The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

Hunting Persistence

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications

HUNTING PERSISTENCE

In the wide world of white-tailed deer hunting, much is written on the strategies and tactics of hunting America’s No.1 game animal. One can find tons of material on every possible aspect of pursuing the wily antlered buck or even the smarter it seems at times whitetail doe.

Scan a bookstore rack for the hunting titles and peruse the tables of contents to get just a rough idea of the myriad of topics covered on everything deer hunting. Besides coverage of the perfect rifle, shotgun or handgun for hunting deer, or the ideal cartridge, scope, sling or every imaginable accouterment known to man, there are the torrent of ways to hunt deer. Oh, and let’s not forget the archery hunting either, as equal as or more complex than firearm hunting.

Methods and strategies abound for chasing deer. Tree stands, ground blinds, shooting houses, food plots, stalking, still hunting, deer drives, timber hunting, open field hunting, stalking swamps, and on and on. Then there is the camouflage, lots of camouflage to consider.

And scents, cover up and attractants. Deer supplements, protein and snack enticements, salt blocks, deer dust, and sprays. Sprays to attract deer to your hide, to make you smell like something else, to dispel your own stink or to make bucks think you are an in season doe.

What about calls, doe bleats, buck snorts, wheezes, buck butter, limb licking liniments, fake rubs, and false scrapes. There is much to ponder on how to fool a big buck or a meat doe.

After all that, there is the psyche of the hunter. Their attitudes and behaviors that add up to whether a pursuer is capable of outsmarting a buck or staying the course long enough to outwit one. Of all the qualities of a great hunter, in my estimation the greatest trait of all is simple persistence. Time on task as my own doctoral dissertation outlined.

A recent article by Duncan Dobie in Sporting Classics illustrated this. His story was of the pursuit of a lone wolf in Northern Minnesota that started in 1916. It was the byproduct of deer hunts there. One hunter tracked and trailed that wolf while deer hunting for over ten years. Others chased the wolf, too, as it was a legend.

Finally in 1926 five deer hunters were out just before Thanksgiving. One of the hunters, Fred Darkow of Detroit Lakes ended the saga of the old wolf with one shot from his Winchester 55 lever gun. Their persistence had outlasted dumb luck.

Deer season is not far off. Get all your gear ready to go. Plan to hunt long and hard. Put your boots on the ground and hours in the stand. Persistence will pay the biggest dividends.

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