Right place, right time. We all know that bagging a deer all boils down to somehow choosing where to go and when to be there. Mostly.
But I hear from way too many very frustrated deerhunters that proclaim what I already know to be true, that following a reasonable dedication to due diligence in learning deer behavior and occasionally discernible patterns, we find ourselves in the hard earned and well deserved presence of the beast only to have it all go haywire and we end up strapless, as in the agony of backstrapless.
I hate that, and for many, many excruciatingly painful years I just couldn’t close the deal, so your dear old Uncle Ted feels your pain.
I wrote a killersong years back titled “PAINKILLER,” so allow me to assist in reducing and hopefully eliminating, for the most part, the pain of foiled encounters.
LISTEN TO PAINKILLER LIVE from Nugent’s 1987 New Year’s Eve Whiplash Bash
It is not just a matter of right place, right time, for once we make that part of the deerhunting equation happen, now the real test is upon us, and the clincher is what to do and when to do it at this most exciting of predator junctures.
Sure, we have to be gung-ho in our practice regimen so our guns and bows are a well-oiled extension of ourselves. The arrival of a deer is no time to be trying to find the beast in our scope or fumbling to draw our bow. Serious, dedicated, smart practice has to be an ongoing year-round endeavor so that our weapon handling is as second nature as bringing a forkful of food to our mouth. We must practice hardcore. Period.
I am convinced that killing a deer ultimately comes down to the timing of the shot, in three sequences.
Our ambush must be setup in such a way so that the human form is camouflaged to the best of our ability. Don’t let the sun shine on you and be sure to supplement background cover to break up your silhouette. Of course wind direction is critical no matter how much technology we utilize to reduce human stink.
Clothing and the seat we choose can make or break a shot op, for even the faintest imperceptible sound, especially for bowhunters, will alarm a deer like a grenade going off. Silent hunting clothes and silent stands are imperative when hunting the maniac spooky deer I hunt.
I see some pretty dumb deer on TV that ignore hunter movement like I have rarely experienced in my life. My Michigan and Texas deer do not miss hunter movement, so I have learned to only move when the deer are moving or their attention is focused on something not in my direction. Yes, there are deer in IA, IL, South TX and elsewhere that are not afraid of their own shadows, but the deer I hunt have taught me you better not try to move a muscle till their heads are down or some other distraction gives you a moment to draw your bow or raise your gun.
I could write eternally about timing, but there is no teacher like the critters themselves. Even birds and squirrels are good teachers as to when a move can be made, so practice every chance you can even during the off season (is there such a thing as the “off season”? I think not).
Right place, right time, dedicated practice, right setup, right moves – all those ingredients are to my thinking absolutely essential if backstraps are your choice of protein. It took me many years to truly get them all down to the ultimate predator ballet, but by God, I think I’ve got it figured out now. And the straps just keep on flowing!!
Say Hallelujah and pass the garlic and butter ya all!
Get it on, shootemup, liv it, go wild, and be the best reasoning predator you can be. Say a Prayer for the Wildthings and good hunting forever!