If you're a deer hunter, then you may be able to relate to a situation I faced a few years back. I was hunting a property that had been logged off about 10 years prior to me hunting on it. After scouting the area a few times, I was able to find a long ridge top that deer traveled often. As the rut neared, I began seeing a lot of scrapes pop up along this ridge. I also had several game camera pictures of a nice buck in this same area which made this the spot to hunt. All of the positives of this place also had one big negative, which was the fact that the logging road that I park on was a mere 150 yards from my stand location (which was the only possible place I could park). You will find out why this was a negative as you read on.
Opening morning of Missouri's firearm season came and I was in the stand. Earlier that morning, an hour or so before daylight, I drove my truck past my area then parked in the only pull-off within walking distance to my stand. As daylight began emerging, I began scanning the ridge for the buck I had been waiting for. Sure enough, I looked to my left, there the buck was, standing in the logging road that I had drove in on and he was headed right for me. I turned, grabbed my gun from my hanger that was just above my head, and turned back around to see the buck walking away from me at a quick pace. When I finally got on him, it was too late; he was gone. I missed my chance but kept wondering what had lead to his sudden departure.
After sitting all morning I never saw another deer. Around 10:30 a.m. I decided to go in to grab a bite to eat and strategize a game plan for an afternoon hunt. On my way back to my truck, I realized what had happened to my buck. When I made it back to the logging road where I had last saw the buck standing, I looked ahead to see the shine of my truck. The buck had obviously seen it as well and had spooked.
I spent a lot of time thinking up ways that I could keep hunting this stand that was just too far to walk in and out of. I needed a way to get in quiet and stay hidden. It wasn't until later in the season when I was doing some of my weekly exercises that it hit me. While riding my bike down a country road I thought to myself, this would be the perfect way to get to that stand quietly, stay hidden, not to mention less scent. From that day on, I began parking my truck at the edge of a field near the front gate of the property. I would then ride my bike down the logging road until I got near my stand, then park my bike up in some brush so that it stayed hidden. After switching to traveling to my stand by bike, I began seeing more deer on a regular basis and I actually have harvested two different deer out of that particular stand.
Sometimes, as hunters, we have to take desperate measures to try to seal the deal on a buck of a lifetime. We have to remember we are the visitors in these majestic animals' house. When something is out-of-place, they notice it. It would be as if we walked into our backyard and something was there that had not been on an everyday basis, we would notice too. Getting to and from your stand quietly, and scent free is crucial when it comes to harvesting a mature buck. This is what makes the bicycle entry for me so ideal.
After unloading my bike from my truck, I give it a spray down with Scent-A-Way Max. I then field dress, spray myself down, then ride in as quiet as a mouse. If I am fortunate enough in harvesting a deer, I can easily ride back to my truck then drive back in. If I don't harvest a deer, I just mark it down as some good exercise. Do not be afraid to go out on a limb on your next hunt. Share some of your unusual deer tactics on Hunter's Specialties Facebook or Twitter pages or follow me on Twitter @Struttin1Heath then #hsblog