Hunters Need to be Watchful to Take Whitetails

“Many hunters don’t hunt efficiently during the time they have to hunt,” Dr. Bob Sheppard says. “Although I can stay alert in a tree stand for 2 to 3 hours at a time, my attention span drops-off after that, and although I’m in the woods, I’m not really hunting effectively. I’m convinced that a deer hunter must be as intense and alert as a bass angler to bag more deer. No angler casts a lure, starts a retrieve and then goes to sleep or looks-away from his bait or line, while he’s attempting to catch a lunker bass. If he does, he can’t react quickly to the strike and take the bass. I view deer hunting in the same way. A big buck only may show-up for a moment during the time a hunter is in a tree stand. If the sportsman doesn’t see a deer’s ear twitch, tail swish or ivory-colored antlers move just slightly in thick cover, then he’ll never know the buck is there, and he may miss the opportunity to take a trophy buck of a lifetime. When I’m hunting, I always stand on my tree stand and visually search every piece of cover for the slightest indication that a deer may be in the vicinity. If you fall asleep on your tree stand, begin to daydream or look with a blind stare in one direction for an extended time, you’re not hunting. When I’m too tired to be attentive, I leave the woods, because I know I’m not hunting at my maximum level of efficiency and should be spending that time somewhere else doing something else.”

One of the reasons Sheppard is such an intense hunter is because he spends 90 percent of his hunting time scouting and only 10 percent of the time actually trying to bag a deer. As Sheppard explains, “To be an efficient hunter, you not only must know where the deer are, but also why, where and when they want to go there. You also must know how long the deer will remain in that region, when they’ll leave that area, and what causes them to move from one place to another. By studying deer-movement patterns on any property, you’ll better understand the deer on that land and drastically increase your odds of bagging a buck. So, the hunter who spends more time learning about the deer and the deer’s movement patterns on a piece of property can spend less time in a tree stand, yet take far-more deer than the hunter who scouts very little and stays in his tree stand all day long.”

To return to part one, click here. Click here to go on to part three, identifying the best times to scout for whitetails.

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