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October 04, 2011
Blow Up A Scrape
Scott Bestul shows you how to make a scrape of your own that is most advantageous to your deer stand.
Scott, Last week on my family farm in NE Kansas near Atcheson I placed a montana buck decoy so that any deer coming down the trail would see the head and backline only. Wind was in my favor. A total of 10 does and fawns came down the trail. All left quickly when they saw the deke. I was sitting in a large walnut tree downwind with a muzzleloader. Is this the way a doe would react to a live buck this time of the year? There is a giant buck that should make B&C that lives here and I am wondering if the decoy should go the next yard sale.
Another way to lure the animal. Yay.
I hear ya, Mike. What happened to good old-fashioned hunting skills? And those modern bowhunters are the worst--having to lure deer to 20 yards with mock scrapes, decoys, or even calls.... Honestly, they're as bad as duck or turkey hunters.
They got no morals.
Why can't they shoot their deer with scoped rifles, like real hunters?
It's just as well you served up that bucket of corn here, Dave, instead of near your food plot. Otherwise it might be seen as "baiting."
Good one, Mike. Glad to see you have a sense of humor; I was getting worried about you with all your cranky comments lately.
Just for the record--not that it matters much--but I don't see much of an ethical difference between food plots and baiting, particularly with very small food plots. But I'm more interested in a more fleshed-out version of what you think. Want to write a guest-post "Shoot Me Down" on why guys who use trail cams and food plots are real hunters, or anything else?
I suspect you have a thoughtful rationale, and I would be fascinated to hear it.
Oops. Should be "aren't real hunters." My bad.
Here's another opinion on your question-even though you didn't ask for my two cents worth on the subject.
What happened to good old fashioned hunting skills?
They have been replaced by guys who use trail cams,food plots,bait,scent attractants,mineral licks,blinds,scent absorbing clothing,scent removing sprays,decoys,smart phones and the internet.
They can leave their home or office,climb into their stand,or blind,sit down,and 5 minutes later shoot the exact deer they have picked out,at the exact time they know it will be there,coming from the direction they already know it will come from. Then 2 minutes after they shoot their deer,they use their smartphones to download the latest pics from the 35 trail cams they have placed around the property, see where the deer dropped,wander over to it,and start sending pics of it to all of their "hunting" buddies. Then they field dress the deer (those who actually know how)with their $250.00 hunting knife.. After that,one of the guys they called/texted/sent pics to shows up on an ATV,they then ride out of the woods with the deer,drop it off at a meat processing place,and go home.
This kind of "hunting" is not hunting,it's a rich mans "sport".
Where I learned to hunt deer- West Virginia,way back when there were about 12 deer in the entire state-we didn't use scoped rifles,scopes were for rich guys. we used Winchester Model 94's, or Savage Model 99's,with a few 30-06 bolt action rifles of varying makes and models mixed in.
We hunted by spending time in the woods pre-season,scouting for deer all summer,then in early fall while sqirrel hunting,hiking for miles up and down the mountains,hollers,and along ridgetops,and logging roads.
No food plots,bait,or any other method of attracting deer.No treestands or blinds,we sat under a tree,on a downed tree,or stood up against a tree when on "stand", or we hunted by slowly walking through the woods.
I started bowhunting in the mid 70's,only updated bows one time,and still hunt with a Hoyt GamegetterII bought in 1986 (I think), and Easton 2117 camo aluminum shaft arrows, or XX75 Gamegetter arrows,got some of each,still use 3 blade broadheads,don't use a mechanical release,don't use a rangefinder.
I couldn't afford all the new stuff as it came out,kids had to have stuff like food,clothing,and shelter.
Since I never had all the technological stuff, I still don't use it,yet I still manage to tag my deer,even without food plots,bait,mineral licks,pop-up blinds,trail cams,GPS,or any of that stuff.
All it takes is a bow,arrows,some camo clothing,a good pair of boots,and time in the woods,and time practicing with the bow.
Real hunters do not need all that other stuff.
PS- The not being able to afford all the latest gadgets is in large part my own fault-after divorcing wife number one due to her lack of understanding when I quit a job,and went to Montana to work for an outfitter for a few months so I could elk hunt. ( I fail to see anything wrong with that one, I left her enough money to take care of everything at home.) I met and married wife number two-who had 3 daughters,combined with my 3 daughters from wife number one,it led to my spending every moment I could get away with somewhere other than in the house, and very little money for important stuff like hunting and fishing.
I agree with a good deal of what you're saying. As you note, real hunters don't need all that stuff. However, it unequivocally does not follow that anyone who uses some of that stuff is not a real hunter.
I think I'll address this in a larger post; thanks for the input, and stay tuned.
I'll think about it Dave. Given my measured, calm, nonprovocative style of discourse I'm a wee bit concerned that "shoot me down" might be taken more literally than I wish. ;)
I have a request. WOULD YOU GUYS PLEASE COVER THE SOUTHWEST? We have plenty of white-tailed deer here in southern Arizona. People call them "ghosts" when they're not calling them Coues White Tailed Deer. Almost everything that applies to hunting in the midcontinent doesn't seem to really work here because their haunts are mostly open range on public land. Here in the Sonoran Desert you can more or less leave the tree stand behind because most mature trees are about 8 feet tall.
Also, your "Rut Map" (deer activity) doesn't even have information on the western 1/3 of the US. Our first w/t deer season starts TWO WEEKENDS from now. I think your readers would like some kind of behavior report for our region. (My hunt comes up during the muzzleloader season in mid-November).
You and Scott should get down here some time and give it a whirl. There's guides aplenty for this part of the world.
Real hunters might use that stuff, Dave, but it's not really hunting, IMO, if you're luring the deer to you.
Not so sure how I feel about trail cams. They seem to me to basically serve as a surrogate "scout" or, if you like, a poor man's hunting guide.
Please bear in mind. I think all of that SHOULD be legal. If I owned an apple orchard in Maine, I'd find a place to get my meat. But I just don't see that any of the skills that I learned as a youth -- tracking, still-hunting, stalking along a thoughtfully considered approach using concealment and the wind -- apply to sitting in a tree stand or covering up in a blind.
I don't have anything against the guys that use all the technology,it does seem to give some an unfair advantage though-not everyone can afford all the latest gadgets.
If I could afford a decent rangefinder,I would get one,maybe next year,anyhow,looking forward to reading your post on how you address this issue.
I hear ya, Mike. Every few times a week, I lay my head down on somebody's chopping block--like when I jokingly, absolutely facetiously suggested that people who don't approve leases are commies (which I don't really believe but said purely for effect) and somebody called me a chick$hit punk. You may, remember.
The funny things is, a part of me suspects that maybe no one should be able to profit from access to publicly owned game animals, and I may very well argue that in an upcoming Shoot Me Down, which would absolutely contradict the "You can't blame anyone for leasing" Shoot Me Down" I did earlier.
But that's fine. That's what Shoot Me Down is at its best, a place to work some of these things out a bit.
Anyway, I'm babbling now. More later.
Regarding the Southwest, you make a good point. It is indeed a forgotten part of the whitetail's range that we could certainly pay more attention to. I can't tell you how much I would love to take a Coues deer, especially with a bow.
I will add this, Mike--although I don't want to push you into anything, regarding SMD: It is critically important that thoughtful hunters take the lead in discussing the current state of deer hunting, with an eye toward creating a better--potentially radical--hunter ethic that does not make us all look like blood thirsty, bone-collecting morons.
Yeah. My bad. I was kind of embarressed after writing that. Note to self. Write and then save for a while before posting. Still... "commie" is one of those words. I often hear it from people in the cattle and mining industries out west directed at policy makers back east. Coming from people whose entire way of living is US Taxpayer Subsidized, it's a strange thing.
I *will* give an SMD entry real consideration. How many words do you want?
No worries about the commie thing. I laughed when I read it.
Re. SMD: Totally up to you, no pressure. I'll email you.
C'mon Mike step up, I look forward to this. You know Walt will be there to back ya up.Its gonna be a little tougher than your normal hit and run jabs.
So ... let me get this straight. There's a simple S.O.B. out there that believes "if you try to make the deer come to you, it's not hunting," and you actually want to hear more of his opinions? Is this like a postmortem reconfirmation of retardation?
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