Some advice for the new guy?

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
professionalredneck
 
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Some advice for the new guy?

Postby professionalredneck » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:24 am

Hey guys my name is Rob. This will be my 3rd year hunting and I haven't got a deer yet. I moved to Tennessee just recently which will increase my chances this year of getting a deer. I was stand hunting or blind hunting but I have PTSD from serving so sitting still is not a option. So I started still hunting this year and so far this is all I have done. I have been very successful getting with in 20 yards of a deer but the problem I am having is sealing the deal. When I see the deer it is usually to late because I have spooked them. I never catch them laying down or eating they usually catch me first. Reason is bc I was wearing these boots at least that's what I think it is. This morning I went out and caught 2 doe and a 6 point eating at what seems to be there favorite acorn spot. Yesterday and the day before I spooked a total of 5 deer at that same spot in the morning and evening bedding down.

I know I am a little loud with the boots but I am getting about 20 yards of less sometimes before these deer see me. This morning I played with the 2 does and the 6 point for about 30 mins reading stuff people posted on this form. Like when you spook a deer get low or stay still!! I did that this morning and that's how me and the 3 deer played until they won. But they didn't run away they walked away. This gave me hope that they will be back do I set up in a nice bushy area with my bow. Well I sat there for 20 mins and messed it all up. I didn't take my medication this morning for the PTSD and I got anxious and shaky and decided it was time to move. So I slowly moved in the woods and made it about 10 steps until bam!! I was busted again by 3 more deer. I figured it was the same 3 that just circled around to get a better look at what was playing with them but I didn't get that good of a look to tell.

I was wanting more advice on some more tips or tricks people know because what I read (and I read all that was on the thread) it helped me a lot. I really need help on spotting them before they spot me so I can get a shot off. But tips and tricks on how to draw with out being noticed, or more in things you can do if you get busted.. Anything could help I am seeing deer now more then ever so I feel I'm close on getting my first deer.. Just need a way to seal the deal..

Thanks
Rob

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Deebz
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby Deebz » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:15 am

You are already doing the best thing you could possibly do in order to seal the deal... get out there and get them in front of you. Every time you get close to deer (and 20 yards is AWESOME) you get to observe and try things, and learn. I hunted from treestands for over 10 years before I was able to kill my first deer, so I'd say you are doing great having multiple close encounters from the ground.

Some of the guys who post on here are strictly ground/stillhunters... the one thing they always say is to move SLOWLY... they may only take 2 steps in 20 minutes, and that's only when they are positive there are no deer.

As far as spotting them, constant scanning...don't look for a deer. Look for an eye, an ear flicker, the horizontal line that is a deer's back, a flash of white... Usually only after seeing a small part of a deer do I get to see the whole animal. This is especially true in thicker cover.

The only thing I can say about getting to full draw is to try to move only when the deer are looking away from you. I've heard that right before a deer moves (takes a step, picks its head up, etc..) it will twitch its tail. I've had some decent success in watching for this tell to know when a deer is going to look up or turn towards me....

Just keep doing it brother, you'll either get really good, or really lucky... and both are awesome in my book.
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

professionalredneck
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby professionalredneck » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:23 am

I've read over and over to look for the flicker of a ear and all that. I do it but I guess it's a lot harder then I think it is. I look over and over and think it is clear and move and busted. A lot of times it me moving to fast but either way I never see them they hide very well. I understand bino's work wonders. I don't own any bino's and don't want to buy any bc I have bought, traded, lost my a** on deals bc I thought that was the stuff I needed. I'm trying to be smarter then that so I don't want to buy anything else until I know I need it. Bino's don't seem like they would help me but I could be wrong. The vegetation is pretty thick and u can see past 30 yards. So I don't know if I need bino's or not if it will help me or not.

When you guys come across a more open area with lower vegetation and a further vision do you cross it or follow the out skirts in the bushes or trees? I've been crossing it but this evening I'm going to try to stay in the bushes. Plus it slows me down, every time I've been busted I'm in a more open area and the deer jump from a bedded area in the bush. Makes sense to me but I'm the one scaring deer lol so what do I know.

Thanks
Rob

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Deebz
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby Deebz » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:57 am

a tip on binos... i bought a $10 pair from Wal-Mart, and they work great for me. I think the real benefit is that when you are glassing an area, you are forcing yourself to look only at a small area instead of the whole landscape. It's not about super awesome magnification as it is looking at a small area more carefully.

Just keep at it man, the only way to get better is experience. Sounds like you're doing great so far...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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shaman
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby shaman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:09 pm

That PTSD can be a real problem. I had two friends with it-- one from the 6 Day War and the other from the ETO in WWII. My suggestions are based on my experiences with them.

Poke around and see what works and what doesn't. Maybe you can strike a bargain with the PTSD that gives you better opportunities. I know what you mean though about getting the willies out in the woods. My Israeli buddy used to get the dry heaves and the shakes something fierce. What I'm thinking is this:

Get some 5 gallon buckets and spread them at likely spots where you hunt. When you go hunting, start at one bucket and then, when you start to get anxious, still hunt to another bucket and keep going like that. The goal here is to get you so you can sit still in the woods.

Take along some of that die-cut blind material and some camper cord. And make yourself a blind where you can hide yourself when you're on the bucket. I have some instructions on how to use it here:

http://genesis9.angzva.com/?p=2930

Make sticking it out a little longer at each bucket a goal and the still-hunting a reward. Push yourself to spend a few minutes longer each time, and tell yourself you are in control. Talk to yourself if necessary. It sometimes works better when you can hear yourself tell yourself you're doing a good job. That blind is good for hiding your draw, and it will hide your shaking.

In short order, my guess is you can get your PTSD to accept the new regimen. This is not a cure, and expect your PTSD to find some new way to express itself. Most of all, keep talking this out. The pills mask the underlying problem. You'll have to talk to someone who understands. What I'm giving you are steps that may get you to where you can see more deer.

I hear what you're saying. My buddy John's problem was very specific. He'd absent-mindedly taken a shortcut one day and found himself in a Kraut minefield back in October, 44. He took the short cut to knock 15 minutes off a trip back to camp and ended up taking 6 hours backtracking through a fresh patch of fallen maple leaves. After that, walking in freshly fallen leaves got him weird. I used to watch him freeze on hikes-- he'd just stand there paralyzed and shaking. He'd taken tree bursts from an 88 barrage (just like in Band of Brothers) and laughed about it, but walking on a lousy maple leaf made him nuts.

Also: Work at home coming to full draw from sitting on a bucket. Sit on a bucket in the yard with your eyes closed. Imagine the deer coming in and slowly work yourself off the bucket, stand up and come to full draw. Make it so that as you come to full draw , you have your target right there and finish the shot. The point here is to build muscle memory, so that you can come off that bucket slow enough so the deer are not alerted.

Sit with your eyes closed and do some controlled breathing, and positive visualization-- in short, meditate. Take 5-10 minutes visualizing each shot you take, from first hearing the deer to their first appearance to making the shot. I used to do this year round, even though I was not shooting my bow. I'd just go to the park or somewhere and sit with my eyes closed and listen to the birds and visualized. Come August, I would take my first shot after a 10 minute visualization and the shot would be spot on and my form would be perfect. While you're doing all this, work in LOTS of positive visualization that 1) You are completely safe 2) You are the Apex predator in your environment 3) There is NOTHING that can harm you when you're on your bucket. Visualize yourself wrapped in a protective light and impregnable. Sounds goofy, I know. It works.

You actually found yourself a good sport for working this all out. You can get all crazy out in the woods and no one has to see it. Been there, done that. There is a back end to all this. My one buddy, Eli, came to her great epiphany dry-heaving into the dirt with a yellow plastic squirt gun in her hand. I had our paintball team out to the local park for some practice-- couldn't use the "REAL" paintball guns and used squirt guns instead. She later said the absurdity of getting worked up with a toy squirt gun in her hand broke the spell. She's now a LISW that treats PTSD-- and she stole a cue from me and also has a healthy bit of shamanism in her treatments.

I'll shake my rattle in your general direction. Hope all goes well.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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shaman
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby shaman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:34 pm

BTW: That thing with the bucket in the back yard works great for anyone. The neat thing is that I could do this anywhere any time. If I was 1000 miles away at a conference and I was bored, I could go sit on a bench outside and visualize myself drawing on a deer. I worked at it so that I could come to a full draw, fully standing in slow motion-- so slow no deer would ever be able to see the movement. It made me wickedly deadly on the ground. I once took a buck under 5 yards out at the tail end of 5 doe herd. The lead doe was less than 3 feet from me when I released. 90 % of the work that went into that was done in street clothes on park benches.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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professionalredneck
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby professionalredneck » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:46 pm

Thanks for the reply's. I have been hunting and I was bumping a lot of deer because they can see me first lol. Anyways I took time off of my spot because I think I am putting on to much pressure. I'm not sure about still hunting and hunting pressure. Do still hunters have to worry about that because they are roaming around the woods looking? Or is hunting pressure still something I have to worry about? Anyways I took some time off and put my climber stand up and tried that for a few days. It sucked I can do it no more. For 1 I get to anxious now days and shake to much due to the PTSD, 2 it's just boring and I see WAY less deer then when I still hunt.

So I give up stand hunting and just gonna get rid of my stand. Here's why, this morning I went hunting in the stand at 7am. I had to leave at 8am because I'm to anxious. I am depressed thinking I will never kill a deer because I don't know how to hunt boo hoo. On my way home, across the street from my house, there were 5 does eating in the field. I was depressed that I didn't even care. Around 9am I got over my pitty party and I looked in the field and those 5 deer were still eating. I have permission to hunt that land so I figure I give old still hunting a try again. So I went next to the barn and ranged the deer they were 189 yards away in open field. I figured I would get busted but to me it was worth a shot. It took me 45 mins to close the gap to 30 yards and from what I understand I should have been busted. I was standing up drew my bow and shot at a doe at 30 yards. I missed to lol. I shake really bad I'm not sure if its adrenaline or something going on with me having PTSD but holding a bow at 30 yards trying to kill a deer seem to be impossible. I know I can hit where I aim at 30 yards I do it almost every day on my 3d target. But I missed my 2nd shot ever at a deer and still exciting.

Now here is the part that raised a lot of questions. After I was 30 yards away and made a lousy shot at the doe, she just ran 10 yards and looked at me. I was standing up at the time so I figured I was busted. I couldn't shoot again bc I only brought 1 arrow (stupid I need a quiver). But all 5 of those deer were standing there with in shooting range of my bow. 4 of them didn't know I was there and the 1 I shot at didn't know what I was or what I did to her. I thought she see me and run away, or smell me and run away. I know I was sweaty, I had a dip in my mouth and it was cold to the point I could see my breath blowing to the deer. I know they could smell me I watch her do it. She didn't run, she saw me but act like she couldn't make out what I was. Even at 30 yards she acted like she was blind, I knew she could tell something was there but it's like she couldn't make out what it was or couldn't figure out why I wouldn't move. She snort stomp run charging at me up to 10 yards and turn around run back to 30 and stomp some more. Do it again over and over. I stood there for a 45 mins with her doing that. Then a bigger doe who was just eating came over to see what the fuss was about 45 mins after this doe has been doing this. It's like they swapped places the doe I shot at ran to the group, and the bigger doe started to try and figure out what I was. She smelled stomped and ran just like the last doe did but it took 20 mins with her. Finally it seemed like she just didn't trust it and blew at the 4 other deer blew at me and jumped the fence and left.

What happened to the amazing smelling power of deer? Am I just lucky? I am so surprised I could get that close to deer from what I read online I should have been busted. I know I was quiet and moved slow. But are deer nearsighted? They seem blind or something bc at 40 yards that deer seem to see me as a blur.. She couldn't make out what I was but If I moved she knew something was there. As far as smelling me I knew she can smell me but I think deer smell great but I don't think they can smell a human and think " oh hey I smell a human there close". That is what I was explained the smelling is like but hunting today said different. Today's hunt said to me keep your back to the sun, smell don't matter, move very slow and no fast sharp movements. The deer seem blind and the nose works good but they don't know what the smells are unless its a smell from another deer.

Am I right? If I'm wrong can you explain it better to me bc I'm lost on this now..

Thanks
Rob

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kellory
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby kellory » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:55 pm

If whitetails were an exact science, they would be boring. ;) You have had a very rare interaction. First, you showed stealth. by staying low, and (un-human) they didn't know what to make of you. You did not appear to be a threat. once they understood you were a possible threat, they hightailed it.
WoodsWalker hunts in a gillie-suit, and slow stalks like what you describe. And he will likely tell you, that a man on his knees, or seated, is not a man shape for deer.
Yes, one arrow was dumb. I carry three, with spares back in the truck if needed. Yo should also carry a drag rope, to haul it back out, if you get one.
Yes, deer see differently than we do. First, they do not have the rods and cones in the eyes to see reds, though they see more into the ultraviolet than we do. hunter's orange looks more like tan or yellow to them, and even the best camo glows slightly blue-grey for them. (that is why hunter's soap, should not have ultra-violet enhancers in it, "To keep colors bright") you want to deaden the ultra-violet enhancers that are already in the inks/ dyes used to print the camo pattern.

Add to that, their eyes are spaced to the sides of their heads, this allows for vision nearly everywhere around them, except directly behind, and above. (for details on this, use the search box, we have threads on this.)

However, while they see much better than we do in low light, they do not see clearly as we do, they see movement very well, but not detail. Even if you COULD be completely scent free, movement will get you busted faster than anything else. (You didn't move, so you could have been a bush.) They charged you, and stomped and blowed , to see if they cold get you to move, and to identify you.

I would not say they are very intelligent, perhaps a little less than a dog, bt he/she has the tools to decide if you are a threat, and the speed to out run most threats, but will not run any further than it takes to feel safe. for one deer that might be miles, another, 10 yards. but with such a small brain, WILL IT listen to it's nose, or use it's confused eyes? they don't agree.

The shakiness is most likely "Buck Fever" nearly everyone gets it to some extent. The key is to focus on taking the perfect shot, and not thinking of the prize, just the shot. Stop thinking about getting the deer, just making the perfect shot like at the range. the rest will follow on it's own.

Lastly, you might consider a crossbow, if legal where you are. I hunt with one by choice. the range is a little longer, the impact is harder, and I blow two holes in each deer I hit, instead of one. (That makes for better tracking, and recovery) they bleed out very quickly, instead of bleeding internally only. It would be easier for you to hold for that perfect shot, ;)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

professionalredneck
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby professionalredneck » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:43 pm

Thanks for the reply. The advice helps a lot I try everything I read just to see if it works. I read up a lot on vision and I feel I have a general understanding. My biggest problem is experience I would say. I try to Shoot a perfect shot every time I take a shot at a deer (which has only been 2 times) but the shaking is something that's hard to control and it is hard to practice a situation like that bc you can't turn the shakes on and off when you are target practicing. I'm going to try and talk talk my self through it. I have noticed sense I've been doing this that I have had way more encounters with deer doe and bucks. I get more and more encounters as I hunt more and more.

I love it when it's morning bc I can almost guarantee I will see a deer. I start out hunting at first sun, hunt until noon. I take lunch and practice shooting until 3-4pm. Then ill hunt again until dark. Morning hunts are easier to see deer because they are moving. Evening hunting they stay bedded down until it is after shooting hours. It's really hard to hunt them in the evening because they stay bedded down. I was wearing camo but I wore it for a living and hate it now. I changed to all black sweats that are tighter against my body for noise. I plan to start at one end of the woods with my back to the sun tomorrow and hunt with it on my back all morning. Ill stay in the shade and move a little at a time. In the military we did this on our 1 month training exercise. We go set up a base in the woods and have to protect it from "the enemy". It was fun bc during the day and at night we have to do scout patrols around the base to have a set of eyes roaming around the base to make first contact with "the enemy". "The enemy" was just a bunch troops from a different battalion sent to attack is with dummy rounds. It was fun like playing war in the woods. Anyways we use to find where they stay at and watch them leave to come attack us at night. We would plan a attack and stroll through the woods and ambush "the enemy". Lol it was funny bc we could get so close to them and they would not know your there and when you have the element of surprise the reaction of those troops "the enemy" was priceless.

I do the same thing I was trained to do in the military. I think the military should adopt stalk hunting as training because it really makes you more stealthy when you chase a deer compared to a human. I'm learning as I got and the advise takes some of the pain out of it lol.

Thanks again
Rob

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kellory
 
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Re: Some advice for the new guy?

Postby kellory » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:01 am

Glad any of my advice helps. As to the shaky shots though. You CAN practice that. just go for a run, or work out to get that heart rate up, like they do for those ski/ shoot Olympic games. They have to shoot while jumpy as well. You might Google, to see if you can follow their methods. Who knows? You might even meet one of them.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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