Learn About Whitetails by Studying Books and Observing Deer
The words “deer-hunting expert” are a contrast in terms, because just about the time a man thinks he knows everything about deer, the animals will prove that his deer education is lacking. Dr. Robert Sheppard has spent much of his adult life studying the habits of deer and learning the haunts of whitetails. Sheppard is a student who’s never stopped learning. As a doctor, Sheppard’s entire life revolves around the continual study of medicine and its latest findings. Doctors realize that they never learn all there is to know about the human body and that only through a lifetime of study can they continue to give their patients the best and the latest medical care available.
Coming from this background of continuous, meticulous research, Sheppard applies his same study habits, research techniques and total dedication to his study of the white-tailed deer. Sheppard not only relies on his field knowledge and the tips he picks-up from other outdoorsmen. He also diligently searches-out information on new products and examines scientific research that appears in outdoor magazines, books, newsletters and scientific journals from universities studying deer behavior.
But book knowledge alone doesn’t qualify anyone as an expert in any field. Sheppard studies deer and deer hunting 12 months a year in the field. When other sportsmen are warming their feet by roaring fires after deer season has ended, Sheppard is out in the woods looking for dropped antlers, big-buck hideouts and deer on green fields. And, he’s studying where other sportsmen have hunted during the past season. Sheppard also goes into thick-cover areas to cut shooting lanes, pick-out tree stand sites for the fall and study deer-movement patterns. Prior to the opening of bow season in the early fall, Sheppard will develop 10- to 30-different stand sites on the property he hunts in prime deer country. Then, no matter what the wind conditions are on the morning he hunts, he’ll have a stand site to hunt from with a favorable wind.
During bow season, Sheppard rises early and hunts before he goes to his office or the hospital. Then in the afternoons when his rounds have ended, Sheppard will sometimes be back in the woods studying. Sheppard schedules his vacation time and off-days around deer season, so he can maximize the number of hours he spends in the woods. But the doctor has found that waiting long hours for deer to show-up isn’t as productive as spending 1 or 2 hours a day in a deer hot spot during a time when a buck should appear.
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