Deer are ruminant mammals that belong to the Cervidae family. There are several deer species such as reindeer, elk, the Eurasian elk and the western roe deer. All male deer and female reindeer usually shed new antler annually.
The water chevrotain and the musk deer are categorized as true deer, and they form distinct families. Here are some tips to make you a better deer hunter by picking those step. This article provides insight on the characteristics of deer, where you can hunt them and the best way to hunt deer.
Deer have played a key role in religion, literature and mythology in history and heraldry. They are hunted for venison, their antlers and soft but firm buckskin. The antlers are used as knife handles. Deer hunting is an outdoor sport that has been in existence for more than 20000 years.
They live in various biomes such as in the tropical forest, in swamps and the tundra region. Most deer species live in thickets, forests, savanna and prairie.
Large deer can be found in deciduous forest, mountain forest, the savannah and tropical forest. They like eating particular types of herbs, weeds and grasses. Forests need to be conserved for their population to continue growing and thriving.
Indigenous are widely distributed in most continents except Australia, and Antarctica. The Barbary stag species is found in Africa while as the red deer is only found in the Atlas Mountains. Large North American deer species such as the mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, elk and caribou are observed between British Columbia, and Alberta.
These regions have several national parks such as Glacier National Park, Kootenay National Park, Yoho Park, Jasper Park and Banff Park.
The woodland caribou live in the alpine tundra and subalpine meadows of some mountain ranges.
The American bison, pronghorn antelope and elk inhabit the Great Plains grasslands. The mule deer and elk are common between the lower coniferous forests and the alpine meadows. They share the river valley bottoms with the white tail deer which recently occupied the river valley bottoms and foothills of the Canadian Rockies.
They also share the Aspen parkland with the moose. Their migration into the Canadian Rockies has led to the conversion of land from coniferous forests to crop land.
The Eurasian continent hosts the most deer species globally while Europe has the least. Europe’s Fallow deer were first introduced in the Mediterranean region as game park animals, but they later spread to the rest of the continent.
They shared their wild habitats with the auroras and tarpon herbivores which are currently extinct. These deer can be found in the Austrian Alps, the Scottish Highlands and several national parks such as Donna National Park, Veluwe, Ardennes and the Polish Bialowieza Park.
Large temperate Asia deer species are highly concentrated in the coniferous mountain forests, mixed deciduous forests, Taiga, the Russian Ussuri region and the Chinese Manchuria. Species such as the sika deer, moose and Siberian roe deer are found there. The Asian caribou deer is also found on the Sino-Russian border.
Deer are browsers who primarily feed on leaves. They have small stomachs and unusually high nutritional needs. They select young shoots and leaves, lichens, fungi, fruit, soft twigs and fresh grasses that they can easily digest. Deer also require significant amounts of phosphate and calcium for healthy antler growth.
Fawns are raised by does only. A doe rarely delivers more than two fawns. Most new born fawns have white spots that cover their fur. However, in most species, these spots typically disappear after their first winter.
During the first week after birth, a doe hides her fawns in the tall grass until they can walk together with her. They stay together until the for one year and male fawns permanently separate from their mothers.
Tracking and locating a deer can be challenging. It is advisable for one to conduct an intensive search first before embarking on a hunting expedition. There are various techniques that you can use to hunt a deer.
How to Find Deer in the Woods
You can use the following methods when location deer in woodlands.
- Choose an ideal hunting spot: Woodlands are legal hunting areas. However, you can also hunt on private property as long as the owner has permitted you. Deer like making beds in covered areas such as hollows and ditches with dense thickets such as on southward slopes and stream bottoms.
- Choose an appropriate time: The best time to hunt deer is at dawn or dusk when they are feeding. They like sleeping during daytime.
- Search for deer signs: You can look for deer tracks or droppings. The droppings are small, dark brown jellybean-shaped pellets. They could appear as a bunch or as single pellets. As you move along the woodlands, be quiet to avoid spooking any nearby deer.
- Look for possible deer attraction sites: Begin searching for thick brush and edible plants that deer are fond of such as acorns, dandelions, wild grasses and greenbriers. Continue searching until you spot the deer.
- Interpret Deer Tracks
- Find and look at deer tracks' features: The tracks can be easily located in soft mud or snow. When you find them, analyze them to determine the size and number of deer present. Deer hooves split in the middle, and their tracks appear to have two toes. Big tracks indicate that large deer are present.
- Determine the tracks' age: Old tracks appeared frozen and messed up while new ones are uncovered.
Deer Hunting Gear For Beginners
If you are a new hunter, you don't need to purchase expensive gear. You just need comfortable clothing, a hunting gun or a compound bow and their ammo and arrows, a light rope, footwear and a sharp hunting knife. However, try to match the clothing's color with that of your hunting spot.
If you follow the highlighted tips above, you will be successful in your deer hunting area .you may read more about the tips to Make You a Better Deer Hunter. Always take caution when approaching live deer as they could attack you with their antlers. Carry adequate hunting weapons and equipment to avoid disappointments in your expedition.