Shane Morris

Shane Morris is a retired soldier and teacher.  Contact at (Subject:  “Notes”)


My first lesson from deer camp is the reminder there’s a reason why it’s called “hunting” and not just “killing.”  As with all my writings, I depend more upon the experiences of others than just my own observations.  Let’s talk tactics.

Pre-Hysteria, I hunted (one day crossbow) the Bluegrass Army Depot for the first time.  Given you have very limited opportunity to “pick” your hunting spot; I put into play advice I’d received from my first cousin who has over seventy white-tailed deer notches on his hunting belt.  On “Scout Day,” when the guide put the topographic map in my face and said, “Pick your spot out of ‘this’ given area,” I located a narrow gap between two “fingers” of woods connecting two large plots of cover.  Though I did not get my quarry (I did discover a large scrape between the “fingers” that was not there when scouting, indicating the buck moved through the area the previous evening); I had my suspicion confirmed when the culprit “blew” at me from a thicket across the igloo road as I went back to the truck at the mandatory afternoon cutoff time.  The “chokepoint” tactic is a handy one, particularly if you don’t know the area you’re hunting and want to set yourself up for an ambush (which is what successful still hunting is all about).

Another handy rule of thumb picked up from my cousin has to do with deer hunting on windy days.  Deer depend heavily upon their senses to protect them against predators.  One often hears “experts” advise against even getting out at all on windy days.  However, windy days are not all lost if you understand using the wind to your advantage and equipment selection.  Wind thermals are such that you should slowly stalk from the mouths of hollers toward their head on blustery days.  As well, such stalk hunting generally results in jumping deer in heavy cover and choosing an open sighted rifle (the 94 Winchester and 336 Marlin excel, here) will greatly improve your chances.  At the very least, dial your variable powered optic on your beanfield gun down to its lowest setting while stalking on windy (all) days.

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