W ith Texas’s Main Hunting seasons winding down it is time to review what works and what doesn’t. This past season a friend of mine found a unique way to integrate readily available technology and deer hunting.
There are many different roads to success in the deer woods, but technology has given us a different avenue. The many apps available on a smart phone have proved to help hunters pinpoint exactly when and where the deer should be. Please notice I said SHOULD be.
Rob Abraham, a hunting buddy of mine, took the time this year to prove that exact point. We all know how much weather can affect deer movement. A good hunting app on your phone (and there are many to choose from) will not only give you the weather forecast, but barometric pressure, rise or fall in temperature, moon phases and much more.
Rob has adopted a phrase he heard from a renowned hunter: “When temperature and pressure meet, bucks will be on their feet!”
For the past two years, Rob has kept a deer log, recording time of day, moon phase, barometric pressure and temperature for every whitetail he saw while on stand. He also paid close attention to any deer he caught on camera and the statistics that went with that picture.
He concluded that when there’s a 10 to 15 degree drop in temperature—which happens after a storm moves out and barometric pressure starts to rise—it’s the best chance to score on a nice whitetail. A bad storm will keep deer hunkered down, and they will be looking for food as soon as it clears. Big bucks know that when does are feeding, that’s the time to check to see if any of them are still in estrous and ready to mate.
After checking the cameras to see which stand held the most activity, Rob decided this was the day because all the numbers lined up. The rain was ending, temperature dropped the right amount and pressure was rising.
This was the day to be in the stand. This was the day to hunt. At 2:30, Rob was secure in his stand. He spent the afternoon enjoying the scenery expecting that venison would be in the freezer that night.
It was 5 p.m. when some does finally started to filter in the field. Some came as close as 20 yards, tempting him to let an arrow fly. In earlier years, he would have, but after all the data he kept, he was after a good–sized buck.
Nothing would make him shoot the doe. After all, she was live bait in the field. “When you go fishing, do you kill the worm first?”
Not too long after that, the does became nervous. Rob knew they hadn’t winded him. He was careful about scent control, and he made sure the wind was in his face that day.
He noticed the deer were looking back at something. Sure enough, it was a nice “shooter” buck that entered the same field about 150 yards upwind.
Slowly, the big bruiser headed toward the three does. The perfect hunt was beginning to take shape as the does moved within 10 yards of the stand. Finally, after many hours (at least that’s what it felt like), the buck followed the does right by Rob’s stand.
At just 10 yards, he was sure the big boy could hear his heart pounding. Already at full draw, he let the arrow fly. It flew true and right through.
Waiting 30 minutes in the stand seemed like an eternity, but he did not want to jump this big buck. Instead, he called his fiancée and quietly told her to pick up his father and bring the truck—there is tracking to do!
Over and over he relived the shot as he stared at the bloody arrow that lay on the ground. Finally, he decided he could take it no longer and climbed out of the stand to look for blood.
At first, there was none at all. He walked at least 25 yards, and not a drop of blood to be found. Rob walked back to where the arrow was to inspect it. He was sure it was a solid hit, but he started to second-guess himself.
Shooting light was almost gone. Rob had to go back to his vehicle to grab a flashlight and leave his bow. By then, his dad and fiancé, Allison, showed up to help him locate the deer.
The foamy, bright red blood was very easy to follow. The big buck was found after a 20 minute tracking job.
Everything worked out in Rob’s words “just like it was supposed to.” The wind was right, temperature dropped, barometric pressure rose, and the buck was down and dead.
All that hard work that Rob did paid off. Two years of keeping a close eye on all the data every time he went out hunting brought him success in the whitetail world.
Unfortunately, not all hunting adventures have a happy ending. Most of the time, we come home empty handed; but now with the technology available to us, we might be able to bring home the venison, if we put in the time and keep up with the data.
Have fun and hunt safe.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]