How To Hunt Deer Effectively: 16 Best Deer Hunting Tips
For a novice hunter, it may be a little challenging to hunt deer on your first try. There are many things you have to consider and equally as many things that can go wrong in your hunting trip. This is why I’ve put together a list of tips that can help you out: the best deer hunting tips that’ll make your hunt easier.
Deer are very skittish creatures and bolt at one sight, smell, and sound of a hunter, which to them, means imminent danger. Moreover, deer have eyes at the back of their head (which gives them a 310 degree view), a great sense of smell, and a keen hearing, too. These characteristics thus make them difficult to hunt. But with a few tips under your belt, you can make your hunting more efficient:
Deer Hunting Tips
1. Get out of the deer’s sight
Deer have a 310 degree view because of the position of their eyes. If you want to steer clear of a deer’s view, find a position where the deer can’t see you or won’t focus its sight on you; perhaps a tree stand or a bush.
- Tip: Never ignore the rule of wearing safety orange when you go out to hunt. Deer will probably spot the unusual color, but safety comes first and you don’t want friendly fire spoiling your hunting trip.
2. Rid yourself of human odor
If a deer smells something remotely human, trust me when I say that it’ll bolt right away to seek safety. Some things you can do to get rid of your odor is to shower with scent-free soap just before a hunt, and spraying yourself with an odor-eliminator while out hunting.
Make sure to bring a can with you just in case, and make sure to spray all of your clothes and your hair.
3. Avoid noise as much as possible
Deer have also great sense of hearing. When they hear something like a metal canteen falling to the forest floor or a radio going off, it’ll take a long time before the deer deems it to be safe to come back to that spot.
What you can do to minimize noise is to walk as carefully as possible, avoid stepping on twigs and sticks if you can. Be like a lion when stalking its prey; prowling instead of walking, making as little noise with its feet as possible.
4. Lure them with scents
During the early season, bucks can be very territorial, and so a buck scent can lure another buck to your area. On the other hand, during the peak-rut season, a buck can be lured by doe estrous effectively.
5. Lure them with food
Deer have a very limited diet due to their non-hunting nature. What they eat are mostly leaves, twigs, nuts, and other forest debris. However, deer love eating fruits that have fallen to the ground, but of course, this delicacy can be limited for them.
So, as a hunter, you can lure them into your spot by placing a few pieces of fruit on the ground. Nuts can be a good option, too.
6. Set up your tree stand a few days before going hunting
Setting up your tree stand may produce a lot of noise and can scare off your potential prey. What I recommend is doing your set-ups and arrangements a few hours or a day before actually going hunting, so you ensure that all the creatures you’ve scared off have come back.
7. Cover up your tree stand
Covering up your tree stand has two advantages: one, is that it conceals you from the careful eye of the deer, and two, it will give you some extra warmth against cold winds.
8. Practice going up and down your tree stand
Doing so with as little noise as possible and with very careful movements can prepare you when actually going up and down your tree stand while in action. Practice makes perfect; and will prevent spoiling your hunt by being clumsy and also ensure your safety.
- Note: most falls from the tree stand occur while climbing into and out of the stand.
9. Be sure to pack wisely
It may be needless to say, but I’m going to remind you anyway: a well-prepared hunter sets up chances of a good hunt by a two-fold. When going out to hunt, your hunting backpack needs to be well-packed and well-organized. In this article, we give you the essentials you need to pack.
But the general rule is: pack all the essentials (toiletries, clothes, food, shoes, ammo, knife, eating utensils, cooking equipment, lighter, fuel, torch, water, first aid kit, camera, GPS, map, binoculars, etc.) but not so much that your pack feels heavier than yourself.
10. Know where to shoot your deer
A good shot aims for the heart or lungs, to kill the animal instantly and humanely. Practice your aim and make sure you avoid the hind, legs, and stomach. Make sure to aim for the heart, lungs, or head.
11. Be patient when shooting
Getting the right shot with the right aim is essential, and being impatient can have you ending up with a buck running away from you, shot in the leg. It’s also wise to shoot within your comfortable range; don’t take chances if you know that the deer is too far away for your aim.
12. Know when to hunt
Your chances of catching a deer are probably high when the season is peak mating season during 10am – 2pm.
Be patient: you can wait around all day for a single buck to approach.
13. Don’t walk around too much
One thing that can let deer know that you’re after them is walking around the area and making a lot of human noise, spreading your scent everywhere. This will most likely spook them off.
The best way to see a deer is waiting in your tree stand for several hours (Yes, it can take hours before a deer finally comes passing by) as patiently as you can. With this, I recommend bringing with you something to entertain, such as books or an iPod.
14. Hunt in an area with less hunters
Deer know how to avoid areas with a lot of hunters present, and you should do the same as well. Deer tend to go to places that they think is safe, so it’s best if you go hunting in places where not a lot of hunters go. These areas may be a little bit difficult to traverse or are too far away from your car, but chances are, you’ll find a deer there.
The general rule is: if you think that no other hunter will even think of going to this place, there’s a high chance of a deer going there, too.
15. Make sure to do the right call
Deer calling can definitely lure some prey to you, but it’s also important to know what type of call to do at the right time. For instance, a doe-in-heat call will be most effective in peak-rut season, while a buck grunt call will most likely lure during the early season.
Moreover, deer need to be present to hear your call, and don’t make it too loud.
16. Adapt to the movement of the deer
Deer are constantly moving, and so should you. What you can do is to hunt in a new tree stand every few days, wherein chances of a deer passing by increases. A wise hunter will know to move about and learn the movement pattern of the deer, so he can follow.
Remember, deer won’t always come to you.
The best deer hunting tips are the ones coming from an experienced hunter, which I am. So rest without a doubt that these tips can catch you a mighty buck in no time (with a lot of practice and patience, of course). Learn them by heart and apply it to the field, you’re bound to catch a deer soon.
If you liked this list of deer hunting tips, leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Don’t forget to share this with your friends so that they, too, can start hunting the smart way.
Thanks for reading!