Whitetail Hunting photo

Photograph courtesy of Creative Commons

Modern hunting literature clings to the romantic notion that woodsmanship rewards the diligent hunter. Today, a far more useful skill is crowd control, the art of persuading your competition that better hunting is to be found elsewhere. Head to your favorite public hunting area and try some subterfuge*:

1. Make some scrapes within sight of parking areas. First, minimize your footprints by using a belt sander to remove all tread from your boots. Next, push leaves to one side using your foot and create a 3-foot circle underneath an overhanging limb. Strip the last 6 inches of the limb clean and chew the tip ragged. Pee into the scrape. A lone hunter wearing a CamelBak filled with coffee can create up to 20 of these in an afternoon.

2. Simulate rub lines using any good plastic windshield scraper and a sharpened chopstick to create the grooves left by tines. The most effective are on trees of 4 inches or more in diameter to appear like the work of a big buck. Rub lines should lead in the direction of the nearest shopping mall.

3. Bedding areas are a snap. Just find some soft grass and lie down for a few minutes. Does often bed in groups of three to six, whereas bucks bed alone and frequently prefer elevated areas from which they can observe potential threats. A slight knoll overlooking new townhome construction is ideal, as you may be able to see the hunter on stand while you’re driving to your hotspot. When making beds, take care that spare change and cellophane wrappers from tobacco cans and convenience-store pastry remain in your pockets.

4. Nothing says deer to a hunter like deer droppings. Rabbit pellets, available in virtually unlimited quantities from pet stores, need only be hand-formed into ovals to become convincing counterfeits. Treated with spray shellac, they will appear dark and fresh for several weeks. Drop them in clumps of 20 to 30 near scrapes, along rub lines, and in bedding areas. If you are in a hurry, substitute Raisinets.

*Please, don’t try any of this. Can’t you take a joke?