Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Old-School Theory Applies To Deer Hunting


It’s a topic first learned in school. It may not have been devised with whitetail deer in mind, but the principles do apply.

It states that for every action, there is an opposite reaction. We’ve all heard this before, and it applies in many and varied ways while deer hunting.

Take an ill-advised shot at a buck or doe and miss, and the action of shooting causes an opposing reaction. The deer runs off, alarmed but unharmed.

This action-reaction plays out on a daily basis in the deer woods. Set up in the wrong place, place yourself upwind of the deer, and once they catch your scent, off they go without a bow-shot being taken.

The same action-reaction could be called cause-and-effect. Your ill-advised hunting actions cause you to take a shot and miss, and the deer runs off, allowing for a quick and effective escape.

Many bow hunters fail to heed the good advice of credible hunters. They seem to think they are invisible because they are dressed in camo. Well-worn camo can be ruined by wearing clothing washed in detergent with whitening agents. The deer spook from whitened clothing that doesn’t look natural.

Thousands of hunters believe they are quiet and motionless. They should have a buddy sit 50 yards away with a video camera to tape all the movements that are made.

We’ve all seen television hunting shows where the cameraman tapes the host pointing and loudly whispering “there is a big buck.” These are called “cutaways,” and are usually taken long after the buck has walked into range and caught an arrow through the heart and lungs.

Hunters who try such nonsense merely are seen, heard or both by the deer, and the animals run off snorting. Cause and effect or action and reaction. Take your pick of which terminology you wish to use.

Television hunting shows are expensive to produce, and the competition for advertising dollars is fierce as people graduate from fishing shows to hunting shows. If they make noise at the wrong time, and the buck vamooses, the chance of getting future advertising dollars from that company are down the tube. Again, a classic case of action and reaction.

Most things we do while bow hunting involves action and reaction. Forget to use a safety harness while leaning out to shoot at a buck, and go tumbling out of a stand, and you’ll soon be on the receiving end of an object lesson about action and reaction. Live through the fall, and the hunter will have ample time to reflect on cause and effect.

Forget to check tree stands or permanent elevated stands on a regular basis, and if an accident should happen, the hunter who lives through the fall may reflect on their senseless lack of sanity.

Bow hunters are well advised to consider cause and effect, action and reaction, whenever they go hunting. For every possible action, there is a possible opposing reaction, and they may be damaging to your body or harmful to your hunting efforts.

Hang stands early. Insure that everything is safe. Wear a safety harness. Learn how to sit still and don’t make noise. There are countless things to think about, but consider every action in advance and think about the possible reactions.

Deer live in the fields, swamps and woods. We live there a few hours a day or a week. Give deer credit for being instinctive, savvy and alert to changes within their home range.

One way to consider your actions while deer hunting is to consider your bed. If the head of your bed faces west, and you prepare to retire for the night and find the head of your bed facing east, you will notice it right away. Deer always notice changes in their world as well.

Consider every change made while hunting, and give serious consideration to the reactions. This is such a basic concept that any bow hunter should be aware of it.

Just remember: for ever action, there is an opposite reaction. Anything you do can and will backfire if you don’t think the problem through long before committing to it.

Conquer this basic thought: engage the brain before the body, think things through, and it’s very possible that your hunting success will improve.

Posted by Dave Richey on 03/25 at 04:58 PM
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