Want to Be a Better Deer Hunter? Follow These 19 Tips
Share this blog post
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned buck hunter or a new hunter heading out for the first time ever, the following tips can help ensure that this season is a successful one.
Deer can easily be spooked by human odor. Prior to heading out on your hunting trip, make sure to use a scent-free soap in the bath or shower. You also want to avoid contaminating your hunting clothes between the time you leave your home and the time you get to your blind. To do this, you should keep them sealed inside a plastic container or a bag with dirt, leaves, or other ground debris from near your stand. In doing this, you ensure that your hunting clothes smell like the natural area where you are hunting.
The majority of hunters assume that doe estrous is the be- and end-all attracting big bucks. While it is true that estrous is a great tool, that is all it is. Smart hunters know that it is important to take advantage of the territorial instincts of bucks early on the season. To a buck in early October, the scent of an estrous doe makes no sense, but it’s worth checking out the scent of a buck.
During peak rut season, you should use a drag rag that you have soaked in doe estrous. In many cases, a buck will follow the trail right back to your hunting stand.
The majority of deer hunters will use odor eliminator to spray themselves down right after getting all their hunting gear on as well as right before they get in their stands; however, seasoned hunted will make sure that they bring the odor eliminator along with them into the tree stand. Right after stepping into the tree stand, spray the odor eliminator on your body, paying close attention to your hair and hat.
If you are hunting in wet weather with a muzzleloader, you can keep the moisture out by placing a piece of electrical tape over the end of the gun’s barrel. Once you spot a buck that you want to shoot at, take your shot like normal—you’ll just shoot right through the electrical tape.
If you want to successfully setting up for scent, you may have to disobey the rules of playing the wind. Look for a long strip of timber where the wind blows along the length of it. Pour a little deer scent at the windy end of the timber in several different areas, and then set yourself high up in a stand at the edge of the timber. If you are high enough, you won’t need to worry about your human odor since it will flow above the deer.
Prior to the start of deer season, practice setting your deer stand up and taking it back down—and do it low on the tree. It is important that you can get in and out of your hunting location as quietly as you can since this is key to getting a good look at a buck.
Also before the season starts, you want to be able to check out aerial photos of the location where you will be hunting at. Now, don’t assume that you need a plane or an airline ticket in order to do this—simply use Google Maps to successfully scout your hunting area.
Throughout the season, you will want to avoid disturbing the area where you are hunting, which includes trimming any of your shooting lanes. If you want to trim any hooting lanes, you need to get that out of the way during the summer. Wise old bucks are well conditioned to sniff out timber that has been freshly cut and they will know to relate it with humans in the area.
If you know that some concealment is a good thing, then you must know that maximum concealment is as good as it gets. A tree stand is going to help fool a deer’s wary eye and offer the additional benefit of shelter for you from harsh winds.
What do you do when you have a buck patterned on adjacent land but it does not cross over on your hunting area until after your shooting time is over? You should try to tempt the buck back over to your side of the land by calling it or with a deer decoy.
If you are scouting during the summer or early fall, you will want to make sure that you use plenty of tick repellant. If you get diagnosed with a tick-borne illness or disease, your hunting season will be over, and you want to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen!
Do not ever underestimate how important it is to get to your tree stand completely undetected. Also, do not think that it will help to go to your tree stand under the cover of the dark. You should cover your entry with the curtain of the forest or use a creek.
Every time that you are going to be heading out into the woods, make sure that you wash your hunting clothes—every piece—in a non-scented laundry detergent. Then, don’t forget to keep them in a plastic bag until you get to your hunting location.
Consider creating a mock scrape. To do this, you will need a pair of surgical gloves since these will help prevent contamination of human odor. Then, with a stick, scuff some leaves off an area about the size of a vehicle hubcap.
Late in the season, scout for scrapes that have reopened in deep cover. Bucks that have survived the season will be reluctant to get out in the open country, but they will still be on the lookout for the last does in cover.
As snow hits the ground, scout for any leaves that have been strewn across an area that deer may have pawed for mast. If you notice mast around, this may be an indication that it is a good area to set up and wait for the return of the deer.
What do you do once you have taken the shot at the big buck? If you notice some brown hair with some pink or red blood and bubbles in it, then you probably struck the lung or heart. If you notice brown hair and thick, hard-red blood, then your hit was probably the liver, which is a bit too far back. If you notice white hair with watery blood, then you probably hit the stomach, which is a bad hit.
While you hope it never happens to you, it is possibly to fall from the tree stand. More often than not, these falls occur most often when climbing into or out of the tree stand. For that reason, when hunting from a tree stand, it is crucial that you always have yourself connected to a full-body safety harness.
For more deer hunting tips or to get yourself set up with the right hunting gear, contact us at Full Draw Archery in Huntsville.