Take Advantage of the Landscape Around You
When it comes to deer hunting, you have to do what you can to stack the odds more in your favor. Deer are smart critters. They've learned how to adapt to hunting pressure and avoid hunters. Their ability to recognize and react is unparalleled. And that's why hunters, and especially bowhunters, must do all the little things to help tip the scales in their favor.
One of these things is using natural barriers to the hunter's advantage. Deer are particular animals. They have a habit of becoming set in their ways. How they travel and move about the landscape is part of that. That's where the barriers come into play.
You can use these natural barriers to help direct deer travels. You can also use them to help keep deer from winding you. Setting up right along or near a natural barrier, and waiting for when the wind is blowing from your stand location toward said barrier, is a great way to ensure deer don't smell you.
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So what qualifies as a natural barrier? Many things. Lakes, rivers, ponds, (deeper) creeks, bluffs, cliffs and anything else that prohibits or discourages deer from traveling through or across it. Each of these things (and others) will do just that.
There are also man-made barriers that work great. Old homesteads, rusty farm machinery, roads, hinge-cutting, piled brush, and other things will inhibit or discourage deer from crossing them. Instead, they'll travel along them. Use these things to your advantage and experience more success.
It is possible to take the barrier mentality one step further by finding weak links within a barrier where deer can cross or travel through. This is referred to as a pinch-point or funnel. Deer generally follow the path of least resistance. So setting up along a long barrier in a spot where deer can pass through can prove productive.
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