Tips & Tactics

When Jays are Squawking . . .

When Jays are Squawking . . .

By Donald Spotts

One of my favorite tips is something I suppose many hunters think about, but rarely talk about.

Next time you hear blue jays making a fuss, remember this phrase: “When jays are squawking, something’s walking.”

Blue jays consider deer to be intruders, and they often follow them just like they will a cat or other predator.

Their ruckus is easily overlooked, but little things like this are signs good hunters must become aware of to increase our skills.

And it’s not just blue jays, but other birds, squirrels and forest creatures, as well.

Since I started paying attention to the noises the animals were making, I have had success following up on their subtle hints.

Now, once I hear jays raising cane, I focus on the direction they are moving and I’m fully alert to the presence of deer. This gives me an idea of where the deer are going, so now I have the option to attempt a stalk by heading them off.

The first time I tested out my theory of following the sound of squawking jays was when I was hunting alone along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.

The sounds of their fussing moved through the woods, but just out of sight, and eventually the noise died down, then total silence.

I positioned myself to circle around quietly from downwind. Sure enough, the jays had stopped their harassment because the deer had bedded down.

I was amazed when an 8-pointer jumped up from its bed and I made the shot.

Thank you, blue jays. That’s venison in the pan!

Although this is a small tip, I believe it’s the little things we learn over time that build a hunter’s wisdom.

– Editor’s Note: by Tim H. Martin

Donald Spott’s tip reminds me of another Tip of the Week.  “Nature’s Deer Alarms,” submitted by Buckmasters member Cecil Adkins.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd