Whitetail IQ Test: Hunting Tactics

Questions on in-the-field situations, strategy scenarios, and general deer know-how

Field & Stream Online Editors

1. The best time to hunt over a scrape is
A. Two to four weeks before the rut starts
B. The peak of the rut
C. Several weeks after the rut is finished
D. A and C

2. The best chances of shooting a record-class buck occur
A. On the prairie
B. In mountain foothills
C. Along a river system
D. In lightly hunted big woods
E. In a suburb

3. A new large state wildlife management area with varied topography is opening up to public hunting for the first time. It will likely be crowded on the opener, but there's a large herd on the property and the deer were not hunted before the land was bought for public use. There are bound to be some bruiser bucks, so you want to give it a try. How should you plan your strategy?
A. Arrive after sunup. Slam your car door shut. Wear farmer-type clothing and saunter through the woods, perhaps whistling a bit as you go. The deer will think you're just one of the nonthreatening people they encountered on the land before it was sold to the state and won't be alarmed
B. Study topographic maps and aerial photos to find spots with rough or steep terrain and thick cover that are at least a half mile from the road. Find a natural funnel that goes to these refuges from a major parking area and find a place for a stand. Be in the stand by first light on opening day
C. Wait until the crowds have left. Hunt a few days after the opener when the deer have had a chance to establish new routines

4. **You spot a good buck and a single doe during the rut, but the buck appears only briefly before drifting back into cover, not giving you a shot. The doe stays out, feeding and milling about in the transition area you're watching that leads to a clover field behind your stand. What should you do?
**A.
Call with a doe bleat
B. Lightly click rattling horns together
C. Wait, hoping the buck and doe will move closer to the feeding field toward dark
D. B and C

5. **If a whitetail is mortally wounded, it won't raise its tail as it runs away.
**True **
**False

6. Hunters who plant food plots in agricultural regions will draw more deer by matching the crops grown by area farmers.
True
False

7. **The most effective food plot from which to consistently harvest deer is at least 5 acres in size.
**True

False

8. You set out after a light overnight snowfall and promptly cut a buck track. It takes youtraight through a large hardwood stand and up the side of a steep ridge. As the track nears the top, it goes into thicker cover consisting of low evergreen trees and shrubby hardwoods, and you can see where the deer started to meander and stop occasionally to browse on buds. You should
A. Hustle ahead to catch the buck while it is still busy feeding
B. Swing around to the other side of the ridge to get ahead of the buck before it comes out of the thick cover
C. Slow down and proceed cautiously while looking ahead and to the side
D. Find a good place to sit that gives you a view of the area and wait. The buck will probably circle back

** 9.** You've found the mother lode: an alfalfa field undiscovered by other hunters, with deer piling into it every afternoon. Two hollows channel into it from higher ground, joining at a plateau covered with honeysuckle, scattered cedars, hardwood saplings, and low berry bushes. Above the bench lies rugged terrain and a thick, overgrown clear-cut. How should you hunt the spot?
A. Set up on the field across from the hollows before sunrise and watch. If there are deer here in the afternoon, it should be even better in the morning
B. Take a stand in early afternoon at the edge of the field between the two hollows where the deer filter in
C. Forget the field, hollows, and bench; you'll spook deer here no matter how you hunt. Put on a drive in the rough, overgrown clear-cut as soon as it's legal shooting light
D. Hang a stand on the downwind side of the bench several hundred yards above the field. Sneak into it early in the afternoon. Hunt till dark

10. Bowhunters attempting to lure a buck will have a better chance of success with a buck decoy than with a doe decoy.
True
False

11. Loud, aggressive rattling draws in more bucks than quiet, subtle rattling.
True
False

12. When setting up a deer drive, the best way to have the walkers proceed is
A. Upwind
B. Across wind
C. Downwind
D. In any direction. Wind isn't important during a drive

13. To determine the live weight of a whitetail that has been field dressed, multiply its dressed weight by
A. 1.25
B. 1.33
C. 1.5

14. Rattling and calling are more effective when used in areas with sparse whitetail populations.
True
False

15. To avoid tainting the meat, cut the tarsal glands off a harvested buck before you field dress it.
True
False

16. You're still-hunting deep in a northern forest on a cold, crisp early November day when you come across a deer trail that goes straight through an area that is otherwise devoid of sign. The tracks are large, and the trail does not seem heavily used. Deer densities in this area are only about five to seven per square mile. You should
A. Find a comfortable place to sit downwind of the trail and stay put as long as you can
B. Cautiously follow the trail to see if it leads to a bedding or feeding area
C. Cautiously backtrack the trail to see if it leads to a bedding or feeding area
D. Do nothing. The trail was probably made by one group of deer that, for whatever reason, passed through once

Extra Credit #1: You paid top dollar for a deer lease on which you've just shot the biggest buck of your life. At the end of the blood trail lies your 10-pointer...and three locals busy skinning him out. Your best course of action is to
A. Tell them they know damn well that they didn't shoot that buck and that you did. Say you'll forget the whole thing if they walk away right now
B. Lean your rifle against the nearest tree, pull out a Bowie knife, and say, "Okay, which one of you sock puppets wants to dance with me first?"
C. Look wild-eyed and terrified, loudly pant, "Warden! Not a hundred yards behind me!" and run past them at full speed, heedlessly jostling the biggest in a way that suggests you'd run over a bear if it were between you and daylight

Extra Credit #2: You shoot at a buck three times and miss. You know that everyone in your party heard your shots. When you get back to camp, you should
A. Invite the other hunters to kick your butt for not having practiced more at the range
B. Say you dropped your rifle on the way to the stand and knocked the scope loose
C. Smile, admit that it was indeed embarrassing, and that night shove a potato as far up the exhaust pipe of each one's vehicle as possible. Be the first one to depart the next morning

ight through an area that is otherwise devoid of sign. The tracks are large, and the trail does not seem heavily used. Deer densities in this area are only about five to seven per square mile. You should
A. Find a comfortable place to sit downwind of the trail and stay put as long as you can
B. Cautiously follow the trail to see if it leads to a bedding or feeding area
C. Cautiously backtrack the trail to see if it leads to a bedding or feeding area
D. Do nothing. The trail was probably made by one group of deer that, for whatever reason, passed through once

Extra Credit #1: You paid top dollar for a deer lease on which you've just shot the biggest buck of your life. At the end of the blood trail lies your 10-pointer...and three locals busy skinning him out. Your best course of action is to
A. Tell them they know damn well that they didn't shoot that buck and that you did. Say you'll forget the whole thing if they walk away right now
B. Lean your rifle against the nearest tree, pull out a Bowie knife, and say, "Okay, which one of you sock puppets wants to dance with me first?"
C. Look wild-eyed and terrified, loudly pant, "Warden! Not a hundred yards behind me!" and run past them at full speed, heedlessly jostling the biggest in a way that suggests you'd run over a bear if it were between you and daylight

Extra Credit #2: You shoot at a buck three times and miss. You know that everyone in your party heard your shots. When you get back to camp, you should
A. Invite the other hunters to kick your butt for not having practiced more at the range
B. Say you dropped your rifle on the way to the stand and knocked the scope loose
C. Smile, admit that it was indeed embarrassing, and that night shove a potato as far up the exhaust pipe of each one's vehicle as possible. Be the first one to depart the next morning