Go Get it! Hunting at Greater Distances
The first 100 yards into the woods, and after 1,000 yards, are the two least hunted areas. This is due to hunters thinking that animals cannot exist within 100 yards of a road or access point, and them being too lazy to walk over 1000 yards to a spot. From my experience, I have found that these two spots have been the most productive in targeting deer and turkey. For the sake of this article, I am going to elaborate why one should pursue the 1000+ yard spot.
As stated above, most hunters/huntresses are unwilling to go the extra distance when targeting their game. They think about all the negatives associated will the long walk. The thought of how to get the animal out of the woods once harvested, lays heavy on their mind. They think of being tired, or possibly not having enough time to enter and exit the woods comfortably. These are all valid points, and I can understand where they are coming from. I too was hesitant at first to take on this endeavor, but once I took the plunge, I can tell you my success has never been greater.
Because most people choose to stay close, the deer and turkey within a comfortable walking range receive a lot of pressure. This means they are wearier of human interaction, have a more heightened sense of awareness, and ultimately, they become harder to harvest. The more interaction that an animal receives the further they push into uncharted areas. And this provides the #1 key benefit in hunting further distances. The animals are generally easier to pin point and you have a better chance of harvesting your trophy.
Look for areas that have a steady food source. In Pennsylvania, the best food source for deer and turkey is acorns. Find the Oak, and you will find the animals. Be aware though, Oak in the recent years has not been producing heavily, so find a tree that is dropping acorns. This will aid in harvesting your animal because the animals know what Oaks are producing and they will travel there religiously to eat.
Saddles and benches at the top of a hill or mountain also are key areas to target. The saddle will act as a natural funnel which can help put you into range for a harvest. A bench is an area where, elevation stays steady for 25 to 100 +yards. Animals instinctually have the will to survive. They try to expel as little energy as possible. A bench is a good area for them to travel because they are traveling on flat ground. Finding a producing Oak on a saddle or bench is one of the best places to hunt. Set up a stand in this area when deer hunting, and target this area in the spring for turkeys and your success will increase.
The problem of what to do after a harvest still needs to be addressed. You have entered the 1000+ yard range, you have found the producing Oaks, you have set up a stand, and you have just harvested your trophy. What now? Well you have a few options. Option one, back out and find a few friends that are willing to help you drag out your trophy. This works amazing if your friends are available, and splitting a long drag between 2 to 3 people can lighten the load. But what if no one is available? I have been in both situations. Option one is the best option, but that isn’t always available. Option two is quartering out your harvest and carrying the meat out.
Most sporting goods stores have game bags. They are essentially giant socks to place your meat in. I always carry a few bags with me in my pack if needed. Quartering a deer is not a challenging task, and only takes a few more minutes than gutting. There are a ton of videos online of the correct quartering procedure. Watch them and become familiar with it. This can make a difference when hunting at longer ranges.
Remember, the most enjoyable part of the hunting is the challenges it presents. There is always a solution to any problem that arises when hunting, and you can conquer it. Pairing your knowledge of where to hunt, and how far to enter the woods will increase your harvest rates. Having the desire to become successful in hunting, takes a mindset change and that is the hardest part in this endeavor. We can help you with changing this mindset, and once you have changed you will appreciate the hunt more, and start understanding what being a sportsman/woman is all about. Remember our mission is to redefine tradition. Challenge traditional thinking and push others to do the same. We must dedicate ourselves to hone in on our primal instincts and combine them with new methodologies and technologies to truly master evolution.