The Science of Fear is a look at one of the most basic and important concepts of suburban deer behavior.
As many of you may recall from The Urban Deer Complex, conditioning behavior (suburban deer behavior) is the primary driving force behind my hunting methodology. Conditioning is a process in which repeated actions cause a learned reaction over time. In ‘The Science of Fear’ we want to heavily observe how fear develops specific suburban deer behaviors over the course of a Whitetail’s life.
A truly fascinating aspect of deer psychology, covered in ‘The Science of Fear’, is that deer have different variations of learned behaviors from the same stimuli over different locations, from as far as states away to as close as within a mile. We will tackle four major subjects on the subject of fear and how it relates to Whitetail deer behavior.
Firstly, ‘Flight Distance’, which is the distance that deer determine to be harmful while in human contact. This is highly dependent on the conditioning of the deer from their habitat, and varies greatly throughout the country. This amazing characteristic can differ from the deer being within 20 yards or as far as the eye can see; it all depends on the conditioning.
Secondly, ‘The Theory of Motion’, which targets a Whitetail’s response to fluid motion. This extremely adaptable behavior has been the catalyst to the invention of many unusual suburban still hunting techniques over the years.
Thirdly, ‘Deer and Scent: the Strongest Memory’, which dissects how deer react to scent in different areas of the country as a direct result of long-term conditioning. This probing topic pulls back the veil on hunters’ fear of human scent contamination and its relevance to our hunting.
Lastly, ‘The Subconscious Fear’, which exposes how, even in the inner depths of a Whitetail’s psyche, fear can effect a Whitetail’s decision subconsciously. I originally spoke of this popular topic as the ‘Path of Least Resistance’ in The Urban Deer Complex.
Understanding these four theories on fear conditioning let us understand another mystery of the Whitetail deer and suburban deer behavior. By learning more and applying this knowledge, we can help control one more variable in a sport that is plagued by the mercy of uncontrollable events. For every piece of knowledge we grasp, we are that much closer to increasing our success as evolving predators.
Continue on to ‘Flight Distances- The Science of Fear’…