Home      Strategy for Meat Hunting


Young Does
Deer gun season was just around the corner and I was faced with the choice of either not hunting or meat hunting for the remainder of the year.  I took a six point buck during the early muzzleloader season and in Ohio, where I hunt, you are allowed only one racked deer per year.  Gun season is the best opportunity for killing deer since there are more people in the woods moving the deer.   I couldn't pass up this opportunity and besides a little more venison in the freezer wouldn't hurt.


I went to the hunting camp on Friday after Thanksgiving so I could get in a couple of days of bow hunting prior to the start of gun season.  I planned to hunt out of a ladder stand near a deer trail and a fresh scrape.  Early Saturday morning I walked in to my stand while it was still dark.  On the way I heard a deer blowing sound warning of danger, up a draw, off to my right.  It must have winded me.  I climbed into the stand and got into position with my crossbow.  After a few minutes, I heard the deer again.  I figured it knew my position and wouldn't be coming my way.  Once it got light, I prepared my bow for shooting and started waiting for a deer to come along the trail.  It wasn't long until I saw a young half grown deer on the trail coming from the direction where I had previously heard the deer warning sound.  It was an inexperienced deer that hadn't adequately learned the smells and sounds that mean danger.  I didn't move and let the deer get less than 20 yards from me before I slowly raised the bow and shot.  My crossbow had two pins.  One was set for about 26 yards and the other at 40 yards.  I totally missed the deer.  Afterwards, I tried to determine what went wrong.  I shot free hand without resting my elbow and the fletching on the bolt was a little wavy. Was it that or was the deer simply too close?  I didn't get another chance for a shot before the start of gun season.

On the first morning of gun season, I got up early in anticipation of plenty of deer action which you normally have on the first day.  The weather was great and I wanted to get to my stand under the cover of darkness.  Once it got light enough to shoot, I began to hear gun shots.  I watched the areas in the direction of the shooting in hopes that a deer would run my way.  Finally, at around nine o'clock, I saw two deer coming my way from a hill in front of me. They were almost grown and mostly likely this year deer, i.e. just right for good eating.  I let the deer get about 80 yards from me before I shot.  I was using a new type of sabot slug that is very accurate at a long distance but has less knock down power of regular slugs.  Needless to say, I shot two more times before the deer fell.  Fortunately, the third shot did the trick since you are only allowed to have three shells in your gun for deer hunting in Ohio.  The second deer ran up to the top of a ridge and stood there stomping the ground trying to get me to move so it could determine where I was located. Eventually, it trotted away out of sight.  Since the two young deer were together and the second one was reluctant to leave, I figured it would be back later looking for the deer that was killed.  I was right.  I quickly dragged the deer to camp and was back hunting.  You are allowed to kill more than one deer during a day, as long as each is temporarily tagged before killing the next one.  I set up about 100 yards from my first hunting location in the direction that the second deer ran.  In a couple of hours I saw the second deer again.  I shot and killed it, which gave me my limit of three for the year.  This strategy seems to works great if you are meat hunting and want tender good eating venison for the freezer.
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