9 Traditional Deer Hunting Tips for the Modern Hunter in 2020

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.


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