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Old May 1, 2017, 11:38 AM   #1
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Better hunter

I was looking at another thread and it popped a thought into my head. What would be the one thing that influenced the WAY you hunt and made you a better hunter? For me, I think it was trapping.
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Old May 1, 2017, 11:54 AM   #2
rickyrick
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I started trapping raccoons for a farmer. I had no clue what I was doing. I was told that I'll learn.

It was slow in the beginning, but I learned the behavior of the animals and how they lived then soon I was getting piles of them.
That was the best lesson.
Any new animal starts with learning about the animal before learning how to hunt them.

Don't necessarily believe what you read on the back label (or front) of a scent control spray.
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Old May 1, 2017, 12:13 PM   #3
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Don't think there's anything that teaches you more about how assorted animals live than trapping. Isn't for the faint of heart or short of time and space though.
Always been an advocate of varmint hunting with your deer rifle and load where legal too.
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Old May 1, 2017, 01:21 PM   #4
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I think trapping teaches you to be more observant to your surroundings.
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Old May 26, 2017, 03:48 AM   #5
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moved

For me, it was the opportunity to hunt more, by moving/working in states with longer seasons and more liberal harvest limits. The more I hunted, the more mistakes and eventual success I had, and the learning process could take place repeatedly. As a kid, elsewhere, rifle season went 14 days, with a one deer limit. I did not bow hunt. Currently, my deer season (counting a month of bowhunting) lasts nearly 4 MONTHS, with a 3 buck limit, and unlimited does (deer a day). That allows for a lot of hunting, and opportunities to learn. When I was working, I'd still get 40 or so hunts in a season. Now retired, I likely double that.

I will mention that becoming an avid bowhunter for deer had a huge influence as well. I had little understanding of travel routes, and the importance of wind direction. I went two hole seasons before ever getting a shot.
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Old May 26, 2017, 05:09 AM   #6
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Bowhunting has probably been the biggest contributor to evaporating time and money.

I started when I was 12 and it's a whole new world compared to hunting with a rifle. Most of my shots were inside 15 yards. A deer can really get your blood pumping at that distance.

I remember once I was in a treestand and the deer stood up on it's hind legs extending as far upward as possible trying to figure out my scent. I never expected that. Some nights I would just sit in the stand with my bow knowing I wasn't going to shoot anything and just watch the animals.

On another incident I was in a ground blind and a big doe stuck her whole head through the window and just stared at me for 30 seconds and then turned and walked away.
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Old May 26, 2017, 07:11 AM   #7
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Mentioned above states with longer season, and greater bag limits, would help. Or hunting more states.

Myself, one tag get it and out, come out next year. More time in the woods, I got to think helps.


Sometimes I will gungho and read a book. Mostly for entertainment. But I do think you may pick up something small, you never thought of.


Maybe being selective and being out longer.
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Old May 26, 2017, 07:59 AM   #8
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For me it was a father who grew up on a farm in a hunting family. My father bow hunted all his life and spent a LOT of time in the woods. He paid attention and learned a lot. He shot his last deer with the bow on my property here in NY on his eighty-fourth birthday. It was his seventy-ninth deer with a bow. I too spend a lot of time in the woods and I started using trail cameras several years ago and learned even more about how animals behave. It all adds up over time. I was on my property every weekend when I was working and when I retired at age 50 I started spending a lot of time there on week days as well.
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Old May 26, 2017, 12:26 PM   #9
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Getting old helped me.

Sounds silly but it makes since. I use to be young, and active him humping rucks and cross country skiing.

I'd chase critters through the woods, tracking and trying to sneak up on critters.

I use to be sneaky. I was chosen to test the security of the guard shacks during the early Alaska Pipe Line days and was pretty good.

As I got old and lazy I got to where I spend more time setting and glassing, and found I see and harvest more game.

I don't care how sneaky you are its not that easy to sneak up on critters, they can hear and smell a lot better then we can.

Trapping is good, I use to trap as a kid, before and after I moved to Alaska and even now help my son who is into trapping. I can find tracks and trails but I don't often see the critters I trap until I trapped them. Except for muskrats and coons, which I shot, the rest of the critters I never saw out of the traps.

As to shooting critters once seen, its hard to beat Prairie dog or other varmint hunting. In fact the AMU in their LE Sniper Manuel suggested varmint hunting as the best practice one can do for counter sniping. It gives you angles, wind, light, direction and environmental challenges you'll get hunting afield.

Patience, camo, are important for blinds or glassing a hill side. Try calling turkeys, they are leery critters. Hiding in brush helps too. One of my first jobs as a kid was killing crows out of farmers corn fields for 25 cents a piece. I had my best luck falling asleep in black berry bushes over looking a corn field. If I watched they didn't come because I fidgeted. If I went to sleep, they were all over the place when I woke up.
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Old May 26, 2017, 02:29 PM   #10
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When I was young I was taught to still hunt and I thought that was THE way to hunt, I saw alot of deer but mostly their tails as they ran away, as I got older I was told that tree stand hunting was the way to go, took a while but I finally succumbed and the guys that told me that were right on the money. Since I started tree stand hunting either with gun or bow I see much more game, larger animals that are just walking their trails or checking their scrapes and last but not least, when I do decide to shoot it is at a very stationary usually broadside target, 1 shot, 1 kill. But I think the most important lesson is PATIENCE..
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Old May 26, 2017, 05:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
I was looking at another thread and it popped a thought into my head. What would be the one thing that influenced the WAY you hunt and made you a better hunter?
Learning how to hunt squirrels with a handgun taught me how to stalk through the woods without making noise or being seen.
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Old May 26, 2017, 08:52 PM   #12
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Hunting the same area consistently and observing behavior and patterns. And making a mistake or two.
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Old May 28, 2017, 01:07 PM   #13
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Numerous things...

More time, more money. Someplace that has better seasons, less hunters..

More hunters with better manners.

When I find out that 3 other hunters were using my stand, well that kinda burns me!!
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Old May 29, 2017, 09:51 AM   #14
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Larry Benoit said you got to go where deer are. Many of us are married to area or stand.

I hunt by lake superior. Bad deer hunting, but I like area, and see enough. I think about going on trip, might. But would feel like cheating too.
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Old May 29, 2017, 10:43 AM   #15
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The Benoits were exceptional hunters/trackers. I do like my stand where I pull at least 1 out every year, why change?
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Old May 29, 2017, 09:34 PM   #16
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Learning where deer move to and from and why made me a good hunter. Of course I've practiced for 55 years or so. That helped. But I don't hunt hard anymore. Getting lazy.

The closest I ever sneaked up on a deer was about 4 feet. A wet day, with wet leaves, and movement with no sound. I think I could have reached around the tree and tapped her on the backside, but thought better of it. I could hear her breathing. Ideal conditions made it possible. That's not the closest I've ever been to a deer. Twice over the decades, while I was hunting from the ground, I had young does sneak up on me and sniff my ear. Right ear, both times. I heard them coming. It's hard to not flinch when they sniff.
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Old May 30, 2017, 10:08 AM   #17
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Going slower helped me the most.
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Old May 30, 2017, 11:04 AM   #18
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You need to how and why things happen, to make a guess.
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Old May 30, 2017, 04:07 PM   #19
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There are a few things made me a better hunter:
Bow hunting. You learn to move slow and watch what's going on around you. I never knew there were so many deer in the area I hunted until I started bow hunting.

About 25 years ago, I messed up my ankle and spent a year healing up. That fall, I sat and glassed a lot. Saw more deer than I ever saw before.

And point #3, if you glass and watch and don't see any animals, move to another area.
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Old May 30, 2017, 04:55 PM   #20
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Patience. I believe I learned patience before I was 10 years old. It helped me wait for rabbits and squirrels to stop moving before I tried to take them with my single shot .410 or single shot .22. It helped me wait for ducks and, ultimately, snow geese/blue geese to get within range before shooting. And finally, it helped me wait for good shot opportunities at whitetail deer, pronghorns, mule deer, elk and black bear. Coyotes were a different story as they were almost never walking closer to me.
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Old May 30, 2017, 09:47 PM   #21
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Trapping was a Fall past time for the privileged .

(Hands on with some tutelage in Tracks & Tracking) Staying clear of the Game Warden was my #1 priority back in those days.
Hunting was a necessity for this under privileged kid having two age'ed parents on a small plot of farm land and a older brother who became Physically Challenge early in his life after a car wreak.

Being handed a well used 30-30 Marlin model 36 and a 1/2 box of shells and a lensic pocket compass at the age of 11.
Killed ducks to deer and everything in-between mid summer to Valentines Day. While I was home my parents never lacked having fresh meat or fish.~~never.
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Old May 31, 2017, 11:24 AM   #22
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Hunting varmints with only a knife taught me a lot about stalking and the virtue of silence.
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Old May 31, 2017, 08:08 PM   #23
johnwilliamson062
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I looked at older sources on hunting. Things written before there was so much leaning on technology. I learned that animals follow patterns just like humans. A deer will cross the same path at almost the same time almost every day just like people take the same route home from work almost everyday. Then I learned how to move the animals the direction I wanted. Sure, a deer can jump over a four foot fence or struggle through a pile of brush, but it take an easy path to go around. Find a clearing with 4-5 deer paths on one side, block all but one and most of those deer will then go down the open path.

Three days prepping and scouting for every day hunting. If I don't take the time to scout I don't hunt in the fall anymore.

It isn't hunting. It is ambushing.
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Old May 31, 2017, 08:36 PM   #24
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I would say the ONE thing that made me a better hunter is my Dad.

He taught me everything he knew and then I learned a little more on my own thru observations.

He came from the era that if you shoot it, you eat it.

The 3 most important things he taught me is tracking, stalking, and processing.

He turns 88 this coming August, so he doesn't get out hunting any longer, but he still grows a garden and mows the place.
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Old June 2, 2017, 11:26 AM   #25
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johnwilliamson- That is true. I have seen places where a tree went down and a small group of deer will start to loop the trail around it instead of jumping over it. Turkeys are the same way. I hunt with a rifle in the fall and sit and watch their trails. It seems they are more regular than deer.
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