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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Whitetail Deer Stalking in the Rain

The date was May 29th, 2005. It was late Sunday afternoon, almost evening (about 7:30 PM) and I was out cutting a few shooting lanes in preparation for the next Louisiana deer season. I still had an hour or so of daylight, but I decided to call it a day as the clouds were rolling in and thunderstorms approached.

I drove out through some fields to get back to Mema's house, when I saw a doe feeding in the open field directly in front of my truck. The rain had begun and the young doe didn't see me, even though I was within one hundred (100) yards. I said to myself, "What the heck, I'm going to see how close I can get to this deer without spooking it. So I turned off the truck and removed the keys from the ignition (so that the warning horn would not go off when I opened the door). I opened the door and slipped out of the truck. The young doe continued to feed. I snuck into the brush at the field's edge. The young doe was only about ten (10) yards from this same field edge, but about eighty (80) yards away from me and my truck. I started walking quickly through the brush. I was planning on intercepting the doe as she entered the brush. That's exactly what happened. I got to about 20 yards when I saw her. She saw me and bolted back into the open field. It was a very exciting encounter.

I learned a lot from this experience:

1. Don't assume the deer are always going to be alert to your presence. This young doe was used to having moving vehicles pass by this open field on the highway. She wasn't paying attention to the highway traffic because probably over time, she had grown numb to the car and truck traffic.

2. The rain is your friend. If the deer are hungry and want to move, then some wind and rain can actually work in your favor by concealing your presence (your movement, noise, smell, etc).

3. Deer really aren't as smart as some people make them out to be.
 
posted at 10:45 PM