American Hunter - November 2016 - 64


5

Best Time to Call
I have called in at least half the bucks
I have shot over the years, yet I never call
blindly. I only call to bucks I have seen
and want to shoot. This keeps me from
educating deer by over-calling.
When a buck is passing out of range,
a few simple grunts can make a huge
difference. You can watch the buck and
raise the volume until he has heard the
call and then you can hit him with one
more grunt to home in on before you go
silent. Occasionally, it takes more coaxing, but if he doesn't come at this point,
it is unlikely he will.
I used to think the snort-wheeze call
was a novelty until I started using it.
You can perform the snort-wheeze with
just your mouth. A Web search will find
plenty of examples.
When a buck ignores the grunt, or
just doesn't hear it, the higher-pitched
snort-wheeze may turn him. Again, like
the grunt, the snort-wheeze works a lot
better when you can actually see the deer
and react to its body language.
I don't pretend to be the world's expert
on calling deer. I don't even carry antlers. But I have had tremendous success
grunting them in over the years. I just
keep it very simple and don't over-call.

6

The Ultimate Morning Stand
As mentioned in Tip No. 2, as soon as
I see bucks chasing does I start hunting
does instead of buck sign. Once this transition occurs, I hunt doe bedding areas
almost exclusively in the mornings. The
bucks will come in shortly after daybreak
looking for the does.
Unfortunately, if you don't already
know where to find a few doe bedding
areas from past experience and winter
scouting, you are going to have to guess
at their location. Don't walk all over
trying to find them.
Does like to bed on elevated sites such
as ridges and points. If high ground is not
available, you can usually find them bedding on the downwind edge of heavy cover.
You have to be able to consistently
fool the local does or they'll move off
and take your bucks with them. Don't
over-hunt any doe bedding area. When
the does start to show signs of avoiding
your stand, it's time to move on.
You can further keep your impact
low by hunting bottlenecks between two
doe bedding areas. There likely won't be
deer nearby when you sneak in and out
of these stands, so it is much easier to
hunt these travel routes undetected-
keeping the local deer from realizing you
are hunting them for as long as possible.
That is key to seeing daylight movement.

7

Hunt Feeding Areas in the
Evening
In the evenings, the does concentrate at
feeding areas. This pattern typically continues through the first week of November.
Shortly after that, however, the does stop
coming out in the open to avoid constant
harassment from every buck in the area.
november 2016 ❘

My best rut stands are evening
stands found right on the edge of little
food plots. Many of these I actually
constructed myself with limited power
equipment on a small budget. My friends
and I call them "poor man's plots"
because you can make them with little
more than inspiration and perspiration.
These small, secluded spots are killer
stand locations because they lie close to
bedding areas and security. Deer can step
in, look around, grab a bite to eat and be
back in the cover without feeling exposed
to danger. If you can make a couple of
these (even as small as a quarter-acre) in
your hunting area, you will have a lifetime
of killer afternoon stand locations.

8

Entry and Exit is Critical
Even During the Rut
You may think that with the rut going
strong you can afford to bump a few deer
and not hurt your chances. It is all turmoil in the deer woods anyway, right? It
may seem that way, but it is not true. No
matter what strategy you use or what rut
phase you hunt, you'll never tag a buck that
knows he's being hunted. And even if the
bucks don't pick you off, the does surely
will and that spells doom almost as quickly.
For example, if you are careless in your
approach to your stand and you flush the
does from a bedding area, they will be
cautious in that area for days to come.
They may even avoid it. Since bucks take
their cue from the body language of does
at this time of the year, you can't afford to
alert any deer and still expect to see lots
of daylight activity.
Even if you bump a deer that slinks out
of the area without you even realizing it,
you have taken a big step toward "burning

64 ❘ americanhunter.org

Photos: Author

and start looking for the hottest buck sign,
but working from the outside in-keeping
the pressure off until you know just how
to proceed-is a far better approach.
After only a few days, you will learn
enough about the deer in the immediate
area to know what to do next-and you
may have your tag filled by then. Some
of these fringe-stand sites are great rut
ambushes.


http://www.americanhunter.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - November 2016

Contents
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW1
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW2
American Hunter - November 2016 - Cover1
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW3
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW4
American Hunter - November 2016 - C2
American Hunter - November 2016 - 1
American Hunter - November 2016 - Contents
American Hunter - November 2016 - 3
American Hunter - November 2016 - 4
American Hunter - November 2016 - 5
American Hunter - November 2016 - 6
American Hunter - November 2016 - 7
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American Hunter - November 2016 - 9
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American Hunter - November 2016 - C102
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American Hunter - November 2016 - C3
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