Whitetail deer hunting tips
Every fall it seems like there are more deer eating the tomato plants in the garden than out in the forest during hunting season. They are out on the roads and at the local salt licks in town but when you go out to the deer stand it seems like they are nowhere to be seen. You’ve got the beer in the cooler and all the food for the grill when you get to the cabin, but you want to add some venison. We have gathered some tips and tricks to make sure this year’s deer season is the best one yet.
How to hunt for White-tailed deer?
White-tailed deer are the most popular game animal in North America. This means that people hunt them in many different ways. There have been discussions across the country over bar tables about the best way to hunt but it is down to each person and what works best for them.
Hunting should be an enjoyable experience and the best way to hunt anything is the method that works for you. There are some tried and true tricks that will be useful to any hunter regardless of the method they prefer. Then you can join the debate about whether it’s better to hunt with guns, spears, or bows.
Every deer hunter has their preferred method. Some of these are regional differences, like hunting with dogs in the South or the deer stands in the Midwest. Some hunters prefer bows while others use guns. It’s up to personal preference and no one way is particularly better than another.
It depends on what kind of hunting the individual enjoys the most. White-tailed deer are an extremely popular game animal so there are many different hunting options available. Some people prefer to stalk deer and some prefer to wait while several deer approach a feeder in order to take down a big buck. It’s all about what’s right for you and suits your style.
If you are new to hunting and are not sure what weapon is best for you, wait until you have made your selection and then practice. Safety is important for hunters and proficiency with your weapon of choice is necessary before your first hunt.
Bruce Woods of Mother Earth News recommends practicing for at least a year with a new weapon for inexperienced hunters. He states that familiarity with a weapon is important for a safe and successful hunt.
How to find a place to hunt whitetails?
If you are not lucky enough to own several acres of property where you are able to hunt, you will have to find your hunting grounds elsewhere. There are many places that offer deer hunting in season, and you can do research to find out what location would be best for you. Find a convenient place close to where you live unless you only plan on hunting once or twice during the season.
Check the US Food and Wildlife Service for recommendations on where to hunt in your local area. Then visit those places and take note of where you notice tracks, droppings, or scrapes. Scrapes are where bucks have scraped trees so the does know they are available for mating.
When you’ve figured out where you’d like to hunt, bring a topographic map along to mark out the areas you’d like to use. Be sure to do this before the season starts if you are a beginner. This is your opportunity to scout the best places for hunting when the season begins and if you go early you will have an advantage over the other hunters.
Advancements in technology have many applications these days and the same is true for hunting. You can often find an aerial view of the plot of land where you plan to hunt. This will give you great insight into your chosen hunting grounds. If you search on Google, you can bring up your area and check out the optimal areas to set up your stand.
Gerald Almy from Field & Stream recommends finding a water source as a good hunting location because deer are naturally attracted to places where they can drink. He further advises hunters to keep a lookout for acorns because they are the food of choice for the white-tailed deer.
For those who prefer to hunt from a stand, the most important thing about your stand is that it remains undetected. This applies to both rifle and spear hunters. Try to find the most natural cover possible and hang the stand as high as you can over the trail. The challenge of getting into your stand without the deer noticing can be difficult, so make sure to eliminate anything that might alert the deer to your presence.
You also don’t want to cross several trails and leave evidence of your passing when you approach your stand. Then make sure to clear away any brush or noisy leaf material so you are able to approach the area as silently as possible.
Steve Bartylla talks about the importance of staying undetected on public land in this video. He recommends avoiding the food sources in the mornings going in and in the afternoon to stay away from the woods to ensure the bucks do not notice your arrival.
Keep your stand in good condition by checking it out before the season begins. Stands can deteriorate and it’s important to keep yours in top shape to avoid loud noises from a creaky platform or from a collapse. Deer stands collapse every season and can cause injury. You’ll be in the stand for several hours at a time so you want to make sure it’s safe.
How do I attract deer?
According to Knight and Hale, during rutting season, doe estrous is a good way to attract deer. At other times, you’ll find there are better options. Deer urine is often your best bet. Remember that baiting deer with food is illegal in many states.
There are alternative ways to find and attract deer without using food as bait. Locating your stand near a stream or another water source is a good idea. You can also employ grunts or other mating calls if you are able to do a good imitation.
If your stand is not located near a water source, you can put down a pan or other container filled with water in the area. If these options do not work for you, there are also commercial deer lures available on the market.
You also don’t want to be detrimental to your own efforts in attracting deer. They are put off by human scent and white-tailed deer have an excellent sense of smell. Remember to shower with odorless soap when you are going hunting. Deer do not like the smell of humans and will be put off by it.
Anything you can do to eliminate scent is recommended. Robert Preston from Gone Outdoors also advises hunting into the wind to keep your scent from being carried to any bucks.
Your clothes should be clean and kept in plastic bags until you reach the hunting stand. You can also rub dirt on them or put dirt and leaves in the bag. This is a good way to mask any leftover scent so the deer will not pick up on it. You can also purchase scent-eliminating spray and use it on yourself and your clothes.
What should I do while I wait?
For many hunters, going after the white-tailed deer is a waiting game. You should bring food and water for the day as well as a book or notebook to keep yourself occupied, but don’t get so absorbed that you miss the deer when they come by!
Keeping vigilant can be a challenge after hours of waiting, so make sure you are aware of your surroundings while you are passing the time. There are several ways you can do this, including compartmentalizing your brain so that half of your awareness is based on what you are reading and the other half is on your surroundings.
According to Bob Robb from Field and Stream, employing mental exercises can work wonders, and he also offers some advice about how to sit and wait. Patience and endurance are key to a successful hunt.
Some hunters are interested in filming their hunts. You can install a camera in your stand or ground blind. This is not only a good way to keep an eye on the trail but will provide you with a video of your hunting experience. Then you will have something to revisit at your leisure after the season ends.
A video can provide more than just a record of your hunt. You can also watch it and learn from your past mistakes in order to have a more successful hunt in coming years, and a document of how you have grown as a hunter.
There are many options for cameras and other equipment to use depending on your needs. You can watch a video on filming your hunts at Buck Advisors, where they fill you in on the best cameras for filming and other tips to make the most of your experience.
Should I bring friends and family?
Hunting is one of the best traditions we share with friends and family. You can pass down your knowledge to your children and have great bonding experiences they will cherish throughout their lives.
It’s important to make sure kids are introduced to hunting the right way. Stephanie Mallory of Realtree recommends short and active hunts for kids because they have different attention spans than adults.
Even if you don’t have kids or they are not interested in joining you, there are other ways to have company on your hunt. Deer hunting is also a great way to spend a weekend away with friends, and is safer for hunters because you should have other people around if you are going out into the woods.
A multitude of problems can happen and it is best to have other people around who will have your back if anything goes wrong. These are not always related to hunting; for example, hunters have had heart attacks in the woods or other unexpected medical issues.
Safety is one of the most important factors in an enjoyable and successful hunt. You want to make sure that you are able to return and hunt again the following year. Make sure that the companions you choose are reliable and responsible.
There are other reasons apart from safety to bring company along. Hunting is a great tradition to share with a group of friends. You can spend the day out in the woods and the evenings in the cabin for dinner and drinks. This is a good opportunity to catch up with your friends and share experiences.
Deer hunting is a great opportunity to catch up with your buddies and fire up the grill. It’s also an ideal opportunity for you to teach your kids about a great American tradition and give them a learning experience they will remember for a lifetime.
Hunting whitetail deer is an American tradition. It’s a great way to learn about tactics and patience. It’s also a time-honored way to spend quality time with family and friends. We all need to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air and deer hunting is an opportunity to reconnect with nature.
If you are a beginner, you may even find that you become a lifelong hunter. Whether you are a seasoned hunter or just starting out, you can employ these tips and tricks to ensure you bring home some beautiful deer. You’ll have delicious venison to eat all winter along with new and treasured memories.