A journal is one of those things that you might not feel like doing at the moment but wish you would have done after the fact.
It’s kind of like the old saying about how nobody likes to write, but everybody likes to have written.
If you don’t take the time to do it, then you’re missing out on years of first-hand field notes that could lead to even more success in the future.
“I’ve kept hunting records for most of my life,” said Dennis Tietje, who primarily hunts in Beauregard Parish. “I can tell you every single deer I’ve killed, what gun I killed it with, what time I killed it… all kinds of little tidbits of information.”
Tietje has killed over 150 deer, and he can’t help but get excited by going back in time and seeing all the little details about each one.
He’s killed 90 percent of those deer in a one-hour window during the morning or evening, but a couple specific times really stand out in his journal.
“Five-fifteen in the afternoon is just magic,” he said. “And you would think first light is the same way in the morning, but my records prove that 8:30 is the time to be paying close attention. I’ve killed several 8- and 10-points at 8:30 in the morning.”
Tietje keeps giving deer the opportunity to step out at first light, but they prove to him time and time again that 8:30 is best.
“That doesn’t mean I can sleep in and get to the stand late, though,” he added. “Take the evening for example. If my journal shows more deer moving at 5:30, I don’t want to wait to 5:15 to get to my stand because I’ll bump them on my way in.”
Rather than wait until the last second, Tietje goes by the two-hour rule. Whether he’s hunting morning or evening, he gets in his stand two hours before whatever the magic time is recorded in his journal for the spot he’s hunting.
“I take a lot of Skittles, M&Ms, and Vienna sausages with me to help me pass the time,” he concluded, “It’s way better to be sitting there and quiet. That way the deer will never know you’re there.”