Take More Bucks Each Season:
Often deer hunters, much like bass fishermen, go all over the country hunting a wide variety of places, hoping to take that big buck of a lifetime. However, to more-consistently bag a nice buck each season, learn to hunt one region well. The more you scout and the more tree stand sites you use, the more bucks you’ll take. To consistently take deer each season on a 2,000-acre tract, you need about 50- or 60-different tree stand sites.
I like to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to improve my deer hunting. When I’m scouting, I use a GPS receiver to mark each stand site where I expect deer to appear. Once I choose and log in a particular site as a waypoint on my GPS, I take out a small notebook to compile information on that stand site. I always include the following information in my notes:
* why I’ll hunt a region – feeding site, bedding site, trail-in-between, creek crossing, scrape, rub or bottleneck;
* whether or not the stand is a morning or an evening stand site;
* what time of year will this stand be especially effective;
* what wind direction I need to hunt from this stand; and
* what direction will the deer probably approach the stand from and from which direction do I need to come to the stand.
I log any information I can gather from the stand site and put it in my notebook. Then I leave the area and repeat this same procedure each time I find a likely location for a tree stand. When I return home, I log all that information into a database, set fields for recording the days and times I’ve hunted, the number of deer I’ve seen, the moon phase, the wind’s direction, the direction the deer has traveled, the time I’ve seen the deer, etc.
Choose the Best Stand Site For Muzzleloading:
Once I’ve entered this data, I start using the information to build a historical database – what time of year I’ve been hunting; whether I’ve been hunting prerut, rut or post-rut; whether I’m looking for a morning stand or an afternoon stand; and what wind direction I’ll have that day. Then my computer cross-references this data with the stand sites, listing for me the most-productive stands. I make my final selection by choosing the stand site from this list that I’ve hunted from the least. By going to the stand I’ve hunted from the least, I consistently can see and take more deer. I have so-much confidence in my computerized deer-hunting system that I can predict a deer sighting with about 90-percent accuracy and a buck sighting with a 60-percent accuracy factor. I can make that many correct predictions, because I add information into my computer database on each piece of property I hunt.
Have Technology on Your Side:
Even if you don’t like high-tech hunting, utilizing a GPS receiver and a PC database can and will help you find and hunt better muzzleloading stands. You can’t remember all the data you need to know to accurately predict where and when deer will appear each season. But, by having a well-documented history of where, when and under what conditions deer appear, you can more accurately predict where you should hunt each day. If I have 30 to 50 stand sites on 2,000 acres, I won’t remember where half of them are, the wind direction I must have at those stands to hunt, or the time of year those stands are the most productive. But I need this critical information if I’m going to consistently and accurately predict where I should hunt to maximize my chances for taking a buck. Although many probably don’t want to go to that much trouble, because they simply want to go hunting, if you’ll do your homework and use a GPS receiver and a logbook when you scout and store that historical data in a computer database, you’ll increase your odds for muzzleloading success.
By Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, longtime deer hunter who’s recently completed a 20-year study of 35,000 deer hunters in central Alabama and what they’ve learned to help them take more deer.