Editor’s Note: Odd-ball tactics may sound funny – but they just may be the change-of-pace you need to put a buck on the meat pole. Deer are curious, and their natural curiosity is one of the most-overlooked aspects in most sportsmen’s hunt plans.
“There’s a war going on inside a deer’s head much of the time,” Dr. Karl Miller, a professor of deer management of the University of Georgia’s Deer Research Lab, says. “The deer’s fear instinct causes him to flee from anything that’s unnatural in the wild or anything he’s unsure of or that startles him. But his natural curiosity often will draw him right back to the very thing from which he normally will shy away. Most often this phenomenon is more readily seen in younger deer, especially in younger bucks, rather than in older deer. An older buck hasn’t obtained his age, his size and his antler development without continuously investigating unknown sights, sounds and smells. However, oftentimes the hunter can use the deer’s natural curiosity to take young bucks and on some occasions even older bucks.”
* Chain Saws:
In thinking about this curiosity of deer, I talked with Tony Mack, a hunting friend of mine. “There are some boys up here in Tennessee who have started using chain saws and three wheelers to take deer. How this idea of using chain saws and three wheelers to take deer came about is really interesting. Many fellows up in this part of Tennessee who love to hunt are also pulp wooders. They began to take notice of deer coming right in to areas where they were cutting timber. Many times the deer would walk up within 10 – 15 yards of where they were cutting. Although they didn’t understand why the deer came, they knew that for some reason, the sound of the chain saws seemed to attract the deer. So, they decided to try and utilize chain saws to call deer. These hunters took their chain saws in to the woods during deer season, cranked them up and revved them up on the edges of right-of-ways and woodrows. Then, after the hunters already had the saws running for a minute or two, they would sit their chain saws on the ground and let them idle, while they hid in the bushes. Sure enough, several of those boys have bagged some pretty-nice deer hunting with chain saws.
* Three Wheelers:
“Other hunters in the region who found out about the chain saw hunting, started pulling their three wheelers up to the edges of power line rights-of-ways, woodrows and/or firebreaks, revving the engines of the three wheelers up and leaving them idling, because the noise of a three wheeler isn’t that much different from the noise that’s put out by a chain saw. And, sure enough the deer came in to the sounds. I asked a couple of wildlife biologists about the possibility of deer being lured by these sounds. They said they could understand how chain saw noise might lure deer in to a particular spot, because of the natural curiosity of the deer to investigate anything that’s going on in his habitat.”
In the Midwest, where farmers use combines to harvest soybeans and corn, if someone cranks up a combine and pulls it out in a field, deer often come on the run out of the thick cover. Once again the deer in those regions have learned that a piece of machinery running means there will be plenty of food spilled on the ground for the deer to eat.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” available in Kindle, Print and Audible versions, at (http://amzn.to/YpoQHA).
Tomorrow: Realize Deer Are Curious About Smells