The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Sports

October 22, 2013

Better Sure Than Sorry

MEDINA —

We are into the fourth week of bow season, but things have been slow according to most reports. That is understandable, as the weather has been warm and the deer have their winter hair now, so anything over 50 degrees is usually uncomfortable for them. Thus, much of their activity is nocturnal, not very good for the bowhunter.

We also have a good crop of apples and acorns this year, so the deer don't have to travel too far or work too hard to get filled up. Many hunters forget that a deer is a ruminant; he can eat a lot of food quickly, and then later while resting or hiding in a thicket, he can bring the cud back up to chew and process it. This cuts down the amount of time a deer is up and about looking for food, and thus protects him from predators like a bow hunter.

The last week of October will see a real upswing in deer activity as the rut (mating season) begins. This will also trigger the serious bowhunters to do more hunting.

Of course deer season with a firearm is not far off (November 16th). With the scarcity and cost of ammunition today, many hunters may forgo taking a few practice shots with their shotguns to confirm they are on. This of course can be a huge mistake, especially if you miss a trophy buck or have to chase a wounded deer all over the countryside.

If you are like me, you probably have one shotgun for just deer hunting. Logic has us thinking, “if she was on last season she is still on." That may be true or it may not be. I always fire a few shots through my shotgun off the bench and sandbags to make sure. Not only does it give me confidence in my gun, but my shotgun, as many do, gives a truer point of impact with a slightly fouled barrel.

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