Open fields always seem to be my favorite places to hunt. Where I live, the deer appear at the woods edge, then enter the hay or cornfields where I then have to figure out the yardage.
In the deep woods, I can use my rangefinder to mark objects such as trees, rocks and stumps. But open fields rarely have distinguishing features to mark with a rangefinder.
This means I have two choices for ranging distances in fields.
The first choice — which most hunters do — is to pull my rangefinder out of my pocket and try not to spook the animal while I fumble with my release, raise the rangefinder to my eye and press the button, then return the rangefinder to my pocket and attempt to attach the release to the string and make the shot.
That’s a lot of precious time. If the deer has not spooked by then, my next problem was hoping the deer hasn’t moved much by the time I draw my bow.
My second choice? Flat out guessing at the yardage.
I finally came up with a much better third option by creating my own moveable/removable yardage markers.
I use electric fence posts — the skinny metal or plastic kind you press into the ground by stepping on the foot flange at the base.
It takes nine posts for my setup. I like to set up three posts straight in front of my stand, three to the right side, and three to the left.
From my stand or ground blind, I walk 20, 30 and 40 yards into field, checking distances with my rangefinder, and plant the posts into the ground.
As wary as whitetails are, they never notice these posts, even if I place them the same day.
Bare posts can be difficult to see in low light, so consider hanging milk jugs or bright flagging on them. If you really want to do it right, attach peel-off house numbers with easy-to-see yardages.
Rifle hunters, consider using my idea to mark long distance shots in open fields or food plots, such as 200- or 300-yard markers.
The great thing is you can easily pull the markers up and reuse them. I use mine again and again in the same fields from season to season, making sure I retrieve them before the farmer cuts hay.
Most hardware stores, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, carry these for less than two bucks apiece.
Here’s an example.
– Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin
Buckmasters tip contributor Neal Gagner shared his great idea for marking yardages in open fields. Here’s another Tip of the Week for marking yardages in the woods.
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