Scouting, hunting strategy finalized

The annual firearms deer season is set to start next Saturday (Nov. 4) one-half hour before sunrise. Hunters will be invading the woods and fields looking for deer to fill their tags. It should be another great season with hunters being able to t...

The annual firearms deer season is set to start next Saturday (Nov. 4) one-half hour before sunrise.

Hunters will be invading the woods and fields looking for deer to fill their tags. It should be another great season with hunters being able to take multiple deer providing they have the proper tags.

Many hunters will head for their favorite stand that has been "home" for several seasons while others will be trying out new stands for the first time.

Most members of our hunting party are pretty well set as far as their stand location. We have traditional spots that have been claimed over the years and the hunters head for those stands.

Last weekend Jon and I, with help from my wife, Marilyn, checked out the areas where we plan to sit on opening morning. Both of us have sat in the particular areas before, but have been in the fine-tuning stage over the past couple of seasons.


The stand location for Jon overlooks a grassy slough that is surrounded on one end by thick aspen and brush while the other end is more open pine country. He had sat on the stand located in the thick aspen and brush for a couple of seasons and had seen several deer each year. He harvested a couple of antlerless animals but felt it might be better hunting on the other end of the slough.

As a result, last year we put a portable stand in a big white pine overlooking the other end of the slough. He used the stand last year but didn't see any deer from it. Its location prevented him from seeing any movement at the other end of the slough, but it was evident this new location wasn't the answer.

This year he decided he probably had the best location before and would be hunting out of that stand location. One of the main problems with that location was the fact he could see deer moving to the west of him but couldn't make them out. We decided to cut a narrow shooting lane through the brush and did just that last weekend. When we were completed, he was very happy with the results. Now he will be able to cover all directions from the stand with the new shooting lane making the stand's potential that much better.

I have frequented the area where I will be sitting off and on for many, many years. I normally look for a good buck these days and the area has been known to be on the edge of their bedding area. A couple of weeks ago I was quietly slipping through the area and saw a dandy buck. I didn't see enough of his rack to count points, but it did have some mass. It was one of those bucks you really don't need to count points because you know it will be a good one if you get a chance to take it.

Last year I sat in the same general area and did see two smaller bucks but let them grow up. I sit on the ground most of the time these days instead of crawling up a tree into a portable stand. I don't mind a ladder or permanent stand, but I leave crawling up deer stand steps to the portable platforms to the younger hunters.

After sitting in several locations over the years, I felt one that I had used many years ago just might be the best of the lot if I wanted to have the opportunity to take a good buck. There are other locations where I likely would see more deer, but those better bucks seem to use different travel routes as they look for does or head for their bedding areas than the smaller deer.

It is my hope that the spot I chose this year will be the right one. It certainly has potential, but like all stands you have to be there when the deer move through then capitalize on the situation. I used to be able to sit all day long, but that is not the case now. It seems as though the time I can be still gets shorter and shorter each season. A few hours is pushing the envelope these days.

I hunt the afternoons with my friend John Kellner and his son, Bill. This will be the eleventh year John and I have shared his deer stand on a field north of our home. John's deer stand is his van with the side doors open so he can shoot from his wheelchair with his .25-06. He and Bill have already been out and sighted in their rifles so they are ready to go. Jon and I have also taken care of those chores. If you have not done so and need some help, the Osage Sportsman's Club has their range open through next Friday (Nov, 3) with members on hand to help you. The range is located 1 1/2 miles north of Highway 34 on Becker County Road 48. There is a small charge for the service and lunch is available.


As the years have slipped by and John and I have gotten older, one of us (me) has really enjoyed the heated stand more and more each year. John has always enjoyed the heat and I certainly don't mind it at all. We have had a lot of good deer seasons there. There hasn't been a bad one yet. There have been a few seasons where we didn't need as much heat, but there have also been some years where it was downright nasty and the heaters have been blasting full force with both of us absorbing as much heat as we could. But no matter what the weather has in store for us during the season this year, we will still be there enjoying every minute of it.

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