It doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran hunter or a novice heading into the woods for the first time, there are certain fundamental rules that you have to follow to stay on top of your game. If you want to be successful in your deer hunting missions, then following these key strategies can be of great help. Outsmarting the white-tailed bucks is a much easier affair with these tips and strategies:
1. Research Your Prey
The foundation for any hunt has to be laid upon this fact. Just like any other animal, the deer has only one goal: survival; and to do that, it must eat, drink and sleep.
White-tailed deer consume around 1.5 tons of food per year on average. It’s common to see them eat around ten pounds of food daily during prime season. They also eat about 4 to 5 times each day. Follow the food trail and you will find the game.
2. Find Proper Cover
Once you have narrowed down the location where you have chances of spotting the deer, it is time to find the right cover. White-tailed deer are very elusive and escape even the primary predators very easily by keeping themselves out of sight. One way they achieve this is through finding a way that connects their feeding and bedding spots under a thick cover.
Understand their movements and you will know where to best pick your spot. Hedgerows, ditches and narrow strips of land are the preferred route for stags and does, and this is where you need to set up your cover.
3. Watch the Wind
Deer have an incredible sense of smell and human odor scares them away. It is best that you find ways to minimize your scent. There are many ways to do that, but the most effective ones are: staying downwind from the animal, using scent-free soap before hunting, packing your hunting clothes in plastic bags before hunting and using odor eliminating products.
4. Avoid Movement and Sound
Deer make a break for it as soon as they detect any movement. While there are still doubts over whether they are color-blind or not, they are excellent at spotting any untoward motion. Being still should be your mantra.
The white-tailed deer are also good at hearing sounds from a faraway distance. It is best that you keep the sound to a minimum and don’t disturb the natural ambience of their habitat.
5. Practice the Use of Your Firearm and Bow
A weapon is a deadly tool and a great responsibility, and one must learn to use it effectively. Practice makes one perfect. Learn the skills to handle your firearms and bows competently.
Know the weapon and your own limitations before you set out on a hunt. There is no audience to impress, and it is only you and the deer at play. While hunting is a sport that involves killing, you shouldn’t be reckless with the animal. You owe the deer and the sport for the food and thrill they provide. Hence, practice is of utmost importance.
6. Attend a Hunter Safety Course
Contact your local wildlife department and ask for the availability of any hunter safety courses. Sometimes, the local fish department also conducts these courses. It is a great way to get introduced to hunting and all of its intricacies. You can either study online or take a class before sitting for the exam and receiving the certificate.
Hunter safety courses are designed to impart hunting safety, sportsmanship and principles of conservation. It is always a good idea to undertake the course.
7. Use Safety Harnesses
Safety is of the utmost importance. If you are climbing a tree or are hunting from a treestand, it is always recommended to wear a full-body safety harness. Use gloves and kneepads to avoid any scraping of skin. It is also recommended that you watch your surroundings for any uncalled for dangers.
8. Learn from Your Mistakes
According to Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Mistakes happen every time, even though you might have prepared to tackle them beforehand. You might miss a shot, lose your valuables or forget to follow the fundamental rules laid out above. However, it is always wise to learn from your mistakes and make sure that they are not repeated.
Deer hunting can be a very enjoyable outdoor activity that will also bring you closer to nature. Make sure that you aim to follow the basic tips and strategies detailed above to make deer hunting a memorable activity.