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By P.K. Jacobson

Copyright 2007 Winning Strategies Pty Limited

To My Hunting Friends, Here are 10 very pressing questions I have been asked. These are for anyone who hunts deer. Dont get me wrong, there are hundreds more questions to be answered. But lets start here firstand get you bagging a trophy Buck soon.

Question 1: The first question deals with the deer genuflect. At least that is what I like to call it. When the arrow leaves the rest, the strings make a sound. Sound travels about 2X the off-the-rest speed of the arrow, so no matter how you shoot it, the deer will get a very slight edge from the warning sound that something is happening and he reacts. God has provided deer with the ability to position themselves for an immediate escape, thus the genuflect. If the danger is identified they may leap, if not, that energy is transformed into the panic run. In any case, a bow hunter will stand a chance to miss, and generally the shots are high. The question is simply what do the pros do to gain the edge on the anticipation of the genuflect? Answer: The first thing is to get away from the Now! command most hunters adopt who havent received proper training. There are a million different ideas on getting ready. Once in awhile, it doesnt hurt to find an expert to take a few hours out of the day to teach proper shooting techniques. Ive never met an expert who wouldnt want to help a fellow hunter. The Now! command gets instilled in a hunters brain early in learning. It is a mark many hunters use to realize the point of release. However, just saying Now! can cause the hand to jerk a little. The shot is off target from the very beginning and the buck gets a chance to sense danger.

Breathe and aim. But when you release, it should come as a surprise to even you. Your fingers are locked tight and youre thinking about your aim. The string is pulling itself and your fingers are letting it go. But your brain is thinking about your aim, not your shot. Its important to understand the difference. This way, when you release, youll have a more perfect shot and the buck will have no warning. If the shooter is surprised, how much more the buck will be surprised too. But, there is no trick for gaining an edge on the anticipation of the bucks reaction. Its simply to study how the Indians made just the right movements through the woods. Learn how they walked and kept ghostlike as they hunted. The less the buck hears the better. The arrow travels very fast. Last minute detection by a buck only means the buck knows its going to get hit. If you have been very quite and havent been detected up until the point of release, then work on your aim and youll get your buck just fine. Also important, learn how to pull your bow up and set your arrow without being detected. Learn where your best range is for shooting an arrow. Then, remember all this when you get in the woods. If you have done your homework, your success with an arrow will improve. Knowledge of a bow and arrow are essential, too. Your bow and arrow has to be the right combination. Check with your supplier as to the correct arrows for your bow on the distance you intend to shoot. Having the wrong combination of bow and arrow will make a noise when the bow is released. Make sure all your bolts on your bow are tight. If you are using a less expensive bow, you may not be able to reduce the noise made by the bow.

Question 2: Second question has to do with noise. Noise is not always bad, after all, deer hear trucks and cars, horns and children playing. But when a deer is close and you need him to stop so you can get a shot (more important with a bow) is there any particular noise that seems to do the job better than any other? Have you used any of the Primos bleats, especially the ones for injured or suffering fawns? Do they work?

Answer: Calls and rattling antlers together are unpredictable and they will only be effective at certain times throughout the season. The Fawn Bleat works best during early bow season. Rattling antlers work best pre-rut. Estrus Bleats work best during the rut. Thats not to say that making those noises wont work at other times. But, dont count on them and dont think they dont work at all. Theres timing to everything. As far as getting a buck to stop moving, thats rather unpredictable what a buck will do. After hearing a call, a buck normally heads downwind to make sure the nose can confirm what the ears are hearing. If youre downwind, then it should work out very good for you. If youre not downwind, just hope the buck cant pick up your human scent.

Question 3: Stalking is an art. Authors state that deer will see you long before you see them. They look for movement. From the human perspective many authors tell you to look for the flicker. Deer will twitch an ear and you may never see them unless you are seriously staring at the forest and you catch the flicker. Does are the ones I find more easily this way. Is there any other technique you can suggest for identifying the deer, bucks or does, in the tree lines?

Answer: There are several guidelines to follow and then well get into sightings. Bucks are more active in the evenings than they are in the mornings. But, they are more active in the morning during the rut than in the pre-rut or post-rut. And vice versa, they are more active in the evening during the pre-rut and the post-rut than they are during the rut. But, there are other factors involved that change the normal sighting routine. Young bucks act different than older bucks. Some older bucks dont even participate in the rut anymore while some younger bucks dont get a chance. In other words, nothing is predictable. Watching for a deers ear to twitch is one way to spot a deer. But, you are too far to take a shot if thats all you can see of your deer. At about 20 to 40 yards, you should have a good shot. Youll be able to see your deer rather well at that distance and you should never take a shot until you know for sure that you have a deer in your sights. From that distance, if its standing in the tree line youll be able to observe the tail movement. Youll also see it move its head while tree branches shake. If youve done your homework and scouted during off season, you know where it beds and where it feeds. So, positioning yourself in the middle of those two places will insure that buck will come your way and all you have to do is pay attention.

Question 4: Fourth, do you believe that deer are color blind?

Answer: This is actually an old debate and experts fall on either side. There are hunters who believe wholeheartedly that deer cannot see color. And while their ability to view colors is limited, its not altogether gone. Wildlife studies have lead researchers to the conclusion that deer can see the short wavelength light which produces blue and the middle wavelength light which produces green. They lack the red cone which is sensitive to the long wavelength light which produces red. So while deer arent blind to the color red, they just perceive it differently. They can see blue clearly. Wearing orange or even red into the woods to hunt wont adversely impact your hunting success.

Question 5: Why is so much camouflage sold to deer hunters if deer see a gray world?

Answer: Without getting into the rods and cones or UV debate over deer, their eyes and how they perceive color, deer are very capable of viewing certain colors. But, they are more capable of picking up on light and patterns. Camo helps to make a hunter blend in with the background and that makes it harder for deer to see. Shiny clothing will give the deer the advantage because they can perceive light very easily. While deer can see rather well during the day, their eyes are basically made for night vision. Using that advantage to see in shadowy areas, they pick up on movement because of changing light patterns. Proper face camo should be dull. Clothing should be without starch or sharp creases. Boots should not be polished. In the end, camo will always be the best gear for a hunter to wear.

Question 6: When a deer is shot, they will often circle back to near the point where they were shot. Why???

Answer: Thats because it is simply not true. There is no phenomenon that exists dictating that a deer comes back to the place where it was shot. The only suggestion I would offer you is if you shoot it in the leg, it will be inclined to favor that leg while it is trying to evade the shooter. Favoring the leg will cause it to lean in that direction. This in turn will cause it to move in a circle. Shooting anywhere except the legs or hips, you wont get this type of reaction.

Question 7: When a feral hog is shot, it will run toward the water source a stream is a likely place. I know the reasons for this and have witnessed this first hand. Deer often will hang out in areas proximate to a water source, especially one with reasonable cover. I want to learn as much as I can about this habit. What can you tell me about this? There is very little in the literature about a deers affinity for seeking refuge near a water source, yet, if you want to find them, be in that area, well hidden, early in the morning, especially if there is an abundance of white acorns or other delights they treasure.

Answer: When a deer is wounded and it is running scared, they tend to run wherever they can find a route for escape. But if they last long enough and begin to think that they are safe enough to relax and heal, they will find a water source because water and food is really the only way a deer can keep its strength. They will find a water source with cover so that they cant be easily detected. Throughout the year, deer tend to draw to water sources because they dont really like to roam much. Its risky and even though they love to walk, they dont like going far from their bedding area. Once they find good water, they will stay near the source so that they dont have to go very far to keep hydrated. Once bedding time arrives, deer will roam back to their bedding area. But, they always return to their source of fresh water so that they have a feeding area near it.

Question 8: What is the right height to be above the ground to be out of the line of sight of a deer? Do deer ever look up to search out danger [other than sniffing the air with their heads up high? Is a ground blind just as effective as a raised stand? I have both, but my raised one is only 10 feet high. It is perfect if you can find a tree to locate it within its branches. In your estimation is height more important than cover from tree branches?

Answer: Actually, if you have a deer stand you only need to be about five or six feet in the air to avoid a deers line of sight. But, youll want to get a little higher up so that you can see the deer coming from a further distance. The shot from a raised stand makes it harder for a bow hunter to shoot the vital areas. The angle of the shot keeps them from being exposed. The vital organs are protected by the backbone and shoulder blade. A bow hunter will have to aim farther behind the shoulder. Also, its harder to get a double lung hit. But you need to aim just a couple inches lower on the deer. Whether or not a ground blind is just as effective as a raised stand is up to the opinion of the hunter. It is my experience that the ground blind really works rather well. You get a line of sight shot that the deer will not be able to detect. Also, youll be better prepared to chase your deer in case your shot doesnt drop it instantly. Climbing out a deer stand takes a little time, but youll be able to watch the deer from the stand and pinpoint exactly where it fell. So, there are pros and cons to each.

Question 9: The kill zone is reasonably well defined (as a bow hunter I shoot within a rectangle 8 x 5 from 40 yards), that being the lungs and other vitals. However, can you tell me what the ratio is on a single shot to the neck vs. to the lungs in terms of having the deer drop right on the spot or within 10 yards? Should I focus on vitals vs. neck for a fast, humane kill?

Answer: A 40 foot shot is a good distance to get a nice clean hit that can drop a deer rather quickly if you hit the right place. Lungs are the best shot to aim and your eight inch by five inch rectangle is a fine target. Im not sure why you would want to change a thing. Aiming for the lungs is the best shot with a bow and arrow. You would have to be an excellent marksman to get a good shot on the neck with a bow and arrow and not maim it or injure it badly. If you are going to take the shot and try to get a humane kill that drops your deer instantly, you want to narrow your eight inch by five inch rectangle to a two inch by eight inch target. You have to hit the vertebral column and sever the spinal cord. If you dont, you hit the muscles in the neck or you possibly hit the trachea and probably the esophagus. But, then the deer runs. It dies a slow death. This is why most hunters dont attempt the neck shot.

Question 10: What is the best application of deer urine? How do you recommend it be used should it be a cover for human scent or is it more effective to use it as a magnet during the rut? Do you believe in the scent lures hung on trees? Should the urine be sprinkled around the area? How large of an area should be treated?

Answer: Deer urine that is best comes from one deer. Some companies mix urine from different deer. But, you dont want that. You want to find a company that makes it a point to mention on their bottle that their deer urine comes from only one deer. When bucks are trying to distribute their scent, they will paw the ground and make an opening of about 3 to 4 feet. Then, they will urinate in the scrape. Bucks will do this on several trees in their area making a perimeter to mark their territory. If you find scrapes, you want to put buck urine in the scrapes to attract doe. One very effective technique I have used over the years has been to drag a rag drenched with buck urine to my blind. Then, I hang the rag on a tree about twenty feet away. One year, seven bucks came my way. ______________________________________________________

As I said before, there are hundreds more pressing questions like these plus all the answers in my book Deer Hunting Secrets. Youll find it here: Then Go Bag Your Trophy Buck!