Tips for the WheelChair Bound Hunter

Bowhunting is not an easy sport but for those of our ranks who are disabled, some in wheel chair, it is even harder. Doug Bermel shares some of his ideas as to how the bowhunter confined to a wheelchair can not only bowhunt, but be successful.

Sponsored by: The Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America & Barnett Crossbows

We have all heard the rumor that the first time you hang a stand and hunt is the best time to waylay that buck of your dreams. The second time the buck is suspicious and knows something is not right. The third time he knows where you are. This is caused by foot tracks, rubbing against the brush, making too much noise or just sloppy scent control. No matter how hard you try to cover up, you will never be 100% scent free. You go to your stand in different ways, maybe walk in a creek, walk across open ground, or use the terrain to help hide your approach. But somehow the deer may still spot you. This is how their life revolves being on the defensive all the time. What if you use a ground blind and want to hunt the same day, this requires a lot of work and is just not that easy for a disabled hunter. One way is to put up the blind three to four weeks ahead of time and let the deer get accustom to it. So how does an archer get to the blind without any intrusion? We might only have one spot that we can hunt alone and want to hunt it multiple times. So how do we enter without creating a disturbance? No matter how hard we try, getting to the blind is going to be a noisy affair. So how do we combat this problem? Here are some tips that I use.

First always practice scent control. This is not a sure fire tactic but can help. Don’t go to the blind if the wind is wrong. I believe that even without good scent control the wind is your biggest ally. If the wind is blowing from the deer to you they will not detect your presence. Always practice good scent control and use the wind to your advantage.

But that still leaves the question of how to get to the hunting site without alerting every deer in the county. Most deer are accustomed to vehicle noise with farmers in the field, traffic, and recreational ATVs. This might put the deer on alert but it doesn’t scare them. They simply move away until the noise passes then they start to wander back. So go to your stand, don’t try to sneak in but don’t be afraid to make a little noise. Nothing loud, just enough to let the deer know something is coming. If you don’t surprise them, they will not get alarmed. This should give you enough time to get set up before they start to come back. Also you might try going to your blind an hour or two earlier so things can settle down before prime time comes.

Having a friend drive you into the hunting area is vital for the disabled.

Another tip is to have a friend drive you to the blind. Deer hear and see vehicles all the time and they feel it is not a threat unless they see it stop, then they become suspicious. The added advantage of having a friend drive you is the deer hear the sound move away and this might put them in a more relax mode. Also use this technique when you get ready to leave the blind. Sometimes, when it is quitting time, there still might be deer in your immediate area and you don’t want them to see you coming out of the blind. So the person picking you up can drive in, scare the deer off the field so you can get out of your blind and get to the truck. Usually this does not put the deer on alert and they just simply move back into cover.

If I am hunting alone and want to leave my blind undetected I make a little noise. Maybe shoot off my crossbow or rattle my hunting bag as I put my things back in. As long as the deer can’t see the source of the sound, because I am in a ground blind, they will usually react to the sound and move away. Try very hard to not let the deer see you in the blind where they will associate it with a human. Once deer make that connection, you are pegged and the jig is up. It may take several weeks for the deer to get back on schedule.

These are just some of the things I do that I feel help. I have no scientific facts to prove it works but I get deer every year and that is good enough for me.


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