There are times when a mistake made by a hunter can cost a lot. There are some procedures that a hunter must follow to avoid any mistake, which you can follow to plan your action.
I made two mistakes. The first was in shooting the doe. This was the natural thing to do, yet had I known, as they did, the number of deer involved, I would have waited until all of them had entered the field before shooting. My second mistake was in dressing my deer before heading for the next crossing. This action delayed me long enough so that the deer crossed before I could get into position.The procedure these men should have followed is obvious. On sighting the deer, they should have separated, leaving one man to stalk the animals in an attempt to reach a position where his bullets might be effective. If he failed in his attempt, he should have followed their trail, driving them into the range of his companions, who should have placed themselves in position, which would intercept the deer.
Lack of a plan, lack of team work and a selfish desire to be in on the expected kill, spoiled this hunt. None of the men involved were able to kill a deer except for my doe, and some other hunter received the credit for that kill. Planning for a hunt of this sort should be done as soon as a deer has been located in a particular patch of woods or as soon as tracks are discovered which indicate the presence of deer in the area. The first thing hunters want to know is where the deer will go, if started. This is hard to predict if the animal is a lone buck, but it is better than an even chance that he will join a doe at the first opportunity. A doe's probable course may be predetermined, if the hunters have a fair knowledge of the range of the deer in that vicinity and of the trails which they usually follow. There is always a good chance of error, which should be corrected as soon as the deer's actions are revealed.
For instance, it might be assumed at the beginning of a hunt that the deer being followed are deer which belong on a range which is mostly to the northeast of the deer's location. But after following the deer for a time, we find from the course of their trail that they are heading for a range that is southeast of the area. There is no object in following these deer until the watchers have been changed to a new position where they may intercept the deer on their new course. It is usually safe to leave a doe's track long enough to warn the watchers of any change of plan, for doe seldom travel far unless followed. A lone buck is a different proposition and will travel for greater distances regardless of the hunter's actions.
Three of us found the tracks of a doe and a young buck where they had crossed a north and south road. I knew of such a pair of deer which had a range in the area west of that road. As these deer were headed north-east, I assumed that they were those particular deer and that they would recross the road if followed.
There were two crossings north of the place where the deer had crossed, one about a half-mile and the other nearly a mile away. I decided that these deer would not use the nearer of the two crossings because it was close to a house and was seldom used except at night and then mostly by deer which were traveling to the east. I sent my companions to the other crossing without giving them any reasons for thinking deer would use that place. I followed the two deer through the woods where they crossed the road within fifty feet of the car of my companions. They had gone to another crossing which the deer would have used if they had continued on their northeast course.
You are bound to make mistakes when hunting, especially in groups. To minimize your chances of mistakes, plan your course of actions when trailing the hunt. If there is a good communications between the hunters there are fewer chances that you are going to commit. And if you have selfish desires then you may not succeed in your hunt.