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Letter: Ambush hunting is popular, but not foolproof


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Dear Linda Dionne (Sunday Monitorletters, Aug. 5), here’s why I bow hunt from a tree: First, archers must get very close to their prey in order to make a quick kill. Second, big game animals like deer have incredible olfactory capabilities. Third, drawing and shooting a bow requires more movement on the part of the hunter than using a firearm. Finally, archers must put their arrows in a precise spot while avoiding large bones – something firearms hunters don’t have to worry as much about. Hunting from an elevated stand solves these problems.

Tree-stand hunting is a form of “ambush” hunting, a technique used by predators for millennia. Consider the tiger, northern pike, crocodile, snapping turtle – all ambush predators.

Regarding our ancestors, a Bournemouth University study shows that early humans used landscape features to help them ambush their prey. Native Americans employed camouflage and ambush tactics, just as modern hunters do. Ambush hunting is so popular because it works. Yet it is by no means foolproof.

I spend between 45 to 85 hours a year hunting deer. Most years, I’m fortunate enough to fill a tag. Yet I’ve seen as few as 10 deer in one season. That gives you an idea of how difficult it is to kill a deer, even from a tree stand.

Why don’t you come deer hunting with me this fall, Linda? Watch the woods come alive on a frosty morning, smell the autumn air, listen to the sound of geese as they head south. We may even see a deer or two.

DAN WILLIAMS

Concord