Spotting A Deer

Will your eyes be ready for deer season?

Months before deer season gets underway we (deer hunters) begin preparing for the woods. We clean and repair our hunting gear, go to the range to sharpen our shooting skills and look online for the "next greatest" thing we need to add to our cache of hunting gear. Some of us actually practice our stalking skills on squirrels we see in our yards or parks...I'm not saying I stalk squirrels, but I have friends that do!

As you prepare, and deer season gets closer your confidence in bagging that big buck soars. You feel prepared and you just know that if you see a big deer buck, you'll bag him. Which gets me to the point of this article.

Do you see the deer?

We all read the articles telling us what to look for, the horizontal line in the woods, a twitching ear or something that's just out of place. Reading an article is great and it teaches you the theory of finding deer in the woods, but to spot your big buck you must train your eyes to put theory into reality.

It's easy to spot a deer standing in the middle of the road, but most deer don't stand in the open so you can find them. Deer hide, and they know they are hiding and they know where you are! I've lost count of the brush piles I've passed only to hear crashing deer hooves explode shortly after I pass. Deer were hiding in places I walked right by, places that (in my opinion) didn't offer any kind of cover to hide in.

A friend and I decided to reposition a double ladder stand a few days after the season started. We had to make several trips back and forth to the truck to get all the parts and of course on the first trip we had rifles ready just in case we jumped a deer. On the first walk to the new stand location nothing moved so we set our rifles down and made 2 more trips to the truck to get the rest of the ladder stand parts.

We got all the parts there and started assembling the stand and a deer bursted out of a brush pile 20 feet away from us. The deer had obviously been in the brush pile watching us the whole time, but this buck knew he had a great hiding place and stayed hunkered down until he just couldn't stand it anymore. Obviously, we didn't get a shot, but looking at the brush pile later I was scratching my head because it just didn't seem to offer deer a great hiding place, but neither of us saw the deer just 20 feet away...and we're both professional jet pilots with good eyes!

Train your eyes to see deer

During the off season, I'm determined to "train and exercise" my eyes to spot deer, no matter where they are, by studying photos of hiding deer. Hopefully, you'll do the same. I thought there would be ton's of hiding deer pictures on the internet, but I've only found two websites so far that I can recommend and I hope you'll find them useful also.

The Jump and coues white tail both have numerous great photos that you can use to train your eyes in the art of spotting deer.

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