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July 21, 2008

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I know the green lights aren't detecable by most game........ last season i used a ORION hat light that clips on the bill with the 3 small green lights .... when i walked in in the dark early one morn. my buddy/camera man couldn't believe that we walked right up on a couple young bucks and does in a field...... he claimed i had tame deer...... HA HA, they could't smell us or see the light ......it was awesome to be so close to them on the ground like that....

coons also cannot detect the green....... this was tested many times as i almost stumbled on them in the wee morning hours

Mike,

While I fell for the allure of the green light as well, I do have have a question.

Do you think it's best to go in way before first light and get into your stand or do you think it's best to wait a bit, not use a light and crawl into your stand right before first light?

I've heard "experts" say it's best both ways and wanted to hear your opinion.

Jim

Good question, I have done it both ways, depending on the situation, the terrain and perhaps most importantly the pattern of the deer at the time. Sometimes you need to get into a stand real early because the first deer will start coming by in the dark and so as not to spook and hopefuly get a trailer buck at sunup, you need to be in there and ready. Other times your stand might be in a spot where the deer come later, and you get travel in later in pre-dawn and might not neeed a light. It depends, but when in doubt go early, with a green or red light :) But I add this--when it's brutal cold go in/set up as late as possible; a lot of guys go in 1 hr. plus early and literally are frozen out before the deer even come. Dang, J good question I have lots more to add in a future post!

Mike,

Looking forward to the post.

Jim

What I think is cool is that deer don't seem to really spook from us in the dark.

Now, if they are downwind of us in the dark and pick up our scent, sure, they're gone. But, I've noticed they are rather calm in the dark.

Mike, I've heard people say that they don't know what we are in the dark (unless they're downwind). Do you buy this?

What I've come to know is that deer, especially large, mature bucks, have been "programmed" to understand the dangers (from human hunters)associated with daylight (during deer season). Do they let their guards down after dark, because they've been conditioned to mainly expect human danger during the daylight? I'm speaking about hunting season for the most part.

What you think Mike?

Mike,

I've got one last question for the day.

In the evening (assuming there aren't deer near you), do you leave your stand when you can't see to shoot anymore or do you wait until complete darkness and then leave your stand?

Again, I've heard the argument for both and wanted your take.

Jim

Hey Dean, your question reminded me of another "trick" that, I'm sure, we all use. I learned a long time ago to try to "walk like a deer" when walking to and from stands. As I move closer to my stand in the morning or when leaving stands at night, I try to only take a few steps at a time and then pause (much like a deer or other animal). I have walked right up on deer in the dark while doing this with the wind in my face.

BTW, I generally use no light if I can help it when walking in the dark to/from stands. I know our property well enough to get along without a light unless there is no moonlight or I am on broken ground. For those times, I use a one of the great little Petzel TacTikka headlamps with the flip down lens (mine is red but I think you get get green as well). They're expensive but well worth it.

I will agree that deer let their guard down after dark. Once I was walking the edge of a field after a nice day in my tree stand. There was enough moonlight to see 4 or 5 deer in the field. They watched me walk within 40 yards of them. I just kept walking with a purpose and they kept watching! But as soon as I stopped, they ran. So I believe that we probably walk within yards of deer many times in the dark without even knowing it. And sometimes they will hunker down and watch us walk by...

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