Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flight Distance in Deer

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
How close a deer will allow you approach before fleeing is called flight distance. What is the flight distance of whitetail deer?
A deer’s flight distance has a lot to do with the terrain. An undetected deer will often let a hunter pass within a few yards if it. If a deer feels he has been seen he’ll never let you get close. For this reason, a hunter should avoid making eye contact with deer whenever possible.
A whitetail’s flight response to a man on foot in open terrain is about 150 yards. The flight response to a motorized vehicle is about 70 yards. This is because the car or pickup moves at a steady pace without arms swinging. Flight reactions are both learned and a genetic response developed over millions of years in the deer. Motorized vehicles have only been around a little over a hundred years, not nearly enough time for the deer to develop an instinctive response to.
Some hunters prefer comfort and laziness over common sense. The use of ATVs in hunting is a classic example. ATVs have probably saved more big bucks life’s than any other technological improvement to date. They are noisy, smelly, and jerk around a lot. All of which are flight triggers to the deer.
I see way too many people road hunting from ATVs. They’re hoping to get a shot at the buck from the ATV and thus avoid the necessity of either walking around are getting into a stand. While ATVs are a great way to get into a hunting area, they should never be used within a half a mile of were we hope catch a deer.
Good Luck and Good Hunting,

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