Man has been hunting deer for as long as the two have shared the earth and, in a way, it’s always been a sport. The key to being successful in any sport is being the best you can and deer hunting is no different.
That’s why I’m going to share some really exciting deer hunting tips and tricks on tracking deer today.
Best deer hunting conditions?
You need to check the weather forecast as it has a huge bearing on the quality of a deer’s tracks.
Ideally, you want to set out the morning after a snowfall has left about 6 inches of snow. This ensures tracks stay fresh and you can stalk quietly.
If it’s raining then don’t even get started. Grab a beer and relax instead.
When deer hunting you need to determine if you’re trailing either a buck or doe.
Bucks tend to drag their hooves whilst travelling, so any drag marks between tracks are a tell-tale sign it’s a buck.
Another sign provided by hooves is the presence of dewclaw marks – bucks tend to walk with the hoof squarely against the ground.
One of the best ways, though, to confirm the sex is by the placement of urine between tracks. Bucks will urinate much farther forward than a doe. The color of a buck’s urine, particularly during mating season, is also much darker, almost amber.
How Fresh Are the Tracks?
Snow allows for crisp defined tracks, but this is wildly dependent on factors such as time, temperature and even wind.
A good estimate is to compare your own tracks to those of the buck. If they’re similar then there’s a good chance they’re close. If they look radically different then there’s a chance the buck is long gone. However, maybe they’ve deteriorated due to the temperature.
If you have the time, try examining how your own tracks change over the course of a few hours. This knowledge could be invaluable in future deer hunting.
How can you be sure you stay on the trail of a deer?
A careful pace is one of the best deer hunting tips there is, but don’t move too slowly!
A trotting buck’s tracks will be around 3 to 4 feet apart, but when they’re walking it’s only 1.5 feet.
Therefore, gauge your speed by their tracks or you’re going to chase hoof prints all day long!
Keep Hidden When Deer Hunting!
One of the most obvious tips to tracking a deer, but so often forgotten, is to just stay out of plain sight!
Don’t follow the tracks step for step. Keep to the side and use any vegetation available to disguise your human shape.
Use binoculars non stop, this will keep your eyes out further than a deer can hear or smell. If you are just walking by with your bare eyes you are too close and will spook a deer away.
If to this point you are at the end of the tracks or you know the deer went up to where its bedding for the day, than you should consider setting up a tree stand, or build yourself a blind– this is how you can do it!
Hopefully these deer hunting tips and tricks will help you make smarter decisions and expend less energy when tracking deer in the future. Good luck!