Deer hunting takes a bit of finesse and lots of practice. You cannot just grab your gun and set out onto the woods. There are numerous advice and tips that “experts” will give you, but what you really need to do is strictly learn the basics. Here are a whopping 20 deer hunting tips and if you follow all of them, you might just be bringing in deer by the truckload!
20 Deer Hunting Tips And Tricks To Make You A Better Deer Hunter
#1. Mark your spot
In order to hunt deer, you of course, need to know where all the deer is. It’s not as easy as getting out of bed and strolling into a deer-prone area. First of the deer hunting tips would be to search in advance so that you can plan your trip accordingly. Who knows how far it is from you! Adhering to common sense, the open and public property may be the only for hunting.
A quick search through the internet or your local advert boards/newspapers should pinpoint the locations for you.If your luck is shining, you might even snag a privately owned land that is open to hunting. You might have to strike a deal or an agreement with the owners, though.
Do not imagine yourself to be the only hunter in your locality. If it’s public grounds, you can expect loads of competition. Be wary of sabotage. And if you find a good spot, guard that secret with your life.
#2. Hide your human scent
A deer is known for its keen sense of smell; they pick out predators and run based on their scent. If you’re in deer territory, it’s likely that a distinct scent is all over that territory; and you’d be the anomaly in it, with your sweat, gear and general humane stench. Once they trace you, they will either run far away or just not stay within shooting range. You cannot hunt it if you can’t see it. In order to not spook them away, here’s what you need to do:
• Pack your hunting clothes with dirt, debris, branches, and leaves from your hunting ground. Don’t worry about getting dirt on your skin and body; when hunting you got to be prepared to get a little down and dirty. When you put these clothes on, it will at least prevent your first layer (i.e. clothes) from having any foreign and artificial scent. Furthermore, using scent eliminating detergents clothes would also be another necessary precaution before going hunting; it minimizes your odor even more.
• As for your primary layer (i.e. skin and body), wash your body with unscented soap before you head out. Avoid using heavy scented deodorants; instead, use the cover sprays made by hunting companies. These will help disguise your scent.
• Tip: Place yourself such that the wind blows towards you. That way your scent won’t be carried towards the deer.
#3. Attract them
As someone famous once said, “Every weakness contains within itself a strength”. While the keen sense of smell of a deer is a big drawback, it can also be used to your strength. Similarly, you can use certain scents to fool the deer and attract them towards your line of sight.
Using scents that stem from the natural odor of a deer and make it think that there is another deer in its vicinity. It will lull them into a sense of security, making it safe for them to walk near you. These scents are available in the markets as well – such as deer Estrous, deer urine, Periorbital and Forehead gland scent, and the Buck Tarsal Gland Scent.
#4. Learn the thermal flow of air
Coupling the use of scents and air thermals can make or break the hunting foray. Air thermals come into play when the ground is heated up by the sun; it’s when the cooler air flows downhill or when the heated air flows uphill.
It is believed that an hour or so after sunrise there is downhill air movement; the same happens when it’s the evening, the ground is cooling and the air flows downhill. If you’re attracting the deer, place yourself downhill or vice versa, if you’re avoiding it. Don’t to place yourself directly uphill or downhill while in wait of a chosen air flow. This way you can shift quickly when the correct airflow kicks in.
#5. Do some field work beforehand
The philosophy behind observing your surroundings determines the difference between a pro and a novice and is a crucial deer hunting tip that could decide the outcome. There two ways of observation; direct and indirect. Direct observation means getting on the field and checking out your hunting ground and noting down the perfect terrain for hunting stand spots. Getting a feel for the weather conditions there will give you an idea of what to carry and prepare. Indirect observation means getting info from, well, the internet of course. Here, Google Maps is your best friend. Search for an aerial view of your area and the weather forecasts for your hunting day.
What this will do is make you feel prepared and not going in blind. You can choose the hunting stand beforehand. Hence why it is advisable to go the direct way and make sure to get authentic knowledge.
#6. Know the best seasons – for hunting dummy!
The best time for deer hunting is an early season; i.e. late in the summer and early fall. During this time, the deer are out and about trotting, looking for before the cold sets in. They will most likely be around food plots and crop fields where there are abundant food sources. This way their path is more or less predictable and you won’t have to waste time looking for deer.
#7 Hunt A Small Area
Pick a small 40 to 80-acre land and learn where the deer settle and where they stop to eat. Also, map out what routes they use to travel. If you are hunting through the large woods, do not attempt to go over it all.
#8. Practice your stand
Practice your stand setup before the hunting season starts. The more you practice, the more it becomes easier to quietly and quickly set up your stand. Out in the field, it lessens the chance of the deer catching you in action.
#9. Never forget the insect repellent
You have to realize that the animals you’re hunting aren’t the only ones in the woods. You will definitely encounter insects and they are a pesky lot. Most common ones are mosquitoes, ticks, and ants. So make sure you buy an insect repellant and do not get stingy when applying it.
#10. Tone down your movement
If you’re not using any kind of concealment, it would be wise to diminish your movements when hunting. Sharp movements could rustle up some noise and spook the deer.
#11. Quick Movements
Similarly, you need to be swift and fleeting with your movements in order to put the deer off your stand. Their sensitive senses may detect the sound of your movements and mark you as a predator. Be prepared to switch between with quick movements.
#12. Prepare your shooting paths
Prep the area around your hunting stand so that no obstacles come within your shooting range. Choose a position such that you quickly move from one position to another. Best to do this before hunting season. Deer have their area memorized, so any changes you might have made with come within their senses and will avoid you like the plague.
#13. Learn how to track deer
A few clues ought to tell you where the deer trot about. Hoofprints should be visible on the soggy forest floor and depend on the condition of it, you should be able to deduce how close it is to you. The imprint size will allude to its type. Similarly, deer droppings should also help. Follow their most taken trails, which should allow you to better sight one. Keep a lookout for scrapes; mature bucks use this to mark their territory.
#14. Binoculars (or hunting scopes) are your best friend
Do not forget your binoculars. Choose a pair that allows you the best fit in terms of brightness and magnification. While binoculars with higher magnification sound nice, but they decrease your plane of deer sighting.
#15 Use a checklist and make a pre-prepared bag
Keep a list with you, so when you’re preparing for your hunt, you won’t miss out on any crucial equipment. And when you’re packing up, it will remind you what you could have left behind. Ammo, knives and of course the arms itself should be topmost priority. When you’re on a hunt, practicality, and mobility are key. And so choose your knife carefully – we recommend the Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter Folding Pocket Knife. It is a folding knife offers what you need. Remember to keep it compact.
# 16 Conceal, don’t…let see?
While it might not seem like much a deer hunting tip, but blinds shield you from the wary eyes of the deer, and protection against the wind to boot.
#17 Know about the rut
Breeding never stops on the account of increased hunting, so why should you let it stop you? It will the one time the deer will be vulnerable and predictable.
#18 Keep warm
Can’t have your hands shaking from the chilly winds of early fall when you’ve got a fine buck in your sights.
# 19 Hunt for Sheds
Look for sheds to know where the deer rest and hangs out. This insight will eventually help you with deciding where to make your hunting stand. They trot around thick bushes because they feel safe from outsiders. Check the south for sheds; they frequent there early in the spring to get some vitamin D.
#20 Get somebody to teach you the ropes
As for our last deer hunting tips, every beginner should have a mentor, who will guide them through their hunts and hone their skills. They will give a practical feedback, which will take you a long way down the line.