By Bob Chapin
I believe that vocalizations when deer hunting can be useful in attracting deer to your location or to trick them into identifying their location. To that end I have two calls…a fawn and a doe bleat that sound quite realistic, at least I know the fawn bleat is. I was bushwhacking down a small stream once in Virginia as there was no trail and the brush was thick on both sides. I came to a game trail that crossed the stream at the precise moment when a young fawn, who had become separated from its mother, got to the stream from the trail. We surprised one another and it bleated several times in an attempt to locate mom. That sound stuck with me and is mimicked very well by my call.
When I began shooting a bow, I routinely traveled to a couple of nearby ranges in order to take advantage of elevated shooting stands designed to copy the angles and ranges you could expect to shoot from in actual hunting situations in tree stands. Though the ranges were nearby, it was a pain to drive there during their hours, engage a safety observer or instructor, and leave when they were scheduled to close. I quickly realized if I was going to shoot with the regularity that most sources said a beginner should, I would need an elevated stand at home.
So I built one out of pressure treated lumber complete with a seat and a safety harness and attached it to
a tree in the back yard. Rather than have only one target at a fixed range I located a company that was throwing out blocks of styrofoam roughly a foot square. I spray painted a “bullseye” on each and could locate them at various unknown ranges, some quite close to my stand.
As it turned out that was good practice because none of the dozen or so deer that I have taken from a tree stand have exceeded 20 yards, and two of them I have had to wait for them to walk out from under my climbing tree stand foot platform before I could shoot!
question of what footwear to put on when venturing out into the wild can be
perplexing but it needn’t be. It really depends on where you are going. The first consideration is comfort because if
your feet are not happy, you will not be happy, your trips will be shorter, and
probably not as successful. The second consideration is safety. Will the boots
you select support your ankles and protect them from rocks and sharp sticks as
you climb. Finally, will your feet be warm in them? Nothing shortens a day of
ice fishing faster than cold feet. It really boils down to three basic boots
with minor variations for style or cost. If you are going hiking in the
mountains leather boots that cover your ankles are the ticket. I would shy away
from the sneaker style even with reinforced soles as they tend to break down
When you go afield for the day take more than one pair of gloves. It is likely that the first pair you wear will get wet climbing frost covered tree stand steps, positioning decoys, or paddling your canoe. Warm hands keep you hunting.
I always carry fire starting equipment with me when hunting. I was able to recover a cold, wet hunting partner in Alaska close to hypothermia with a drink of hot chocolate made over an emergency fire. <