Editor’s Note: One of the most-effective methods of taking game is stalking. Man was not the originator of stalking techniques, but merely the imitator. He observed cats as they stalked and killed their prey. He watched foxes move in close for their attacks. He saw other predators as they closed the distance and then came in for the kill. Because of his primitive weapons – his spear, knife and bow and arrow – early man had to learn to stalk in close if he wanted to harvest game and survive. He was a part of all that was around him. He moved with the ease of a warm summer’s breeze that never had been seen and barely felt. He was a predator who moved in for a clean kill and then left. He was a silent stalker of deer.
“During the rut, hunting down well-defined deer trails is one of the most-effective means of stalk hunting that I know,” my friend and avid deer hunter Billy Joe Thomas explains. “I have learned that when bucks are in the rut they are usually trailing the does. With that information, I’ve observed that many times a buck deer will move down a trail with his nose on the ground following a doe, hoping for a mating encounter. By stalking down the same trail that the buck is on, many times I have had trophy whitetails walk within easy gun range of me.
“Two seasons ago I was slipping down a trail when I spotted a deer coming. He was a trophy 10 point that weighed over 200 pounds. The big buck had his nose on the ground and was walking at a steady pace, right down the same trail where I was. I kept my scope on the animal and allowed him to continue to come toward me. I was hunting in mature hardwoods, and it would have been easy for the deer to see me, but he never looked up.”
Thomas’s game plan was that when the buck looked up and presented a better target, he’d plan to shoot him. However, the deer never looked up and continued to come to within 20 yards. Thomas no longer could stand the pressure of having a trophy come any closer. Thomas aimed between the deer’s shoulder blades and fired. The buck never looked up as he fell in his tracks.
According to Thomas. “I feel that slipping down well-known, well-defined deer trails during the rut is the most-effective form of stalk hunting.”
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions at (http://amzn.to/1vIcj4m). You may have to copy and paste this click into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon allows you to read 10% of the book for free).
Tomorrow: Stalking Buck Deer with a Bow and Arrows