Those tips you use when " busted "

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by oldnotdead, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Die Hard Bowhunter

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    When answering a land management thread I realized just how tough my hunting can be. We have great deer but it's a high deer and high hunter density area. This has the deer all over and moving inconsistently or mainly in dark. I've had to adapt the " Oh crap, busted " techniques. So what have you done to try and recover after the dreaded stomp and blow you've been hit with? The pop around a tree to have a doe staring at you? What are things have worked or back fired on you?
    Before I started clearing trails I use to skip in the dark to the stand or do the I'm a skunk shuffle and stop walk in. Worked pretty well then there is the buck grunt and tree shake walk in. The one that has worked well is the stomp and snort back, though I learned the hard way to run for the stand right after in the dark. The stand completely still with eyes half shut has saved me many times or the head down and arms down steady walk has avoided that dreadful blowing through the woods. I've had doe and some young buck allow me to walk within feet of them without blowing as long as I kept a steady pace as I walked past and never made eye contact.
    I've taken some nice buck with the stomp and snort back in the dark trick. I called a buck spooked under the stand I went to three times as I was climbing the ladder. He finally left and then at light he had circled around the stand and came back for me to shoot him. A nice 8 pt. Though that same trick backfired when after stomping and snorting I heard a stiff legged walk toward me. I was near some small planted pine and thought it smart to lay down my bow and squat down next to a pine. Well in the dark I hear the deer still stiff legging it to me snorting. Now I tucked my head down toward the ground. Next thing I know a white tine slips past the side of my face and a buck snorted in my ear before swirling and running away. That scared the crud out of me, never tried that again! The whole shrinking my profile was a fail. Another time I sat on a stump and had a doe spot me and stomp. I stomped and snorted and she charged me so fast I had just enough time to flip myself off the log to avoid her.
    What have you used to help even the playing field?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  2. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    In my really early twenties I was out turkey hunting one time. I had a Tom gobbling and was heading towards it to try to set up on it when I bumped into a herd of elk, around 16 of them or so. They were about 80 yards from me and bedded and I noticed them right as one of them barked. They all immediately stood up. Apparently the one that had barked only noticed movement but hadn't identified if the movement was a threat or not yet. I had instinctively crouched down to one knee when I first saw them to make myself smaller. I decided that I would try out my turkey calls on them just to see how they reacted to it. I yelped softly on my mouth reed and was surprised when half of them immediately bedded back down. After another minute or so several more bedded back down and the few that were still standing began to feed. I realized that since they had only glimpsed some movement and I gave them a familiar non-threatning sound of a small critter, that explained why they couldn't see me and put them at ease again.

    This got me thinking about if it would work when still-hunting for whitetails. I still don't always remember to bring a turkey reed with me when I decide to do some still-hunting with the muzzleloader (I mostly stand or blind hunt these days), but I've had this calm down several deer over the years. It only works if they have alerted to movement but can't see you well...and of course can't smell you. It seemed weird to me to carry a turkey reed at first when deer hunting, but now it has worked too many times to ignore trying to remember one and using it in the right situation.
    Every time I've done it and it worked, it calmed down an alerted deer that otherwise probably would've blown out and spooked other deer in the area while racing away. They normally will stare for just a bit more and then go back to feeding and eventually wander off far enough that you can continue on your way. I have only done it with does or yearlings, never got to try it on a mature buck. If just meat hunting and not after a mature buck it could definitely help to delay a deer from running away long enough to get a shot at it.
    Anyway, that's my "sort of weird" method that probably isn't very commonly used.
     
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  3. jonderrs7

    jonderrs7 Weekend Warrior

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    There is an episode of The Hunting Public where Zach used a mouth turkey reed call and was purring and clucking on his walk in. It looked to have worked well for him. Definitely an idea to try.
     
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  4. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I can turkey call using my natural voice and have used that for years. I also decoy deer with a bobbin head turkey decoy. Turkey and deer rutinely feed together here and it relaxes those in brush deer to step out into the open. With my light clucks and purrs I can get them into bow range. MUCH easier than carrying a big deer decoy.
     
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  5. John T.

    John T. Weekend Warrior

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    Man! Loads of interesting experiences. Have some turkey decoys. Looking to start scouting as soon as the rain stops...eventually.
     
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  6. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Die Hard Bowhunter

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    40 + years of hunting there aren't many out of the box things I haven't tried out in the woods. I gun season at 3 pm I was able to walk up on a herd of doe down the lane way in pic. I was dressed head to toe in hunter orange camo. It was a 125 yrd walk to within 30 yrds of them. They looked up at me as I slowly continued toward them then went back to feeding several times. All I did was hug that tree line and as I moved slowly I had my rt hand down at my thigh. Every time they would look at me I would flick my right hand back and forth like a tail flicking. Dang if that didn't keep them at ease! As I got to them I waved to let them know I was not what they assumed. Got to stand and shot a buck 40 mins later. In the same lane way I walked down the middle in full camo with a renzo doe decoy infront of me to a group of doe,bow in hand. Then the schoolbus driver noticed me and blew his horn . The deer spooked and nearly ran me over..inches by a couple.

    IMG_20190714_101715_hdr.jpg
     

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