Deer: think outside the box

Roe deer: think outside the box

MISE À DAY

Sometimes it's productive to go for common approaches, but you often get much better results doing things differently.

Deer are a super suspicious mammal. He frequently detects various subterfuges and does not hesitate to change his routine and behavior to ensure his safety.

In addition to being a guide, trainer and columnist, Michel Therrien oversees the Chasse Québec team. This specialist is known for innovating in his proactive and dynamic ways of tracking big game and adapting to their mores. 

I had the opportunity to meet Michel and he was kind enough share more than a dozen innovative approaches with Journal readers. Here is a summary of what he said.

Baiting site

Many devotees dump good quantities of apples and carrots and they wait patiently for the deer to come and feed. Many experienced males avoid this type of place, while others will only go there at night. To attract adult bucks, it is better to choose a denser and sometimes even relatively tangled forest to place its bait.

M. Therrien has noticed that he has more success with wary subjects when he spreads his baits on the ground over a larger area near a tree canopy.

Many hobbyists use a hunting tent for hiding. According to Michel, it is necessary to obstruct and keep shaded as many windows as possible in order to keep your silhouette in the shadows and that no light reveals your presence. Shelters and watchtowers should be strewn with branches and camouflaged.

Olfactory

Roe deer have interdigital organs between their hooves. Thanks to these, they leave multiple odors on the ground which they trample repeatedly around a baiting site. Mr. Therrien likes to add garden soil close to a bait and he mixes it with a little cedar mulch. Once the deer have trampled on this mixture, he scoops it all up with a small gardening shovel and places it in a Ziploc type flap bag. 

This pro tells me that he has worked miracles by reusing this special and fragrant earth on other baits and even by making false scratches. 

On the lookout

Despite all our precautions, it often happens that an anxious deer hears the sound of one of our steps arriving or leaving the cache. 

To reduce this risk, Michel uses a leaf rake before the hunt to strip as much as possible of his paths leading to his baited sites. 

You must ensure that all your equipment such as your backpack, your chair, the closure of your tent, your water bottle, etc., do not generate unwanted noise. They need to be quiet at all times.  

There will be times when the wind really isn't blowing in the right direction and may alert surrounding specimens. 

For each ambush site you will use, you need to know in advance where north is. Use a compass and, once you have obtained this information, you can remotely consult the MétéoMédia or Environment Canada sites with your smartphone. You will then know when you can go or not. 

To overcome this situation, Michel likes to have two ambush locations on the same bait.  

Accuracy

Aiming at a badly positioned deer and interrupting the shot is not that bad, because it is possible that it will come back. 

On the other hand, if you injure a handsome male, you will inevitably have a very bitter memory. 

To reduce this risk, the use of a shooting stick represents an excellent investment. It's also a good idea to use a rangefinder to better know the distance that separates you from a distant deer. 

A considerate hunter will keep the ballistic chart of his weapon in his cache so as not to not improvise a long-range shot. 

Having in your pockets the name and phone number of a designated bloodhound handler for your area is another asset that speaks to your level of accountability.  

L 'appel

The first time that Michel Therrien took a beautiful male deer after a grunt of buck, he had only 16 years old. Since that time, he is still a little surprised to see that some nemrods neglect this approach. He strongly suggests buying a call for the grunt before the hunt.and practice. Several websites offer good advice in this regard.

The grunt of the male will only work when you surprise a deer and when he is completely convinced that this provocation comes from another rival. So, if you walk with little subtlety on noisy ground, don't believe that bucks will leap in front of you when you pull out your bird call. 

It is especially in so-called transitional forests and on days when the ground was silent because of rain or snow that his most beautiful surprises occurred using the grunt technique.< /p>

Mr. Therrien calls for three or four short grunt sessions spaced every 8 to 10 minutes. Then, it remains in place on the same site for 45 to 75 minutes. He then moves 500 yards and repeats new sessions. 

Michel suggests staying alert with the weapon in hand following a call, because the buck n he often sees nothing but fire and he will arrive with a frank and determined step. 

► To find out more, you can visit the site micheltherrien. com and the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

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