. Don’t forget when hunting either in your stocking feet or with Bear Paws on that you must keep these garments odor-free until you put them on and then use some type of masking or cover scent to keep from leaving human odor in your passing.
The late Ben Rodgers Lee of Coffeeville, Alabama, a deer and turkey hunter of renown, always hunted deer in tennis shoes. Lee once told me that, “Tennis shoes are quieter, and I can feel the ground better when I wear tennis shoes than I can with boots. But I don’t like to hunt in nice, new tennis shoes. I prefer to hunt in the cheap tennis shoes that are half-worn-out. Then I can feel the ground better and move quieter.”
You also can silence your approach to your stand site by going to it by water. Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, a longtime deer-hunting guide, tries to set his tree stands or ground blinds close to creeks or streams. “If you can wade water with rubber boots to get to and from your tree stand, you leave little or no odor and make little if any noise,” Norton reports. “I like to hunt in flooded-timber areas where I can move through the water and reach my stand site without the deer’s hearing or smelling me. Often in those flooded-timber stands I’ll see and take my biggest bucks.”
We all understand that bagging big bucks isn’t easy or else every hunter would take one each season. To bag a really big buck this hunting season, you’ll have to disarm the buck by defeating his senses of sight, smell and hearing, or you’ll have to get lucky. When I take all the precautions to defeat the buck’s defense mechanisms, I’m much luckier than when I don’t.
To get John E. Phillips’ eBooks and print books on hunting deer, including his newest deer-hunting book, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks,” available at http://amzn.to/2bYwYOK/, click on these books to learn more, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings.” Or, go to www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You also can find John’s books on Nook at www.barnesandnoble.com.
For free information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.