Hunting - Deer

Saturday, February 15, 2020, 02:12 PM

You're going on a hunting excursion out in the woods. This is your first hunt, but you researched various hunting skills. You want to become a big deer hunter one day.

On your first day, you found a deer, but you scared it away. While camping, you cooked steak and onions for d

You're going on a hunting excursion out in the woods. This is your first hunt, but you researched various hunting skills. You want to become a big deer hunter one day.

On your first day, you found a deer, but you scared it away. While camping, you cooked steak and onions for dinner.

You're concerned that your dinner may give away your presence and attract the wrong kind of animal. You want to be a serious hunter, but you don't know why you haven't landed a successful kill. 

What are you doing wrong?

To hunt like a mature hunter, you must hunt downwind to mask your scent. Moreover, strong odors such as meat or onions will linger in the air and give away your presence.

Serious hunting also requires the right clothing, proper scouting, and steadfast shooting practice. This article will show you the ins and outs of efficient deer hunting. Let's explore. 

1. Start Early

Many novice hunters make the mistake of hunting deer that are in rut status. However, you end up entangled in the chaos instead of getting ahead of it.

Chasing a buck in rut may seem like a smart move, but you should start a few weeks before the peak breeding season. During this time, you'll find deer laying down and off-guard. 

2. Not Practicing

Another mishap that hunters make is a lack of shooting practice during the season. A hunter may practice during pre-season and stop during the season.

As new hunters learn how to hunt, they forget to about bow or rifle practice. Bowhunters, in particular, must practice harder to maintain adequate form. 

For bowhunters, you can enhance practice by:

  • Shooting from elevated positions
  • Shooting from multiple angles and distances
  • Shotting at full draw before taking the shot

Rifle-hunting practice may call for:

  • Taking freehand shots from multiple positions, such as sitting or kneeling
  • Practicing from long and short distances
  • Shooting on rests in the form of sticks or bipods

Regardless of the method, practice enhances your reflexes and accuracy. Additionally, practice confirms if you're using the right weapon and ammo. 

3. Not Calling Enough

Surprisingly, many hunters fail to use grunt calls when necessary. Deer such as whitetails are looking for social interaction, allowing you to lure a deer to your location with a simple grunt call. If you have trouble finding deer, you may not be calling enough. 

4. Stay Downwind

You may encounter products that claim to make you scent-free. But there is no such thing a being entirely free of your scent. Even though certain products can reduce your scent presence, deer can always detect trace amounts of your scent. Therefore, the best way to get out of their scent line is to remain downwind.

To do so, you must know where the deer are coming from. You can use a wind checker or natural methods, such as a milkweed pod.

If the wind goes in the wrong direction, move to another locale or go down. And, don't be afraid to call it a day if the wind keeps working against you. 

5. Planning Enter/Exit Routes

Poor entrance and exit routes can expose your presence in the wild. As a result, deer will change their behavior patterns accordingly.

To plan a proper route, you must know the location of the deer when traversing to and from your route. Therefore, avoid walking upwind or through the area. Instead, you can take a longer route to avoid giving away your presence. 

Even though longer routes may be time-consuming, you can increase your chance of bagging a deer in the woods.  

6. Poor Scouting

Poor scouting entails a week or month of assessment before the season starts.Instead, you should be scouting all throughout the season.

And, the best scouting occurs weeks after the season ends. After the season ends, you can learn more about buck activity when you were hunting them.

For instance, you can determine their hiding spots and establish the best travel routes. You can also combine your hunting and scouting early in the fall by looking for the following clues:

  • New creeks or crossings
  • New rubs
  • New scrapes 

Moreover, look for any food sources that may attract game. Further, you can search for routes that lead to agricultural areas. 

7. Overreliance on Equipment

Many newbie hunters rely heavily on technology to give them an advantage. However, there is no substitute for natural hunting acumen, which can only develop through practice and skill. If you rely on spray cans to mask your scent instead of using the wind to your advantage, you will most likely fail during the hunt. 

With that, the latest products are not counterproductive entirely. Rather, you should use them in conjunction with natural hunting skills.  

8. Inadequate Clothing

Choosing the wrong clothing can increase your scent presence and scare away deer. For instance, blue jeans are a natural draw in the woods. And, deer are sensitive to UV light and may see your blue jeans from long distances.

Cotton underwear is another inappropriate clothing choice because it won't evaporate your perspiration. Overall, the best forms of clothing to wear on the hunt include:

  • Wool
  • Quiet fleece
  • Synthetic fabric

When choosing wool, choose camouflaged colors that will blend you into your surroundings. 

9. Attracting Smells

After choosing the right clothing, avoid engaging in activities that will attract unwanted smells. For instance, smells can cling to your close if you change oil or use leaf blower.

And, certain foods can stick to your clothing, such as garlic or onions. The best foods to consume with your hunting clothing include:

  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Peanut butter
  • Fruit
  • Jelly

If you drink coffee, drink it from a thermostat to conceal the odor. 

10. Learn Deer Behavior 

If you want to tag a deer, you must understand how it thinks and reacts. For instance, deer tend to rotate their ears to listen from the front and behind. When this happens, cease all movements before it detects your presence. Understanding how deer reacts will help you plan ahead and conceal your location. 

How Can I Hunt Like a Mature Hunter Sooner Rather than Later?

Hunting like a mature hunter will require patience and practice. However, one of the best ways to get a deer in your sights sooner is to master the wind.

Further, avoid an over-reliance on the latest gear and equipment. Rather, focus your efforts studying the terrain to learn where the deer would normally flock.

And, establish proper entrance and exit trails to avoid detection. Most importantly, always practice with your bow or rifle to land the perfect shot.

Interested in learning more about deer hunting locations? Click here to about specific hunting areas in Texas.  

Monday, November 04, 2019, 03:24 PM

Fall is here and temperatures are dropping, that means it's time to put away your fishing gear and get ready for hunting season.

This is the time of year when outdoorsmen everywhere prepare to pursue a variety of big game and water fowl

Fall is here and temperatures are dropping, that means it's time to put away your fishing gear and get ready for hunting season.

This is the time of year when outdoorsmen everywhere prepare to pursue a variety of big game and water fowl. It's no secret that hunting can be an exhilarating experience, and yet it can also be one of the most challenging pursuits you can undertake.

The key to a successful hunt is to learn as many great hunting tips as possible. Fortunately, this article takes a look at some of the top deer hunting tips and tricks developed over many decades. Keep reading to see how to increase your odds of bagging a big buck this season.

1. Always Stay Down Wind

Any outdoorsman who has spend time in the woods should understand that deer have an incredible sense of smell. That's why it's crucial to always approach your hunting spot from down wind.

Hiking through the woods from upwind is the basic equivalent of announcing your arrival with a trumpet. Any deer in the area will be able to smell you before you even get close to them, and they'll likely make a quick exit.

Always keep a compass in your pocket, as well as a map of the area so that you can determine the best direction to approach without risk of spooking any deer in the area.

2. Cover Your Scent

Again, deer have an amazing sense of smell. Even if you stay downwind from them, you'll still need to cover your scent. After all, there's nothing deer dislike more than the scent of humans.

There's a variety of great artificial scents designed to mask your smell. Keep in mind that most of these artificial products won't be particularly pleasant to your nose, so keep them in a bag in the garage when not in use.

You should also pay attention to the types of materials your clothes are made of. Many materials have an especially strong odor that will carry on the wind, thus alerting wildlife to your presence. 

Smart hunters also understand the importance of covering their scent on the trail with dirt or leaves. You might think this is a minor detail, yet ignoring this advice could cost you that trophy buck you've been dreaming about all summer.

3. Be in the Woods Early

Get up early. In fact, the earlier you can be out in the woods the better. 

Deer prefer to move about right at dawn, while it's still cool, dark, and quiet. That means that you need to be in position even earlier so that you're ready when they pass beneath your tree stand on the trail.

Experienced hunters are familiar with deer habits, and thus understand that they are most active right at dawn and dusk. This means that sleeping in isn't an option. 

So if you plan to sleep past sunrise, you might as well find another hobby to enjoy.

4. Scout the Area

When it comes to deer hunting, preparation is everything. The less you leave to chance, the better.

You need to become as familiar with the woods where you'll be hunting as possible. That means plenty of hours spent scouting on foot during the spring and summer.

You need to know the woods like the back of your hand. Track deer movements in the area, and get an idea of the perfect placement for your tree stand.

Always be aware that the more time you spend scouting in the pre-season, the more likely you'll be to put yourself in a position for success once the start of the season rolls around.

5. Take Lunch with You

During hunting season, every hour is precious. After all, the season is short, so you don't want to waste time hiking back and forth to the truck to munch on sandwiches.

Get in the habit of bringing a small daypack to your tree stand. Pack along sandwiches, energy bars, and whatever snacks you need to keep up your energy during long hours in the field.

Yes, you're going to get hungry, but there's no reason to waste time climbing down from your stand and risking missing that trophy you scouted during the off-season. So do yourself a favor and bring lunch with you.

6. Use a Range Finder

A successful hunt requires plenty of planning, and if all of your work pays off, you'll hopefully get a shot at a trophy buck. When that moment arrives, you'd better have an accurate idea of how far the shot is.

Using a ranger finder will help maximize accuracy when it comes time to pull the trigger or release your arrow.

7. Rattle Antlers to Attract Bucks

Skilled hunters also understand the value of using a pair of rattling antlers to attract other bucks. After all, bucks are very competitive, and thus love the notion of a good fight. They will then creep up looking for battle, eventually stepping into range so that you can take a shot.

8. Stay Late

Don't turn in too early. Remember, deer are very active right at dusk, so the last thing you want to do is miss out on one of the prime times for spotting a big buck as it searches for a place to bed down.

Keep in mind that a successful hunt often boils down to patience and perseverance. Bagging a buck isn't easy, and wouldn't be nearly as satisfying if it was. 

9. Wear Camouflage

This might seem like a no-brainer, and yet you'd be surprised by the number of hunters who don't wear adequate camouflage in the field.

Remember, deer have an amazing sense of smell, and their vision might be even better, so dress accordingly.

The Best Hunting Tips for Success in the Woods

Deer hunting is a true American tradition. Whether you hunt with a rifle, a bow, or simply your camera, there are few activities as thrilling as time spent in the woods in pursuit of one of these majestic creatures.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about hunting leases.