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Thread: In the black

  1. #1

    In the black

    At this time of year with short days I have sometimes tried to get into position whilst still dark. If you bump a deer in the dark, ie. when walking out to a highseat or similiar vantage point, do you think they are just as spooked as they would be in daylight ?

    I am often in two minds as to the best approach, go out in the black and risk bumping deer you cannot see, or stalk into the vantage point in good light but risk deer already having left the open for the sanctuary of cover ?

  2. #2
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Yorkshire
    Depends on quite a few factors , I usually find if its been a full moon the deer seem to stay out all night feeding and very little seen of them during daylight hours as they seem to have fed well during the night and lay up chewing their cud for the rest of the day ,This is quite common with Roe Deer, but deer under normal circumstances which we have a new moon or if its in the third quarter tend to feed in 3 hourly intervals when there is little or no natural light.

    The same goes in respect to inclement weather if its been a fine night and pissing it down in the early break of day they would have more than likely gone into cover for the day laying up ruminating. (Roe Deer again)

    Disturbing deer early in the morning is not recommended as once they have been alarmed and barked its going to be a long time for them to reappear. Night time is their time and any movement at all that is different to the norm alarms them considerably.
    In all honesty I usually find that going out to early is counter productive at this time of year as do to their being a short day they will come out and feed on a regular basis but they dont read any books and will always prove you wrong whatever you do.

  3. #3
    Although i try to get to a high seat in the dark . Its not very often i shoot a deer untill its fully light . Of bumping deer went moving in the dark , in my opinion they will not run as far as they would if it was light , as they are only hearing you and not seeing you .


  4. #4
    A big + plus on that Stu. But of course my main knowledge is on Reds although I don't expect that in many cases most deer will differ. There's lots of opinion on how well deer see, but it's always my experience that they DO see very well in poor light, much better than us in thick mist, and pretty good at night.
    Our advantages are much more pronounced when we can see them before they see us - which means obtaining what might be a safe base from which to start then beginning the stalking when there's enough light.

    Three instances. I recall being driven to a spot on the main road where my host said we should quickly encounter fallow. So we stopped - it was a quiet road - as the light was coming in - and waited.
    It was Autumn and the colours were beginning to show, and the roadside banks were fairly steep leading up into the trees as we sat and waited.

    Then - as if by magic, my eyes focussed on half a dozen fallow does which were simply standing still,watching us from just outside the nearby tree cover. They had been there all the time I think - but our eyes did not adjust until there was enough light to make out the outlines.

    Now that was a variation of grey against Autumn browns, yellows and reds.

    The other instance was a half hour stalk in thick mist on hands and knees in order to follow a roaring stag up in one of the high corries in the hopes of coming to grips with him. We crawled and crawled and eventually our hopes were dashed as the roars diminished into the distance. I'm sure that he had seen us.

    The third - a grey stone I spotted on a facing bank of heather as the guest and I were pacing along in sheeting rain after a thoroughly miserable day. Something warned me at the back of my mind but I was just soaked through and beginning to shiver although we kept up a steady movement.
    The 'stone' got up - looked at us and ran away. In the mist and vertical rain He had been watching us for some time before I even focussed on him and the only consolation was that he was a three-year-old which was lying-up well away from the old man's territory until the rut was over.
    No excuses though. I just got careless.

    And the last and most important which has already been pointed out by Stu. The only certainty is the total uncertainty. It helps keep us interested.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ecoman View Post if by magic, my eyes focussed on half a dozen fallow does which were simply standing still,watching us from just outside the nearby tree cover. They had been there all the time...
    Yes, oh yes, oh yes!

    Also, how often have you seen a shape, glassed it, crept closer, looked again and then found it to be a stump, a mound of leaves or simply a shadow? Funny how often we spot all those yet miss the genuine article.
    /l\ Y gwir yn erbyn y byd /l\

  6. #6
    The resulting lesson of my 'stone' which got up and ran away, was that I glassed and re-glassed the same humps and rocks every year after that - just in case.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  7. #7
    I've only once, in my limited experience, moved to position myself in a high seat in the dark and wait for the sun to come up. On my way there I spooked a deer and then spent a long time in the high seat and saw nothing. I've not tried it again since and doubt I will.

    I suppose it's a bit like being in a high seat, doe box or vantage point in the evening. Do you stay there until the last chance of a shot, or give yourself enough time to stalk out? I've stayed in a vantage point until dark and not seen a thing, then spooked something in the dark on the way back. If I had left earlier could I have had a chance of a shot, or if I had left earlier that deer may not have been in that particular place at that time!!

    Who knows??
    There's no such thing as a stupid question.

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