Whitetail Doe 0001

Early season bowhunters often encounter deer secluded in cornfields.  Hunting them requires an adaptation in hunting techniques.

Farmers are sometimes far behind schedule in planting their corn.  As a result, they do not get the field harvested until later than usual.  Many deer are going to stay in the heavy corn cover where they are less vulnerable.

Taking a white-tailed deer in a cornfield can be a simple matter of planning the attack and then staying with that pattern.

To begin, look for fields that are 80 percent harvested.  In areas with sparse timber for the deer to use as cover, they must move to the cornfields.  The deer seem secure in the cover of the unharvested corn and let down their guard.  Some deer will nervously approach a field and then completely relax once in the corn.  Good hunting days are those after fresh snow or rain has fallen and with a gentle wind blowing.

Begin the stalk on the downwind side of the field and perpendicular to the cornrows.  That is, if the cornrows are north and south, stalk will be east and west.  Start out about 30 yards in from the end of the field and move slowly across the field looking down the rows for deer.  Be aware of just how far up the rows you can see and divide that by half.

At the other side of the field, moves windward the distance that you determined as half of your visibility in the field.  Then return across the field parallel to the first path.  Again, look down each row in search of deer.  Repeat this pattern until a buck appears.

If a buck is sighted, back up three or four cornrows and move parallel to the row occupied by the buck.  At this point carefully look for other deer bedded near the buck sighted.  If they are spooked, the deer will in turn alert the bedded buck.  All of the time, remain down wind of the target buck.  If the quarry should be spooked and run away, remain in place and waiting.  Deer will circle to a location downwind of the place from which he started and then approach it to bed down again.  The bowhunter then has another chance for a shot.

If the deer is not alert, shoot his deer through the openings between corn plants.  A long shot is 15 feet in this kind of hunting.  Most shots are 8 to 10 feet.

Bowhunters shooting a heavy bow with the most stiffly spined arrows that accurately shoot from it do better.  Lighter spined arrows have too much parallax coming out of the bow.  Parallax is the bending of the arrow in response to the force of a bowstring upon release.  Because the arrow is flopping side to side, it hits on the corn plants and the arrow deflects from its course.  A heavy spined arrow travels a straighter course early on and then will penetrate heavy cover.

Hunting the cornstalk deer is a very challenging endeavor at best.  However, with this approach, the hunter to his advantage can use the heavy cover.

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