Deer are extreme conservatives. This is what has allowed them to survive the last 4-1/2 million years. They find even the slightest change to their environment upsetting. If you are watching deer enter a field by the same trail at the same time every day and all of a sudden one day they don’t show up it’s because something has changed in their environment.
It could be something we did wrong or it could be a slight change in their natural environment.
Maybe a coyote cross their path. Or the farmer has moved the tractor. Maybe they saw a two legged human standing on the edge of the field. Perhaps a food source has dried up or a better food source has come available. Something has changed, you can bet on it.
Even the slightest mistake in setting up our stand can prevent us from being successful. Leaving traces of human order is the most common mistake. Other mistakes of commonly make that upset deer include; sky lighting ourselves, cutting too much brush for shooting lanes, not allowing for our approach to the stand to be undetected, and too much movement in the stand.
We need to investigate and try to determine what is the cause of their behavior change. If it is a mistake we have made, we’ll either need to let the stand set for a few days or find another location.
Just remember deer conservatives and avoid making any unnecessary changes to their environment.
I feel very fortunate to have been raised in a rural community nestled in the rugged mountains of Idaho. In my youth, the locals paid little attention to game laws and seasons. Back then everyone hunted for meat. There was a certain amount of red meat that was needed be brought in to get everyone through the winter and we hunted until that supply was met. Hunting wasn’t for sport. It was for survival. We killed a lot deer. Those were the run, gun, and grin days of hunting here in Idaho. I loved every minute of it.
Times have changed. Those days are gone. But I would like to thank all the old-timers who so freely shared their hunting lore and secret spots with me. The lessons have not been forgotten. Thank you all.