I’m getting older and I don’t really like to climb trees anymore. However, after my season this year I will make an exception because it just might be necessary to tagging a big buck. I’m convinced that getting up high is the best way to identify funnels, the travel corridors that deer use to get from bedding to feeding areas and back again.
Funnels and hunting funnels is written about all the time but they are not always easy to identify. In fact, they are really hard to identify in the big northern woods like the ones that I hunt in Northern Michigan. They are easier to identify as you push into agricultural country where crop fields are mixed with wood lots and it becomes easier to see where the cover is and how it’s connected.
The funnel I have in mind is one I identified in the big woods where deer tend to bed in thick or remote cover and filter into the oak flats to feed. clickfunnels actionetics price The state of Michigan clear-cut a couple of hundred acres that abuts our private hunting ground a few years back. The cut area is mostly in a square shape and in the corner of that square, that borders our ground, a nice area of two-finger to wrist-size saplings have begun to grow. We like to call them slashings in our neck of the woods. In the summer we moved a tri-pod stand into a piece of timber between our house and the neighbors. The houses are visible from the stand when the leaves are down but the distance is safe and legal for hunting. I ignored this area for most of the early bow season but during the rut and the rifle season I wanted to sit it, and it was a good choice.
The sight line offered from the top of the hill, where the stand sits, when the leaves are down reveals why the stand produced a nice doe and then a buck on the next day, the rifle opener. As I sat the stand on the rifle opener and daylight began to fill the woods I quickly realized that we had placed a stand in the perfect funnel. The private oak timber angles away from the stand into the corner of the cut over where the slashings have grown up thick. The slashings now connect two pieces of private ground and they angle across the corner of the cut over. The deer filter from one stand of timber to the other using this funnel. Then they are funneled down further as they cross between the houses to avoid walking through the yards and revealing themselves to the humans they know are inside. It’s easy to see why the deer want to use this area from the stand when the leaves are down.
I call the funnel perfect because the deer are using the area during all phases of the fall hunting season. They use it early in the season to get to the food and bedding on the back of our place or to travel to additional private feeding ground across the cut over. The bucks use it during the pre-rut and rut as evidenced by the large quantity of scrapes and rubs in the slashings and along the trails in the funnel between the houses. Michigan sees a lot of hunting pressure when the rifle season opens and the deer are using this funnel as an escape route from the other private ground and public ground that lies beyond the slashings and into the cut over. It just might be the perfect funnel for the big deer woods, most of it created by man via the cut over and the houses.