Getting into deer hunting is extremely exciting. You’ll get a chance to get in touch with your wilder side, spend more time in nature, and connect with a dynamic community that can teach you a lot. However, it’s not all fun and games. To be a great hunter, you need to put in the effort. Buck hunts are far from an easy task, often considered among some of the most demanding sports.
It takes years of hard training and experience to master the hunt and enjoy the rewards. Still, you can become a pro hunter faster by adopting the right tricks and techniques.
Here are the best tips to help you hunt deer effectively.
- Start by scouting
Although the high number of accidental deer-vehicle collisions would suggest otherwise, coming across a buck at random doesn’t happen very often. To make your whitetail deer hunting successful, you’ll need to come prepared. That means investing time and effort into scouting before getting your rifle out of the closet.
Find out where the deer’s feeding and bedding areas are and determine the routes they’re using to go back and forth between them.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid hunting in the bedding areas, as you can easily spook them and force them out, making it much more challenging to find bucks worth hunting.
- Focus on scent control
Whereas humans have just around five million olfactory receptors, whitetail deer have about 297 million. They can easily detect your scent from miles away, so you’ll need to do all you can to mask it. And no, that doesn’t mean using woody body sprays or musky colognes. It means neutralizing as much of your smell as possible.
Shower before the hunt with scent-free soap, and make sure that all the clothes, towels, and gear you use are as scent-free as possible. Instead of washing your clothes with a floral laundry detergent, use some baking soda.
Additionally, wear weather-appropriate clothing to minimize sweating and make it less likely for the bucks to notice you.
Scent control is necessary if you want to get close enough to the deer to make the shot.
- Pay attention to the wind
Regardless of how hard you try to minimize your odor, there’s only so much you can do about it. Therefore, to steer clear of the deer’s nose, you’ll want to pay close attention to the wind and have it play in your favor.
Since you’ll scout the area beforehand and find out where the deer will move about, you’ll want to study the wind conditions during your hunt and position yourself downwind from the deer.
Of course, you’ll want to stay downwind as you go to your hunting location since you don’t want to spook the bucks on your way.
- Ensure excellent noise control
If there’s one thing that deer are known for, it’s that they’re spooked easily. The slightest sound of a leaf crunching will have them fleeing to safety. To be a successful whitetail deer hunter, you’ll need to keep the noise down. Don’t let them know you’re coming.
Use appropriate footwear, move slowly, and take control of your gear before you hit the hunting grounds. If necessary, wrap any metal tool and equipment in duct tape to minimize clinking sounds or use foam padding – do whatever’s needed to keep the noise to a minimum. It is worth investing in decent scopes for hunters to be be able to perform at their best. It is always worth spending plenty of time researching the best equipment.
- Take the high ground
Another thing you’ll want to avoid is their sight. Though they’re not known for excellent vision, deer are great at detecting movement and can see well even in low light conditions. That means you’ll want to stay out of their line of sight.
Though camo and some good natural cover can do the work, your best bet is finding higher ground. It will help you in more ways than one.
First off, you’ll be out of their field of vision, so they’ll be less likely to detect you. It will also work to send your smell up higher and give you a better view of the surroundings.
- Get the timing right
Most commonly, the deer hunting season starts around September and lasts until December. You’ll have plenty of time to go out into the woods and test your skills. However, if you want to make it easier on yourself, your best bet is to go hunting on the opening day as early as possible.
Deer generally have somewhat predictable behaviors, but as soon as the hunters enter their woods, they become warier and more hectic. They’ll become more unpredictable as the hunting season progresses, and they’ll be much more challenging to catch.
Therefore, by starting your hunt as early as possible, you’ll have the element of surprise on your side and better chances of success.
Whitetail deer hunting can get your adrenaline pumping and be one of the best experiences ever. While it’s not always about making the shot and going home with a hefty prize, there’s no denying that getting a high-quality buck has its merits.
Follow the tips above and take part in the coming hunting season well prepared.