I watched several hunting shows on the television this past weekend. It seems that over half of the deer harvested on TV were killed on the last day of the hunt. Why is that?
In my dim and distant youth I get some work as a hunting guide. The same thing held true for us. Over half of the animals we harvested were in the last two days of any hunt.
The reason for this is simply – deadlines. As humans, when we’re running out of time to complete any task our intensity and intention becomes clarified. We focus our efforts and achieve the results we seek. After all, most of us are 11th hour players.
Back when I was in school, I had teachers who would assign term papers at the beginning of the semester. A few of the students would begin working on their term paper and slowly turn out their work over the next couple of months area but most of us, at least 95%, would wait till the evening before the paper was due to even begin thinking about it, let alone begin writing.
The same principle applies to hunting. Those that maintain a clear intention and work towards those goals over a long period of time are more successful than 11th hour players. Generally speaking, hunters are poor planners. They spend more time reacting to circumstances than preparing for them. Scouting and planning are essential in any successful endeavor.
The most effective way to preseason scout is to back track the deer. This often gives you a rare glimpse into the buck’s daily life. You’ll find out where he stages before entering the field, where he stops to eat available mast, and where his trail intersects the doe’s trail (usually indicated by a cluster rub from a previous season). All of these are great stand locations if the wind is favorable.
Don’t wait until the season starts to do your homework.
Good Luck and Good Hunting,