Why Deer Look Up
Have you ever been sitting on your stand and a buck or even a doe for that matter that is just about within range just all of a sudden looks straight up at you? I cannot tell you the amount of times this has happened to me. It is like they caught you with your pants down and your mind races to find a way out. But the fact of the matter is once your spotted ninety percent of the time it is a done deal and you might as well salute the deer with respect because they beat you at the game. I have some deer secrets to share with you.
Now I am not into downing a product but some well known hunters will tell you and swear by it has to do with what colors the deer can visually see. Usually after pitching it with research done on it they will have a convenient advertisement claiming to fix your ‘getting caught with your pants down’ deer vision dilemma. Now don’t get me wrong I am humorously skeptical. The main reason for my skepticism is there is no way we can possibly prove with 100% accuracy at this point in time what colors a deer can and cannot see.
Seeings how I am a true sportsmen at heart I will throw out a free plug for UV Spray products so you can here their side of the tall tale..I found the following video on youtube chuckles..
From my experience over the years I learned in the field why deer look up the majority of the time. If you watched deer behavior over a long period of time you will notice deer tend to look on a horizontal plane with the forest floor. They rarely look up because the predators after them will not come from that direction. A deer’s lifespan in my opinion is not long enough for them to condition themselves to look up in the trees for hunters. Nor do I think it is a handed down trait they learn from their mothers. It is more simple than that is has to do with shadows on the forest floor.
When you’re up in your stand next time I want you to try something. Just flap your arms up and down and look at the shadow your making on the forest floor. At certain times of the day it will be more noticeable and on a sunny bright day it is like waving white flag at a deer. You should always be careful about the shadow you cast. The majority of the time deer are level with that shadow so any movement you make will be picked up quickly. If deer spend most of their time looking at the ground they can easily spot changes in patterns of shadows being cast around them.
A few ways to avoid the shadow you cast is by setting up your tree stand in a large tree with a wide trunk. This will help in that the wider the tree the wider the shadow is cast on the forest floor. The shadow that is cast on the forest floor will cover up any movement you make getting in place for a shot.
I always setup my tree stand a few months before season opener. I personally use a portable hang on tree stand where you can fold up the platform flat to the tree. But I leave the platform down so deer get accustomed to the shadow that is cast by it. Secondly think about this, say a solid platform versus a mesh platform. From a deer’s perspective a mesh platform will let sunlight through the platform base. This will minimize the deer spotting the new piece of technology hanging off their bedroom wall. With a solid platform it casts a blocky solid shadow that can be easily picked up by a passing deer looking at the forest floor. A mesh platform will also help if a deer does spot some movement and they do look up. The mesh platform will let sunlight through breaking up your pattern.
Now I understand when you need to find a tree at the last moment because you see fresh sign and you 100% sure you will spot a deer. Then use this word of advice. A mesh tree stand platform is a must to avoid a deer from picking up on the shadow your tree stand casts.
I hope this article helps you bag a big buck this coming season. Next week check back for more deer secrets. In till then spring is finally here time to get rid of the cabin fever and check for antler sheds. My nephew who is 5 years old has been hounding me all winter about how to shoot my bow can’t wait to show him.