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Use of Flashlights

Old 10-07-2009, 11:09 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eagleville Missouri
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Default Use of Flashlights

Am I the only person left who can find a deer stand in total darkness? I mean, is it really so hard if you put the stand up or were shown it's location to walk to it tomorrow or next week or next year without a light? I guess I have no problem with the light itself really, if it makes your hunt easier by getting to your stand faster or more safely but it just seems weird to me that the morning woods as I drive to my spot are full of flashlights of people who should know where they are going.
I go to my stand quietly and unseen in the dark for a reason, and wonder, if you're gonna need a light to get there, why not wait for the sun?
Don't be offended please, just help me understand. It's just one of those things that bugs me like the orange flags and the glowing thumbtacks to mark your trail. And yes I have seen people using these, still get lost and not find their stand until noon or later. So maybe it's not the light so much as the handicap of being so directionally challenged and unable to remember landmarks that I don't get... No, it's the light too.
I once showed a guy a stand and we talked about every detail as we walked. You park at the gate with 4 tacks in the fence post (I do use em for that). No problem he says. You walk through the open gate and follow the gravelled path over the hill and down to the open field. No problem! You take a left along the field edge to the 5th large tree and there is your stand. You are 300 yds from your truck.This is easy to find says he. This will be no problem at all. So we walk out and go to bed. The next day after failing to find that stand, a stand that he walked to just 12 hours ago, he called me. Very embarrassed and a bit panicked and admitted that he was lost! Don't worry says I, it happens. But where are you from your morning stand? I never found it! What? It's 2pm. Thought you were gonna use your light? I did. Oh!
The guy had walked a mile too far across three fields, crossed a fence which put him on another property, crossed a road and was sitting by a windmill near a fallen barn on yet another property. Now thats way lost. But I knew right where he was and drove to him. This guy obviously needed a seeing eye dog, prefferably a bloodhound, and a GPS covered by onstar.
I guess to me it seems like turning on a light is the last thing I would want to do on my way to my morning stand.
So my question is do you use a light and why? And does it have any effect on you seeing deer close enough to kill? Do you always use a light? Does the fact that you can be seen for miles bother you? Maybe it's for safety from idiots who may shoot at sounds in the dark? Or maybe your family tree includes Mr. Magoo?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:02 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 43

I don't need a light to find my stands. If someone shows me a new stand and I am going to hunt it, I walk it once in the daylight and can find it again in the dark.

I carry a light anyways. If there is no moon, I will use a light if I have to. Sometimes it is just too dark to safely make it to a stand and no reason to not use a light in my opinion.

I apologize for all hunters out there that aren't as awesome as you.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Darrtown, OH
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Am I the only person who wonders why you care?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:40 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 226

you must not have any stands in a big block of woods. You wouldn't be able to find my stands without a light or some kind of marker.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:48 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 549

Originally Posted by mossberghunter93
Am I the only person who wonders why you care?
Nope you are not!! but anyway i use a red headlamp even tho i can find my stands in the dark-i find the light keeps my entry a little quieter and if youve ever caught a stick in the eye and then tried to look thru your peep sight that should be a good enuff answer.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:56 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,414

Must be nice having open fields that you can just walk along the edge of for all of 300 yards to get to your stand. If that's all you need to do I can see why you would question the use of a light.

Most of my hunts are on public land. Yes, i can do some scouting but i have to trailer the boat and take it a few miles into the lake and then begin scouting. I can only get so familiar with the land. There is no field. Its heavily wooded, dense Mountains/hills. climbing over downed trees because the hillside is too narrow to go around. One wrong step and they are carting you out of there (if they find you over the hillside)

After 1-2 miles of hiking (trying to get as far away from the other hunters as possible) the trees, dense brush and rocks all look the same in the dark. I can't say "the 5th large tree and their's your stand" as you do.
So yes, i use a light, and trail markers.

Quite frankly, i've gotten turned around while scouting during the day in this area.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:25 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,425

We have owned the same farms since the 60s...I have no problem finding my way in the dark...

We have also run off hunters from our land since the 60s...Some try to tell US we are trespassing...

Not only do I use a light but sometimes I drop off hunters by driving to the stand in my pickup...I'm not taking chances on some of these folks we have on our property...

Since we kill 40-50 deer a year, I know it sure doesn't bother them too much...

Only a fool would walk around on public hunting land in the darkness with no light...
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,092

I use for two reasons:

1. Safety. I may not be the first person in the woods or the last one out and I don't want to be accidentally shot by someone shooting at noises in the dark. No one is going to mistake a flashlight beam for a deer.The other is that I have a couple of hunting stands next to steep drop-offs and I don't want to fall.

2. Stealth. Granted a light isn't ideal, but I'd rather have a light shining on the ground than be breaking branches or snapping twigs cause I can't see as I walk. If I can keep the light off entirely, I do. Sometimes, it's just not possible, so I flip it on and keep the beam straight down.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:59 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,607

I think it depends on the area you are hunting. If you're hunting fields or open timber that may be different from dense woods.

I use a light all the time. ESPECIALLY when hunting public land. I can't count how many times I've been sitting on my stand and had someone try and walk up on me. A quick shine of the flashlight at them and they move on. Otherwise when daylight hits you've got 4 people within sight of you...
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:01 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 31

My stands aren't too hard to find in the dark, but come on down and walk through the woods and walk right up on top of a bear cub with momma somewhere learking in the bushes. No thank you. I always use a light just for safety. Doesn't bother the deer either. I have walked to my stand and have deer eating the corn get startled and run off. You know what though, 15 minutes later they are right back at the corn pile. Safety is my main reason for one though.
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