Episode 028 R. Zavian Hauser – Professional freelance whitetail researcher and bowhunter


R Zavian Hauser The Deer
R Zavian Hauser The Deer

Interviewer: Okay. Five, four, three, two, one. Good morning everybody out there in the world of Whitetail Rendezvous. We are very pleased to have R. Zavian Hauser on the line with us this morning. He’s a professional writer, power fiction and nonfiction author from New England. He’s a professional freelance Whitetail researcher and bow hunter. R. Zavian – say hello to our listeners.

R. Zavian: Hey good morning!

Interviewer: So R. Zavian, why don’t you share with us the genesis of the book, The Deer Truth?

R. Zavian: Well, okay. I guess it goes back in my lineage to the times of my grandfather, and my father. I was raised in a whitetail deer hunting circle. They’re very prominent whitetail deer hunters up here in New England, along the Green Mountain range. And it’s always been a fascination of mine to do it bigger and better, take the training that I was given throughout my childhood and refine it into a more practical and more successful set of skills.

One thing that drove me was everyone always wishes other hunters good luck when they head to the woods. And I guess that for the average Joe out there, the guy that works five, six days a week. A day off here. He takes a day off here or takes a week off for deer season; I suppose “good luck” is a good term to pass them on into the woods with, especially in the Vermont, New Hampshire that type of area, where the deer herds are pretty sparse, contrary to what the states will have you believe about their numbers. But, putting your feet on the ground and being able to walk for miles and miles through the woods and see nothing but deciduous and coniferous trees – you know, with very little sign of any type of game animal being present, could be discouraging.

So, the “good luck” thing never played well with me, it didn’t go along with the training that I received, as far as whitetail hunting went. I was taught that luck is for the hunter who just grabs his gear, drives, “Hey, this looks like a good spot,” pulls over, walks in the woods in the dark aimlessly and just sits on a rock or stump that he finds that looks comfy. That this guy, if a buck walks along he harvests it. Never been there, never scouted it, didn’t even know if there were any deer in there. Now granted, that’s not going to happen again next year. There’s hunters that do that – they might get lucky once every five years or so. What I rather attribute my success to is the skill set that was passed along to me and the mindset that hunting is based on skill. Your success is based on your skills, and your ability to be disciplined enough to adhere to your skills, and rely on them to see deer yearly, and know what deer are in your area by doing the scouting and all these other necessary elements that combine together to create your hunting set. I guess I would refer to it as a set. Whether you’re hunting a hill, or you’re hunting a field, that type of setting. And relying on your skills to provide you with your success rather than going to the woods relying on luck. I was trained at an early age to use my skills and be successful based on my skill level.

Interviewer: Who was the main person that helped you get started?

R. Zavian: Well, the main person would definitely have been my grandfather Ekzad [SP], we called him Ekky. He was by far the strongest influence in my deer hunting. My father worked . . . my dad was one of those guys that worked 50, 60 hours a week. And when he got his two weeks off for deer season, as a kid I didn’t see him much, because they stayed at camp.
His time in the woods was more along the traditional deer camp thing. He got deer. Getting deer was easy for him because he possessed the skill. But he was never really a trophy hunter, he never went for the trophy bucks – I mean if one happened along, obviously he harvested it but pretty much back then his little clique circle were more interested in hanging around camp, and drinking home brews and that kind of stuff that they made in preparation for deer season.
And lot of people, they confuse that. Sometimes the scenarios and stereotypes they make it up. The deer hunters and a bunch of guys are going to hang around, get drunk, and drive around on the back roads in their trucks. I rather reeducate people when I hear them talk like that about hunters, and explain to them that there was a generation that liked to go to deer camp and drink and have fun at camp. And it was more of a camaraderie in a camp setting, not one time did I hear any stories of them hopping in a vehicle and driving around intoxicated – back road or not. And not one time did they get intoxicated and take firearms up and head out in the woods. It was more of a get away from the house, get away from the rat race of the daily routine and spend 10, or 12, 14 days in the woods at camp, with your brothers in the sport.
First they’d all go out the first couple days and hunt and get their deer. And if they didn’t get their deer, and they spent that entire night partying or whatever, the older hunters like my grandfather – he never partook of that – so they’d be up ’til 4 o’clock in the morning carousing and whatever, and then he would wake up and get them all up, “Look you guys, you guys have stayed up all night and party, you’re gonna get up and hunt all day. You’re out the door until you get a deer”. Or, just starve.
So he would kick them out in the morning, all their hangovers and headaches. My dad was so adept, and he knew where the deer were. He would drag himself out behind the camp through an area that he knew had deer, and he’d get a deer and head back to camp and go to bed.
Interviewer: Smart dad [chuckles].
R. Zavian: Yeah. I’ve heard all the stories, and there are some great ones. And I’m actually planning on releasing another book, maybe next spring or fall based on some hunting stories, based on deer camp stories. So it’ll kind of a humorous . . .
Interviewer: I’d love to see it.
R. Zavian: Yeah. It’ll be more of a humorous book. The Deer Truth definitely contains some humor. When you’re reading literature and you’re learning things, I look back to school – your math books, your social studies, your science, there was never anything in there to break up that monotony. It was just learn, learn, learn, learn, learn information. In cramming a lot of information into somebody’s brain, one chapter after another without any break, can lead to a lack of interest, it can burn you out, give you a headache. So I like to interject some of the humor that I possess into the book, so I break up in chapters or sections with a definition of something in a humorous form, or some of that mountain humor, and some hunting stories or situations that I’ve seen.
A good example is when I discuss public land. The thing that I really wanted to focus on – and that the book does focus on – there are no private land hunting experiences listed in this book. Everything in the book is based on public land research, public land real time hunting scenarios, and all of the things that go along with it; with public land. And the reason I just mentioned that, my grandfather trained me to hunt deer on public land. We didn’t own vast tracts of land that we could hunt. We didn’t have friends that owned lots of land that we could hunt. And I grew up hunting wild deer herds that honestly may have never seen a human being.
And people tend to believe that deer become more educated to human beings and so on. Our studies have shown just to be the opposite. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s just because you’re a human being. It has to do with the fact that you’re an invader in their territory, you’ve brought something – your smell, or whatever you’ve brought that’s unnatural. Your scent or appearance into their setting. You’ve just triggered their survival instincts to avoid things that are potentially dangerous to them. One of the major things with that is our breath. When it comes to scent control. A lot of people think they simply know they’re wearing scent preventative clothing, or scent locking clothing, spray their suit down with some spray, that they’re covered. All you have is scent-free, there’s no way they smell me. But the dear didn’t come there blowing any. So what they don’t realize is that we’re sitting there breathing this hot air out of our mouth, and sending a scent trail drifting for miles through the woods. And if something walks into that, that’s that the magic line that you’ve seen deer walk into, and they just slam on the breaks, and you go, “Wow! What was that deer thinking?” Well that deer was thinking, “Holy cow! There’s a predator here somewhere, right. He’s got some major sulfur breath.” He said, “I will stop here and stomp my feet, stink up the area with a digital scent then book out of here”.
Interviewer: Interesting. Can you share a couple of ah ha moments with us this morning, from last season or last couple of seasons that all of the sudden you couldn’t quite figure it out in regards to deer hunting or deer behavior, then all of the sudden you go, “Oh, there’s the answer!”
R. Zavian: Okay. Yeah. For the overall I have to tell you straight up. Before I decided to sit down and write this book I did so based on a fulfillment of information. And as far as ahas go, yes I had one ah ha in the last ten years and it was the one I was chasing the most. And that was surrounding the living area, living quarters of trophy bucks.
Over the last ten years, everything in my book covers my success. I’ve been hunting numerous states combined for the last ten years, with New Jersey being a state with unlimited harvest. So I have harvested a minimum of 20 deer, per year, for the last 10 years primarily with bow and arrow, limited amount of firearm hunting. I gave up rifle hunting about 12 years ago, it was just too easy. And to be able to reach out half a mile through the woods and zap a deer with 30-ounce of rifle, is really not much of a challenge. I prefer now to be 10 yards or less from a trophy buck and 5 yards or less if I’m gonna harvest a doe or smaller buck. So they have a really tight death circle, as I refer to it.
The ah ha moment – the only part of the deer’s behavior or habits that had been escaping me was where do these trophy bucks – how big of an area do they really use? And you’ll hear conflicting stories and opinions all over the outdoor industry, and of course most are based on trying to hide the truth. If somebody does know the truth they’re not going to tell you. They’re not going to say, “I park right here. I walk up this road, and I take a left, and go 50 yards. This is the perfect area; the bucks are there every year.” They’re not gonna tell you that!
A lot of the stories, you look back – and I challenge you to do this – if you’ve been . . . you’re involved in [inaudible 00:15:04] obviously, so you’ve been around it your whole life. You go back to the 1970s, and the ’80s, and ’90s and you look at all the outdoor publications, all the magazines, and read the fall hunting stories. Read their guidance on the rut. Read their guidance on deer activity, and movements, and the moon, and all the different writings. You will notice something very similar in every story.
I have two of the most major publications, and subscriptions to them every year. And these magazines, the stories are exactly the same, season after season, year after year, just written a little differently by someone else. And I noticed this correlation. So, the aha finally revealed itself to me in the last five years. That the trophy bucks, the older bucks – people call them “smarter”, I made that reference a little earlier, “smarter deer”. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a smarter deer. I believe that deer, dogs, and all those things – I believe they’re all very intelligent. But I don’t believe that they become smarter as in their sitting in Math class learning algebra. I believe that their instincts and their ability to survive and evade humans just becomes better.
I mean, if you put a cookie on a rock, in the same spot every day, the dog knows that, the goes to it every day. It’s the same thing with whitetail deer. You can bait, and you set the bait out and the deer are coming to it, and then you move it to another spot, move it a little bit every day, they’ll continue to go there. Then once the bait is gone, say you baited them for an entire season, those deer, in that swing, they will wander, even if there is no bait there ever again, deer will walk through that area even if they never did it ten years before, they’ll walk through there every day for the rest of that deer family’s life cycle, because that bait was there. And it’s like the old apple trees. You find an old bad apple tree in the woods, there’s always a deer track; at least one deer track in the snow every year that goes underneath this apple tree. It’s just because it trained in that deer family to travel through there. Because they use to produce apples, it was a place to go to the tree.
The aha came with trophy bucks, taking everything my grandfather had taught me about locating areas where they sat down, where they live, where they spend their time and actually taking the time just to not hunt, and instead, learn a deer’s track, back-track this deer, and follow him in his circle. A whitetail trophy buck – and I consider any buck a trophy buck if he’s got 8 points or more he’s a trophy buck to me. I don’t care if he’s got a 13 inch spread or 30 inch spread. If he’s got 8 points he could be a 2-year old. [inaudible 00:18:32] trophy meat. Everybody can set their trophies to their own liking. Somebody shoots a giant 4-pointer that could be their trophy. It’s 5-point could be the trophy. It’s not held under a certain specific set of standards, where I would discourage someone from considering a dear a trophy. That’s just what I consider a trophy.
Once a buck has attained 8 points and he’s lived let’s say three and a half years, I feel that he falls in the trophy classification. My specialty is harvesting bucks that weigh over 200 pounds, and under 10 yards with their compound bone – from the ground. I wanted to add that as well. I do not hunt from tree stands anymore. I don’t hunt from blinds. I hunt right out in the wide open, generally sitting on a rock or a stamp or maybe a folding chair if I have one with me. Since I started using [inaudible 00:19:28].
The aha was finally refined this last season on the trophy bucks [inaudible 00:19:38]. Trophy bucks use the exact same swing day after . . . Okay. So [inaudible 00:19:46] has a swing it’s very specific and they rarely deviate from the swing until the breeding season. And I negate the rut. I stay away from the word rut, because the rut is that . . . that’s that period of time – and it was called the rut because that’s when people weren’t seeing deer. There was a rut. And it definitely was related to the breeding cycle. But we don’t look at it as the rut. We look at it as a heightened time for us, because now the areas that I outline in the book, that explain to you where these deer are and why they are there. It’s like [inaudible 00:20:34] Kmart. Now these aisles are packed with your customers, your customers being these whitetail deer. You’re there and you’re with the does, you’ve learned the does’ habits, you know where they spend their days and that’s where you want to be, the bucks are going to be there. It’s [inaudible 00:20:53] box. If you’re chaffing the produce out you don’t buy the green bananas, you try to find the yellow ones. So, you passed up the green banana for the yellow. So it’s the same thing with the whitetail buck. You got to let the little guys come in and mess around first and when that big guy comes, those are the guys will [inaudible 00:21:11] and there’s your trophy buck.
So it was the swings. I actually learned that the trophy buck uses a smaller area, just uses it really well. Cautiously. Uses a smaller area than a button buck. And the reason for that is the button buck is still in training. This doe is teaching him every inch of the terrain and you can guarantee that every buck, if you know a specific doe that gives birth to numerous [inaudible 00:21:49] deer, you will want to stay in her area because there’re bucks that she has given birth to four or five years ago, when she’s an older doe that lived in that specific area. They will just pick an area that they’re familiar with; the deer are very clingy to their environment as long as there’re no major changes. There you go chopping down the woods and build a house there, obviously you got to start over. Those deer . . . they’re now going to move from there. And that’s another thing. People will seem to be stuck on the idea that they have to live where they are. They don’t. One year an area now they have 70 deer in it every day. Next year it might not. Well, what caused it? Well it could be the fact the mass clock was different or major environmental change; there was no food there, or whatever. The herd will move. They can move a couple of miles away. They can move 100 yards away.
Interviewer: R. Zavian?
R. Zavian: Yes?
Interviewer: Sorry to interrupt you but we’re coming up to the place in the show where you get a couple of minutes to tell people how to get a hold of you. I certainly hope the listeners got as many notes as I did on the show. So please share with us how to get in touch with you, when the book’s going to be released and then I look forward to having you on the show again very soon.
R. Zavian: Okay. Well, you can find me under R. Zavian Hauser on Facebook, as well as my book pages. They’re listed generally as my pages on my Facebook page. The Deer Truth is the book that we’re discussing. And we are expecting a release date some time, hopefully, mid-summer. The book is out with the publisher now. It’s in their hands as far as production goes. They are going to go full hard cover. It contains full color images and maps and illustrations. The book’s very detailed for that.
That’s the best way to find it at this time and to locate the book. Locate it on my site via Facebook.
Interviewer: Are you on Twitter at all or LinkedIn?
R. Zavian: No. My time is limited for being able to use Twitter or that type of social sites. I also have a design company that puts Spartan Technology and Design, which is also on Facebook. I create custom logos and image manipulation rendering book covers and other things for other companies. So my time’s pretty juggled around and just not a lot of time to do the hash tag thing and Twitter and all that.
Interviewer: Right. R. Zavian Hauser, thank you so much. The last 30 minutes of this flew by. Like I said, I’ve taken a lot of notes and I hope all our listeners out in the Whitetail Rendezvous Community will go to R. Zavian Hauser’s page on Facebook, check it out, like it, and then be on the watch for news about his release.
With that, may all your hunts be good ones, and again, have a fantastic day. Thank you so much.
R. Zavian: Thank you, sir.