BEFORE YOU START to read this story, allow me to make a few suggestions. Grab a pen and paper to take down a few of these ideas for a quick reference so you do not forget any of them. Also, empty your bladder now so there are no “accidents” from laughing your head off.
Strange as some of these may sound, they do and have worked for me in the past. You may not believe I tried some of these tricks, but take my word for it, I field-tested them all (mostly out of frustration) and they worked like a charm.
I always thought that I was, without a doubt, the craziest hunter out there, but I was mistaken. My good friend, Tom (whom I frequently talk about in my monthly column) has a day job at a desk overlooking a few students as they work on certain projects. Consequently, he has a lot of extra time on his hands. This gives him time to think of weird things to try for hunting success.
Once, after the morning hunt was over, Tom and I met up in the woods before heading to his house for some much needed coffee.
We looked out in the field adjacent to the woods. There, feeding on some soybeans, were three nice-sized does.
We decided that since we had a few doe tags to fill, to try our luck with something outrageous. We put our heads together (so to speak) and came up with something that even I thought I was absolutely nuts, but I agreed to try it.
I handed Tom my rattling antlers and he held them on his forehead, crouched down, and with me bent over behind him, we proceeded to walk slowly right out into the field where the deer were. I was carrying my bow to my side.
As soon as we stepped in the field, the three does, although at least 100 yards from us, immediately looked our way. We continued walking. Every once in a while, Tom would stop and move the antlers from side to side, then we would start up again. Closer and closer we got until we were well within my accuracy range. Although the deer started to act a little nervous, they let us get within 20 yards. That was when Tom stepped to one side still bent over as I came to full draw and shot a nice doe at 20 yards.
A similar thing happened when I had a chance to hunt the world-famous white deer at the Seneca Army Depot in Sampson, NY. My guide took me to a tree stand in the pre-dawn darkness and told me to stay there until he picked me up.
Although I did see some white deer, they were all off in the distance and none offered a good shot. Late that morning, my guide came to pick me up, and we started back to the main gate.
As we drove by a firebreak between two woodlots, I saw four of the beautiful white deer feeding. My driver stopped the vehicle, but I told him to keep moving which he did. After another 100 yards, I told him to let me out. I grabbed my bow and nocked an arrow. Then, I asked him to back up and once he saw the deer to keep backing the vehicle up.
As it moved slowly along the tractor path, I stayed on the opposite side of the vehicle and anxiously looked through the windows. When I saw the deer, I stopped, and the vehicle kept moving.
All four deer kept their eyes glued on the car and none were on me while I drew my arrow and released. What a day that was!
My buddy Tom came up with this one as well. He put some reflective tape on the back of his arrow between the fletching and the nock.
When I first saw this, I thought this was a wasted effort. Then he shot a deer. We’d waited a while, and it had become full dark before we began to track it.
Tom shined his high-powered flashlight in the direction the deer had traveled, and there was his arrow shining like the morning sun. It was on the ground off the beaten deer path. Had it not been for the reflective tape, we might have walked right past it. We would have missed all the information the blood on that arrow told us.
IF YOU WANT TO FOOL THAT BIG BOY, then try walking to your stand with a broken rhythm. Have you ever heard a squirrel when he prances around gathering his food?
Three or four fast steps…stop…five or six fast steps…stop… and so on. Now, I do not expect you to close the car door and then take two or three steps and stop.
But once I get 100 yards or so from my tree stand, I stop and let the other hunters with me continue walking to their spot.
Once the woods have quieted down, which usually only takes about five minutes or so, I walk like a squirrel that last 100 yards.
I know you are saying to yourself, “Come on… isn’t that a bit much?” To be honest, after proofreading this, I must admit it does sound like the lights are on but no one is home
I can only tell you that it has worked for me and it has worked more than once. As a matter of fact, one time I was caught still getting in my stand when a huge buck walked right in on me. My trick worked so well, he had no idea I had invaded his turf.
Here is another one that worked like a charm for me. Now, you better sit down for this one. I would hate to have you fall down laughing.
One Halloween, I saw a friend’s spooky display. In that array of horrors was a dummy he had filled with straw. It was sitting in a chair on his front porch.
A light bulb blinked on in my head. I went home and fashioned my own “Halloween” dummy. The following summer my masterpiece was ready. I dressed him in camo and took him in the woods to my deer stand. I strapped my new hunting buddy up in the stand and left him there for the deer to see.
The whitetails soon got used to seeing that dummy. On opening morning; a different dummy was up there. This one could draw a bow and take a deer.
I was amazed at how well this worked. Pretty cool huh?
—story by LOU MARULLO