Friday, September 26, 2008

Mistakes deer hunters make (Part 3)

© By Othmar Vohringer

In this edition of the mistake series I would like to discuss with you what I consider to be the third biggest mistakes hunters make: The over dependency on equipment.

As I have written in an earlier article, The Science of Hunting and the Good Old Days, hunters have come to rely too much on modern technology and gadgets in exchange for true woodsmanship. As technology improved and kept pumping new products onto the market that promised to get the job done for us, hunters became lazy.

Why scout if all I have is to use that magic potion in a bottle that I can spray around my stand and have all the bucks come running? Why watch the wind direction if I can wear a suit that makes me undetectable to a dear’s nose? Why drive along the back roads to check how many deer are in the area if I can hang up cameras on every tree that do the scouting for me?

As the modern gadgets kept flowing on the market we became more dependent on them. We began to believe and trust the advertising and all the new theories that scientists have come up with. So much so that we now believe that these things are more important than gathering first hand knowledge from the animal we pursue and the land animals call their home. We believe that with all that new-fangled technology we can’t fail yet more hunters than ever do fail and so does modern technology if solely relied upon to do all the work for us.

It is then no coincident that hunters start to blame equipment if he fails to kill an animal. Excuses like, “I did exactly as the chart said I should do.” or “The scent I used did not work” have become all to common excuses. We have heard of hunters that filed lawsuits against hunting product companies, claiming that the product did not produce the hoped for hunting success.

The problem is that deer do not read hunting magazines. Neither do deer read product advertising. How should they know what they are supposed to do and how to behave? If deer could read all the stuff that is written about them and the products that are sold they probably would laugh at us for all the fuss we make about them.

The simple truth of the matter is that there are no short cut and gimmicks to hunting success. Products and gadgets are an aid, nothing more and nothing less and they will only improve on our success if everything else is done right too. Most of the scent products and calls will work sometimes when the conditions, timing and location are right. When all these elements are perfect, is for you to figure out. Gadgets can’t do it for you. None of the modern products and science works all the time in every instance. Too much of a dears habits and behavior depends on so many different circumstances that it is impossible to generalize.

Scent elimination products only work if the hunter takes all other necessary precautions such has having a shower before each hunt and wearing clean clothing and still being mindful of wind and thermals. Modern products can be a great asset to the hunter that combines them with knowledge gathered from actually observing deer and scouting. Depending on modern technology and science alone is a big mistake that will cost you hunting success.

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Read related articles:
Mistakes Hunters Make – Part 1
Mistake Hunters Make – Part 2


Anonymous said...

Othmar, you couldn't be more right on this post.
I consider myself to be a traditional type of guy and what I mean by that is, I prefer using what god gave me rather than what Cabela's gave me.
I do like and use some of the gadgets that are out on the market but, I prefer to be traditional. I am not saying that everyone should stop relying on gadgets. I am only saying for myself I prefer to not rely on them as much.
Good post I enjoyed it.

CDGardens said...

There is a guy named P.K. Jacobson, that believes we should be able to take the fear out of the deer by spending time in their territory. They aren't going to bolt when it comes hunting season because you have set up a presence. He runs his theory of deer hunting on the teaching technique of an American Indian guide.

I know that the deer around here will stand and have a long staring contest with me if I stand still, or have minimal movement.

The moment is usually shattered when puppy Sadie, thinks she needs to take those intruders off of the property...

Othmar Vohringer said...

Rick, I like that sentence, ‘…I prefer using what God gave me rather than what Cabela's gave me.” It speaks volumes and explains perfectly what I was trying to say in my post. While gadgets and modern products certainly have their rightful place in hunting they will never replace knowledge and learning.

CDGardens it’s interesting you should mention P.K. Jacobson and what he believes about letting the deer become familiar with humans. My next Tip of the Week will deal exactly with that aspect. Without wanting to take to much away from next weeks post, let me just say that deer will learn very quickly at what time f year they can tolerate humans in close proximity and what time of year it is better to avoid humans. It will be interesting to read my findings about that aspect gathered in many years of observing and studying deer.


Anonymous said...

I think you're completely right Othmar. I'd also add that along with a reliance on gadgets and tricks, there has also been a decrease in practicing and learning to use your equipment safely. Nothing is foolproof. The only way to be safe is to take the steps to make sure you know how to use your equipment properly. The best gadget in the world can't fix stupidity.

Othmar Vohringer said...

I agree with you Kristine. We live in a society that has come to expect and at times demand instant gratification with as little as possible to do for it. The advertising caters to that absurdity by promising hunters in this case, to get big bucks without having to do anything for all other than use said product. It’s sad really how many people simply seem to have lost all common sense.

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