Our final segment on this topic from Fred. He will continue to contribute to our site so keep your eyes open for him in the future.
“The solution”, before getting into specifics it is worth mentioning that the deadest location for a food plot was below a North, South running ridge. Bucks loved the idea that they could simply peer down and see what was happening in the food plot from such a safe distance. They also were well aware that they had the advantage of using the thermals in the morning without ever exposing themselves. The aerial photograph of this very situation is shown on the next page. The oblong square in the picture is a 2 acre food plot planted with both Chicory Plus, and Alfa-Rack which has mixtures of alfalfa, chicory, clover, and other delectable foods. The inverted L shaped lines found on opposite corners of the food plots are subtle shooting lanes (lanes where we removed a tree or shrub here and there to be able to weave a shot through without a deer even knowing that it is there.) The L shaped lines nearest the food plot is on average 100 yards from the plot, and the lines furthest from the plot is on average 300 yards away. The shooting lanes extend out about 150 yards in each direction. The reason for duplicate shooting lanes on the opposite corners is for wind direction changes. Hunters who hunt from blinds don’t have to worry about wind and can simply choose their corner for set up. Here is what we found when gun hunting these locations, when the guns were fired, deer in the food plot were at first startled by the noise, but feeling no immediate threat soon returned to feeding. They never made the connection. Further, the cameras told us that deer staging in the evening would cross the 100 yard line almost an hour before dark and stage between 50 and 75 yards from the food plot while waiting for dusk. We were astounded to learn that in the morning before daylight the deer would leave the food plots a good one to two hours before dawn. More astonishing was the fact that once deer traveled beyond the 100 yard line they had a tendency to linger over two hours after day light before they crossed the 300 yard line. Some just stood around, and others would temporally bed down. It figures, deer have no conception of time as we know it, nor can they reason as we do. They have no thoughts of a tomorrow. Truthfully speaking, deer are only motivated by their own immediate needs, which are food, water, safety, and reproduction, along with curiosity. We have added curiosity to that list because we had discovered a way to heighten a deer’s level of curiosity as we were inventing a new type of scent product. The idea came about from our many road trips watching how road rage took control of some foolish drivers. For example, one guy was riding close to the bumper of another. The front car hit his brakes to back off the second car. The second car passed the first and hit his brakes, on and on it went. Each act escalating in more and more rage. We never waited around to see the final outcome. It had served a purpose in our minds because we were able to turn that lesson into part of a new product. Instead of anger we turned it into a new type curiosity which you will see in use as this story unfolds. We had a series of eight stands surrounding the targeted food plot. Each set-up had an extra stand just in case I took a cameraman with me. As it turned out I elected to hunt and film by myself. Believe me, each year I do that it usually costs me something or another. This hunt would be no exception. Our Michigan muzzle loading hunt is my favorite, and I will be using my favorite gun, an Ultimate Firearm’s 50 caliber, topped off with a Nikon Tactical scope. Also, the biggest bucks of all are more active than they have been all season. Plus a lot of new bucks have worked their way onto some of our farms. It is these new bucks that are targeted simply because they are much more vulnerable to our scents because they haven’t had time to identify any of the local deer. So they must spend considerable time trying to decipher each scent that they come across, and that’s exactly what we want them to do in our subtle shooting lanes. Since I would start this hunt in the evening I would sit overlooking the 100 yard line. We wear Scent Lok clothes and rubber boots to minimize our presence; this would allow me to walk up and down both shooting lanes and spray “She Heat” over each deer run that crosses the shooting lanes.( “She Heat” is made out of real doe in Estrus urine and synthetics. With syntheses you can duplicate the scent of anything on earth, only you could amplify the scent much stronger than any original scent. Thus the heightened curiosity level. So by doing this type mixture you have the best of both worlds, and a powerful attractant). Sure enough, one hour before dusk the very first deer I see walking into the shooting lane is a huge buck, I easily locked him in the view finder of the camera. Then I ranged him at 167 yards, He was doing everything I wanted him to do on camera, even lip curling with his nose almost touching the “She Heat”. I remember thinking to myself; he must have read the script. Ka-boom, the big buck went right down, caught on camera for millions of viewers of A-Way Outdoors to witness. But as it turned out, I would be the only witness. In the heat of battle I forgot to do one little thing… I forgot to press record.