By Jason Reid
November 11, 2016 (Rochester, NY)-Going from seeing deer on every sit to seeing near nothing for two weeks while your social media feed blows up with giant bucks hitting the dirt by the minute messes with your psyche. Ok, yes, it is really a trivial matter, but for the amount of effort one can put in for very little return drains on patience and energy.
If you hunt long enough, you will hit a dry spell that no matter where you go, how strategic or hard you hunt, the animal (in this case my target is whitetail deer) doesn’t want to seem to cooperate. After going 14 sits and seeing four deer-I was questioning my sanity. When this happens, here are a few things to do to turn the momentum.
Wind: In desperation it is easy to throw caution to the wind. In this case, don’t throw caution to the wind as you might be throwing your success chances out along with it. Double down on wind direction and your approach to the stand. You might be surprised this was the key the entire time.
Scent Control: Everyone has their own theory on scent control. Well, if you spend your day in an office, wear cologne and drink strong coffee, I am pretty sure you do not smell invisible. Investing in scent control totes to store clothing, body wipes for infield prep, sprays, rubber boots, and if you have the cash, investing in an Ozonics machine could be clutch.
Climbers: Are your stands going cold? Grab a climbing stand and go look for the freshest sign. If your hunt is getting down to the wire you might need to break the mold with a climber to make a move. Especially if your set sands are not close to where the deer are moving. Pack what you need, make sure you have a harness and use your instincts to close the distance.
Maps: Need a place to go? Revisit your maps and find a pinch point or funnel you have not hunted before. Get the wind right and sit tight.
Research: What phase of the rut are you in? Check the calendar and research the best tactics for the dates you are hunting. Any small piece of information can help give you the edge.
Social Media: Turn your phone off if you are starting to get frustrated. Social media won’t help you when you feel frustrated and nobody wants to hear you complain on Facebook. You need your mind to be sharp and stay positive. Instagram will still be there when you do get your deer. Not becoming frustrated is a game within itself. Especially if you are pressed for time. Unless you are using social media to do your research and ask questions, be careful with it.
Deer hunting seems easy to some and a tough journey to others. After all, they are America’s favorite game animal for a reason. They are plentiful, but due to their wary nature make them one of the most formidable creatures to hunt.
About: Dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of hunting, Pushing The Wild Limits creator, Jason Reid, balances a day job with his passions for bowhunting, capturing the stories and sharing information through writing and photography. Follow Pushing The Wild Limits on Facebook for unique outdoor content.