Alright friends, so you’ve heard all your hunter buddies talk about that buck they took down last week, and how big it was and on and on… But the problem is, we haven’t been capitalizing on our hunts as of late as we may have liked to. Well no worries because we are always just a few good tips away from refining our hunting skills, so let’s share some ways we can get more out of our deer hunts! Here are some deer hunting tips to make your hunts go from good to great.
Deer hunting tips starting with location
Obviously, we aren’t going to post up in Times Square to wait for our deer, so it’s good to know the terrain of the area we are hunting. You want to make sure there’s a good spot for you and your faithful old hunting buddy to post up.
How can I know what to look for when driving around or looking at a map?? Here are some key things to look for that will be sure to land you in a deer filled spot:
Rivers: Deer like to follow along river banks, so find that river in your hunting area and follow it. Be sure to be aware of any game trails or tracks that are perpendicular, this will indicate a crossing path for the deer.
Mountain ridges: Deer do not like to travel over the peaks of ridges, where they could leave themselves open to danger. Try looking for a dip or “saddle” in the ridge where they are much more likely to be traveling to and from food. Also find the area where several saddles tie together.
Points: The points of where a ridge comes down into a flat land is another good spot to set up. You may also be lucky enough to find a small watering hole in one of these areas.
Dips: Deer are no dummies, if there are any sort of dips within a flat land they are going to use it to stay hidden.
Power lines: If there are power lines running through your unit, find them and use them to your advantage. Deer like to run parallel to power lines staying 5 to 10 yards deeper in the trees to keep cover.
So, what do deer eat? Any area with leafy, clover type grass on the ground is a wonderful spot to choose for your deer hunt. Deer also love to eat acorns. Try to find an area with mature acorn trees that put out lots of food for them to eat. Deer also like fruits and many other plants including: apples, berries, honey suckle plants, maple leaves, persimmons, corn fields, soybean plants, and alfalfa. Deer can be found in any areas with these types of food. They cannot go without food so find this area, and make sure you have a clear shot in all areas.
Now that you know some good areas to generally locate deer, you may ask where you can actually find them. Well that is a good question so let’s get to the answer. This will be a bit more challenging but after finding some good spots in the terrain and locating their food, all you have to do is connect the dots and find where they have been bedding. It sounds tough but we’ll walk you through it. Deer like to have a two bedding spots: where they eat and where the sleep.
To find out where they’ve been hanging out all night eating, you need to go higher in elevation from where you found their food and water supply. Here you will find heavier cover. You want to start looking pressed down vegetation that will be an indication of their bedding. You want to look for all this during the daytime, opposite of where they will be, so you do not disturb them and scare them to a different area all together. Don’t worry you may not see them there during the day but if you find these spots, you scored. Just return to these spots during dusk or dawn for your perfect shot.
If you do some walking around and scouting during dusk or dawn, you can find their bedding much higher in elevation and it much heavier cover. This is where they go to sleep. Look for benches, knolls, or flat terrain in these higher areas to find their daytime bedding, but be careful! You don’t want to come across these area during the daytime if they are spooked they will up and leave the area all together. The good news is, if you find these areas without disturbing anything, you can set up a stand 50-100 yards away and await their arrival!
Just remember: During the day, deer go higher for sleep, so you should scout lower. During the night, deer go lower for food, so you should scout higher. If you need more help we have some more details on tracking deer.
Another thing that is a must is the legality of the issue. We don’t want to make Uncle Sam angry now do we? Well then we need to know what areas are okay to legally hunt deer. Get a good map and talk with your areas game warden for some help with your boundaries and off limit spots.
Choosing a good hunting partner
First and foremost, we need to understand what level of hunting we are practicing at all times. We can’t hype ourselves up then under perform, right? Make sure if you are a beginner, the person you are going to hunt with knows that you are a beginner.
Also, if you are a seasoned hunter, we need to have a healthy relationship with our hunting partner. This means we share the work. Don’t you hate when your brother or sister never did any housework, and you were always left with the tough scrubbing? Well hunting is a lot of work, and if your hunting partner isn’t pulling his weight then it’s unacceptable. Be fair and share the hard work!
In general, always make sure you are on the same page with your partner. Deer hunting takes patience and a lot of focus, so it is best to have someone with you who you can trust and a person who will keep the stress level low, all while remembering to have fun!
Dress well for your hunt
One word for your hunting attire, camouflage! The most important thing is that we don’t scare those deer away! How stealthy is your camouflage? The best camouflage out there for looks sake is the camouflage that will break up your human figure the best. That is to mean, the more solid blends on you camouflage the better!
Also, we need to make sure our hunting wear is comfortable and practical. No one wants to be sitting out there in the elements wearing horrible uncomfortable clothing, right?
So make sure you dress up in camouflage, and that you’re feeling good when you head out that door for your hunt!
Besides being properly dressed, we need to be properly equipped to be ready for our newly hunted deer. While some tools are needed and others just make our life out there in the wild easier, there are some tools that are just necessary. Here is a short list of some necessities to bring on your hunt.
- Hunter Orange
- Enough Water and Food
- Toilet Paper
- Wind Checker
- Of course, your trusty ammo and rifle
Anything else that will help aid us in bringing down that buck can be brought, so don’t hesitate to ask and or throw it in with all your other equipment if you think it will help. We need all the help we can get out there!
Now some Joe Shmoes out there might think, “ Hey, the smaller the hunter, say a woman or child needs a more powerful rifle right?” Absolutely wrong! You and I both know that it is extremely dangerous to let a kid or smaller person use a super powerful rifle. The recoil is so powerful that it could cause serious injuries to the shooter. So first and foremost, we need to be safe about our weapon choice.
Choosing a weapon is the most important pre-hunting choice you need to make. So much depends on your ability to manage, and wild your weapon of choice. Make sure you are informed about which type of rifle you choose to bring.
Also make sure you or your hunting partner know which bullets to use at the right time. Short range and long-range shots are going to need different types of bullets as well, so know which you are using. And remember
Have any of you seen those guys that can throw up any disposable object and just rifle it with the ease of an old western bounty hunter? Well we have to remember, he didn’t just acquire those skills out of thin air! It is definitely a good idea to get in as much training as you can shooting your weapon of choice before the big day. We train for every other sport before “the big game”, so hunting is no exception! We want to be true marksmen when it comes to our rifling skills, because when that whitetail deer is trotting along the path, we want to make sure our shot is absolutely on point when he stops.
If you’re an inexperienced shooter, have an easy target goal. Start at 50 yards, start shooting, then move back as you get better with your shot. With good practice, before you know it you’ll be hitting those deer with your long distance range no problem!
Have the right mentality
The wild is a different world folks, and we need to bring a different mindset, and state of mind to our hunts than we may have back in the big city or even your good old country town. Hunting takes patience. Hunting for deer takes concentration and know how. We all know it’s tough to sit in one place for one or two hours, but what about hunting? Wait till you’re out there for hours on end without a kill!
We may be making it seem impossible, but it’s not. Hunting takes a state of calmness, and focus, just like any great art form or worthwhile hobby. One thing is for sure is that as we said before, we need the right partner. If you or I can’t stand our hunting partner, how can we be in a peak state of focus? We are going to be thinking about how frustrating and annoying this guy is! This goes for experienced hunters too. If you aren’t willing to bring a novice along and show him the ropes, then you won’t be in the right state of mind for a hunt.
Mindset is everything in this world we live in and hunting for deer is no exception! Just be patient out there.
Is the buck legal?
Maybe newbie’s don’t realize it but there are restricted hunting zones and seasons that vary across different states and countries. Who would have thought, right? Well we want to remind you to always check to see if those bucks you’re scouting out are legal to hunt down, because the last thing we want is an illegal buck on our hands!
Whitetail deer, have a great sense of smell. What does that mean for you? Well you need to make sure you’re masking that human scent as best you can! See hunting deer is more like dating than you think! You don’t want to scare off that hot date you have tonight with forgetting to wear your best cologne or perfume, right? Well make sure you’re not scaring away your deer. Like any animal, deer have a keen and unique sense of smell, and if you’re not prepared to mask your smell, it could be the difference between your hunt being a wild success and a huge disaster! Make sure you smell your best (which is no smell at all, really).
Be in shape
When was the last time you’ve been to the gym? Three months ago! Well friend, its time you get active before you head out there into the wild to gun down some deer. Physical fitness is key in any sport, and hunting deer is no exception.
When we are hiking out to our spot to post up, we don’t want to be out of breath by the time we arrive right? If we are drained from the hike, our minds won’t be at peak performance for the hunt, so it’s key you at least get out there and do some form of exercise before the hike.
There are some deer hunting tips for all you deer hunters and newbies out there. Don’t be nervous, deer hunting can be super rewarding and anyone can enjoy it. Is this your first time hunting? Well just relax and enjoy Mother Nature. As long as you have a good mentor, all will be well. Also if it is your first deer hunt try to avoid these 5 big deer hunting mistakes. I hope you guys have lots of luck out there!