|The Back Forty
By Roger Pond
Everyone has their own method of hunting deer. Some like to sit on a stand and wait for an animal to come along. Others prefer to still hunt - or spot and stalk.
Still-hunting entails stopping every couple of steps and patiently scanning the area. Then taking a few more steps and repeating the process.
Spot and stalk requires sitting with a spotting scope until your eyes are crossed and your neck is so stiff you can’t turn your head. Then you try to sneak up on a buck if you happen to spot one.
I don’t have the patience for any of those methods. For me “still hunting” means I haven’t quit yet, and “stand hunting” suggests I’m not sitting down.
My favorite technique is best described as jump shooting. I just start hiking, and if I see a buck that I want, I try to shoot it.
This gives me and the deer lots of exercise, which is good for both of us. If I don’t get a deer I still have the exercise.
My son and son-in-law both think I’m crazy, and they could be right. I see a lot of deer, but some of them are going pretty fast.
The first time I hunted with my son-in-law I told him, “The first part of the season is just for getting in shape. After we get in shape, then we’ll kill a deer.”
“What are we gonna do? Run them down?” he asked.
“If we have to,” I said.
We hunt some steep, open country where hiking can be strenuous. Spotting and stalking is probably the best method, but where’s the exercise in that?
Sitting on a stand is the least vigorous method of deer hunting - and the most productive in many parts of the country. A recent piece in American Hunter magazine shows that some hunters have taken stand hunting to a whole new level.
The magazine asked readers to send in photos of the whackiest deer stands they have seen, and the editors got some doozies. They found hunters who had elevated an entire trailer house 10 feet off the ground. This deer stand provides running water, electric heat, and a flush toilet.
I can’t see the plumbing for the toilet in the photo. I hope there is some.
An Iowa hunter uses an old bulk feed bin for his deer stand. He cut holes in the side of the metal bin to allow shooting from inside, then mounted it on four fence posts.
I can guarantee anyone who fires a deer rifle from inside that container had better have some serious earplugs. I know, because I once shot two coyotes from inside my kitchen doorway. That was noisy.
I had to go tell my secretary, “Don’t worry about the gunfire. It’s just me shooting coyotes.”
My favorite deer stand in the American Hunter story was from Pennsylvania (owner unknown). A Pennsylvania man and his wife were looking at some woodland property when they spotted a couch 15 feet up a tree.
That just proves to me the old saying, “You can’t shoot anything while you’re sitting on the couch,” doesn’t apply in Pennsylvania. It all depends upon where your couch is.
This farm news was published in the Nov. 22, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.