© By Shawn Moretti
My passion for bowhunting started about six years ago. In order to increase my chances of success, I started to seek the advice of the pros. I read anything I could get my hands on. I was mostly interested in learning more about the land I hunted on and how deer behave. There is a lot of valuable information out there about bowhunting tactics. I believe that I came across one of the most vital tips from an avid outdoorsman/hunting strategist by the name of Othmar Vohringer.
I shared the various aspects of the land I hunt to Othmar. The major concern I had was that the hardwoods on this land experienced some drastic windfall about 10 years ago. There are not a whole lot of options for placing stands, due to the lack of mature trees. Most of the woods now are made up of young poplar trees going up a high ridge, which makes dense cover for the deer. There is a small swamp that joins a narrow funnel of small, thick hardwoods as well. This is the area I wanted to focus on. However, the concern with stand placement becomes another issue because it was later in the season and I did not want to spook any deer by placing a stand. Othmar pointed out the possibility of making a natural ground blind that was just enough to break up my outline. His way of thinking surprised me. I always thought that bow hunters had to be either in a tree stand or in a ground blind that is manufactured. This backwoodsman technique was some of the best advice I have ever gotten, and I tried it one October morning this past bow season. It paid off!
It was the morning of October 29th, 2009. I sat in my ladder stand overlooking a swamp in complete darkness on a well used doe trail. I have seen many does in this area and I was hoping to catch a trailing buck worth shooting, as the rut was heating up. By 8:30 a.m., I had seen a few of the does come out of the swamp, with little bucks chasing from behind. I had already grown impatient, with my conscience telling me that the bigger bucks still had to be nocturnal.
I made the decision to leave that ladder stand at about 8:45 a.m. Before heading back to my vehicle, I wanted to check on a trail camera that I had placed in that narrow strip of woods behind me. As I walked along the tree line, I heard a grunt come from down in the wooded ravine. It sounded like a grunt that would come from a mature buck. Deep, desperate and loud. I did not have a tree stand in this section of the woods so I pondered my options.
The only option I had was to set up on the ground and hope that the action would come to me. I took Othmar’s advice and chose a spot that had already offered natural cover, behind a huge oak tree that was surrounded by downfall. I snuck in, stood there and waited with my PSE bow, and carbon express arrow nocked and ready. Fifteen minutes after, a monster 10 point walked 10 yards in front of me. Completely off guard, I did not have the opportunity to shoot until he walked through the thickest of brush. I passed up a shot and actually spooked the buck by making a few snort wheezes, in hoping that he would walk back my way. He ran off.
I quickly decided to clear a shooting lane to prevent that from happening again if the situation were to arise. I broke branches, tore away brush and returned back to the oak tree. Another fifteen minutes goes by and the buck dropped into the ravine and walked the same path he did the first time! But this time I had a clearing. He walked behind some deadfall and I drew back my PSE bow. He entered the clearing, I made a grunt sound and he looked my direction. I sent my slick trick broadhead into his lungs from twenty yards away. Eighty yards later, he lay.
This magnificent kill would not have been made possible without the help of Othmar. I would have overlooked hunting from the ground with a bow and arrow. I have come to realize that sometimes hunting is about doing what you have to do to get the job done. I give credit to Othmar and the work that he does. I will continue to seek advice from professionals in this sport, like Othmar Vohringer, because their tactics are proven effective and they make sense. Thanks Othmar! Best wishes in your own hunting adventures.
Addition to the above story by Othmar Vohringer
Three days ago Shawn called me to inform me that he had shot another buck during Wisconsin’s gun season. Shawn claims that this buck (photo left), a massive 11 point, too is the result of the advice I have given him. In his report Shawn mentioned something that is very important to hunting success. To many hunters are caught up in tradition, like hunting from a treestand and other "that's how you do it" rituals. To be truly successful hunters need to think outside of the box. Observe deer and then adjust accordingly, even if that means to do things that seem outside of the ordinary or completely of off the wall. Remember deer do not read hunting magazines or watch hunting videos. Deer do what they do and we have to adjust and try to keep one step ahead of them.
I am humbled my Shawn’s credit to my assistance and proud to have played a small part in his success. However, it was he who did all the work and trusted me enough to implement the advice. Congratulations on two great bucks. After all the hard work you did you deserve them.
Images courtesy of Shawn Moretti, Wisconsin
To learn more about my hunting strategy and hunting land evaluation consultant service visit Othmar Vohringer Outdoors.
Tags: Deer Hunting, Wisconsin Buck, Bowhunting, Hunting Strategy Consultant