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redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
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Mistakes made may help newbies

I remember a post a while back about someone making a mistake and a newbie finding the information useful, so thought I'd make a post of some of the mistakes I have made in the past eye roll Hopefully they will help someone, I know i've learned from them. Always believe you can learn something new everytime out Yes All veterans please chime in.

I can remember one of my first times in a stand using a bow I grunted in a nice 8 pointer. I was looking the opposite direction when he came in and when I heard the leaves crunching behind me I whipped my head around as fast as I could and bam just like that at 15 yds he bolted. I learned several lessons on this one.
1. It was the first time I sat on stand more than 45 minutes, it pays to stay in stand as long as you can. I typically sit at a minimum of 3 hrs now a days.
2. That dang grunt tube really worked!
3. Wear a face mask and gloves to conceal my xposed skin that looks like a warning signal.
4. And most obviously keep your movements to a bare minimum and when you do move do it very slowly.

Another time I was set up in a stand watching over a CRP field. Seen several does early and after spending my time on stand decided to leave. So I lower my bow dowm with my rope and start climbing down. Half way down the tree here comes a nice 10 pt coming straight to my stand. Luckily I was able to get back into the stand, but that did me no good because I had also dropped the rope down with my bow when I lowered it Brick Wall,) I did however get to observe him from my stand while I was reciting every cuss word I could think of under my breath. Lessons learned:
1. Give yourself another 15 minutes after you decide to get down. Hang in there.
2. Once that deer got downwind he cautiously retreated.
3. I was able to get back in the tree because I was able to climb up on the back side of the tree. He had no clue I was there.
4. Most importantly, tie that darn rope to the stand and leave it there for future hunts and so you can get your weapon back up to your stand when you need it!

saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
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Mistakes made may help newbies

Three years ago: The deer were moving right down the trail as expected, my stand was in a perfect location...except I slept in and wasn't in it. I did get to see the deer as it bounced away through the bush after I bumped it on the way into my stand.

Lesson: THERE IS NEVER A BETTER CHANCE TO TAKE YOU BUCK THAN OPENING MORNING, DON'T BLOW IT.

Opening morning - my very first season hunting on my own. It was a one mile wide tract of land smack in the middle of three quarter sections of hay/pasture. My plan was to still hunt along an abandonned wagon road which snaked its way through this forest connecting our hayfield with my grandfathers and was a virtual whitetail superhighway. At legal shooting hours I started the stalk toward the hayfield. The season was 5min old and the hayfield which I knew would be full of deer was still several hundred yards ahead of me...so I wasn't in full stealth mode yet when I thought something looked a little odd in the dim light on the trail ahead of me. I paused wondering what that was...I took another step to get a better view when white-flags exploded bouncing away in every direction through the bush in front of me.

LESSON - when you're hunting - HUNT. You have to have the mindset that your quarry is just about to appear right in front of you than somewhere else later.

One time several years ago I stumbled on a SMOKIN hot spot while still hunting - three trails led across an open pine flat between two thick-scrub ridges - full of rubs and scrapes. The wind was decent so I settled in behind a pine and waited. I was pretty exposed, but had a good vantage. After a few minutes I noticed a deadfall nearby which would give better cover so I quickly scooted over in behind it. DAMN!!! Now I couldn't see as well....so I scanned around for a better site that had both cover and vantage - there it was, a fallen log on a small rise so once again off I went. I was about half way there l when I looked up and into the eyes of doe and fawn who were coming down one of the trails and were now right on top of me. I had been so busy looking for a better set up I forgot to watch for deer. Busted!!!! Had I just sat still originally I'd have had a clear view of the two deer, and more importantly wouldn't have spooked them and scared off any bucks which probably were lingering up on the opposite ridge.

Lesson: BE STILL. It's more important to have a good field of view and the wind in your favour than perfect cover.

Last year opening morning I was set up early overlooking a trail leading through a swamp. Right on cue at 7am a little 6pt came up from the opposite direction directly down wind. Since I was making a point of periodically slowly looking as far over each shoulder as I could, even though he came out behind me I noticed him a few seconds before he winded me Although nervous - he never really blew out and just nervously scampered away. My first instinct was that I blew it, and that I might as well head back to the truck, have a hot coffee and relocate to try somewhere else. But I stayed put; it was a good set-up there was more than one deer using that trail, for some reason this one was on his own. 20min later a nice 8pt came along the trail. At 60yds he stepped from behind a willow clump and it was all over.

Lesson: BE CONFIDENT, PLAY THE SHOT YOU CALLED

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Location: Douglasville, GA
Joined: 10/08/2006
Posts: 17
Mistakes made may help newbies

Being new to hunting and especially wanting to bow hunt this is awsome info and lessons for me. I learned a long time ago that if I listen to the ones that have been there I can learn from thier mistakes instead of learning from my own. I can have a more enjoyable time that way. Thanks for the stories! Big smile

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Mistakes made may help newbies

I agree with being in the woods on opening day. Staying still andstaying put!
If there are alot of hunters around like is usually the case on the opening day of deer season, anytime you move there is a sound that is sure to follow.....gunshots! From the guy that is hunting next to you when you push the deer that was about to show up at your site into the next guys setup. I hated that sound! I never move from before sunrise until after dark unless I have to go field dress my deer.
If you want to kill a deer and you are a new hunter........Sit in your stand. Do not think that you can sneak up on a deer, you can't!
If you want to fill your tag, stay in the spot you picked while scouting. You picked it for a good reason. It only takes one deer to change your luck from bad to good!
Stay ALERT all day long. When your oportunity presents itself you may only have 2 to 5 seconds to get on target and make your shot (when you arive at your location or when your scouting, establish in your mind where you can take your shots and where you can't take your shots so that when the oportunity presents itself you know what to do without taking any chances). If you are sleeping or eating and your gun is leaning against a tree when the deer shows up.....you will not get that deer! Keep your weapon in your hands and ready for action at all times.
DO NOT EVER TAKE A CHANCE ON A RISKY SHOT! You can never call back a bullet (or arrow) and no deer in the world is worth hurting someone over.

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Location: Pennsylvania
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Mistakes made may help newbies

One of the best times to be in the woods on days when alot of hunters are out (opening days and Saturdays) is from 10am till 2pm. Don't make the mistake of going for lunch with the rest of the crew. Bring your lunch with you. When the masses of hunters start heading in for lunch is when the best time to be sitting still and in your stand is because they will move the deer around.
A lot of guys will try to be in the woods for like the first 2 or 3 hours of the day and for the last 2 or 3 hours of the day. Not only do the deer patern these hunters and not move at those times, they also move the deer every time they (the hunters) move. In the dark it doesnt help you but when they are coming out at 9 or 10 am you want to be on stand. When they come back into the woods at 2 or 3 pm you want to be on stand so my point is, if you only can hunt for a few hours of the day don't rule out the middle of the day for great hunting. I have taken about half of my bucks between 10am and 2pm. When I used to go in for lunch, the guy next to me would get "his" buck instead of me getting "my" buck.

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
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Mistakes made may help newbies

In my younger years of learning about deer behavior I use to roam around more(didn't have the patience to sit still and wait). One hunt I decided to walk the perimeter of a small CRP field and see what I could find. I thought I was pretty stealthy back then but in hindsight I'm sure every deer in a 1/2 mile radius knew I was there. I got about 3/4 the distance around the field when I decided to stop and look behind me and there 30 yds behind me were 3 does Where the heck did they come from! They had actually been bedded down and waited for me to pass by. I had walked within 5 yds of these 3 and had no clue they were there. That was the first deer I ever killed Big smile
My lesson on this one was to make sure and check your backside. I've since had this happen on other occasions. You'd be amazed at how many deer you probably pass by without ever knowing. I've also witnessed couple times a hunting partner walk past deer only to have them sneak past him when he had gone on past them. He never knew they were there lol

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Location: Pennsylvania
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Posts: 1647
Mistakes made may help newbies

Yeah, sometimes you can get a deer by walking and I guess it would also depend on the huntng conditions (terrain, vegitation, weather conditions, ect...) but for the most part sneeking up on a deer is tough. If there are a lot of deer and hunters, sitting is the best strategy IMO but thats also in the areas that I am used to hunting. Rolling hills and hardwoods.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 06/03/2004
Posts: 52
Mistakes made may help newbies

Three years ago while bowhunting in VA, My uncle who was 200 yds down the ridge from me shot a 5 pointer. It ran up to me, and not knowing he shot it I rose and tried to get a shot off but it ran down th hillside to a creek drainage. Twenty min. later my uncle came walking up and told me the story. We sat down to wait another hour becuse he wasn't sure of his shot. Finally we started traking the deer down the hill and decided to leave our stands and BOWS next to a tree. We got to the creek bottom and were searching for sign when we heard a twig snap and not 10 yds away on the other side of the creek stood a 100 in. six pointer that did not even see us. This was a Large six pointer. But wait, I had nothing to shoot it with. Always carry your bow while in the woods

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Location: ND
Joined: 09/16/2006
Posts: 29
Mistakes made may help newbies

Big lesson taught to me by my father was to use the old "turn around and look" trick every 50 yards or so when on a still hunt or drive, especially if you will be returning in the general area. Point is, the landscape looks different when walking East vs West. Good way to nail down landmarks, as well.

One fellow posted the lesson about never laying down your weapon (sleeping, eating, tending to mother nature, etc). My Dad got caught with his pants down (literally) as a buck walked by, and he was unable to retrieve his rifle in time to get a shot. A couple of days later, we were in the same general area, and I stopped to get rid of some early morning coffee. However, I had my rifle in hand, and was able to dump that buck when he repeated his trick. The fellows gave me a bad time about using an illegal "weapon" on that shot!

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Mistakes made may help newbies

Ambidextrous. Got to love it Thumbs up

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Mistakes made may help newbies

The fellows gave me a bad time about using an illegal "weapon" on that shot!

LOL Thumbs up

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