Deer Hunting, Setting Yourself Up for Success

  • Added:
    Jun 11, 2013
  • Article Views:
  • Word Count:
Drinking in Seoul
Drinking in Seoul
Photo by grahamhills

Being an avid deer hunter, it is important to know what works and what doesn’t work. You would be surprised at how many people put little to no thought into a hunt before heading out to the woods. Some people do not plan their hunt at all and though they might get lucky at times, they are just setting them self up to fail from the start. Thinking about basic things can multiply your chances of killing a big buck if you just think your hunt out a little. Here we are going to go over some common and maybe some not so thought about things that can help you drop a trophy.

Go Where the Deer Are

Okay, this sounds like common sense but many people just walk into a part of the woods for the first time of the year the same day they are going to hunt. Without knowing if deer even use the space you are setting up on, you are playing with chances. This is where scouting comes into play. Using a trail cam in spots you see signs of deer will help you a lot. You can find out if deer are passing through in the morning, evening or an all day highway. If you either do not have a hunting cam, scouting is still a very important part. You want to look for all kinds of signs from dropping, heavy (and fresh) tracks/trails. Once you start to get into pre-rut, looking for scrapes and rubs will tell you that bucks are marking their territory. And during the rut, where you find a lot of doe, you can be sure you will find bucks.

Your Hunting Spot

Once you know where the deer are, the spot you pick is just as important. Nothing is worse than knowing where to be but not having a shot. From a deer stand, hunting blind or even against a tree, your placement is very important. Using a stand, you want to make sure you have “shooting lanes”, this is where you might need to trim branches back. You also want to try to position it guessing where the deer will be coming from but if possible also giving yourself a shot if they come from the opposite side. Using a deer blind, you want to put it in some kind of cover; a blind out in the middle of nothing might work if it is left out all year but in most cases it isn’t. You want it to blend in but set up for good shots. If sitting next to a tree, think about it, will you have to stand up? Are you sitting/standing on dry leaves? Are you in any kind of cover or at least blending into anything in the background? Are you far enough away from your target?

And of course, pick and set up your spot weeks before hunting.

Using Cover Scent

I think most people use cover scent, but most do not use enough. Deer can smell better than dogs so you want to make sure you cover every part of your body. During the rut, deer might not care as much if they get a little whiff of you because bucks are just like any other male while out looking for the ladies and the doe are running from them big boys, but….. I know I would rather not give them any heads up if possible.

Use fresh Estrous

This is an important part that many people do not think of. I know friends of mine, well and even me once or twice that have grabbed a bottle from the previous year and head out the door. You know the bottle that has been sitting in the truck all year… Though year old estrouscan work, fresh estrous will work a lot better. A lot of estrous you get from box-stores are from the year before (if you’re lucky). Buying same year estrous is fresher and screams for the boys.

Your Walk through the Woods

This is one of my biggest pet peeves, the tracking through the woods on the way out to your stand/blind. I hunt public property. Most of the time it is ok because I go a mile deep into the woods and most people are just too lazy to set up that far back but… when I have been sitting in my stand since 4:30am just to have some clumsy butt come walking up on me at 8:00am, I want to shoot him myself.

If hunting the morning, always try to get to your spot before the sun comes up. You want to be set up and give yourself time to cool down from walking in with your gear. Try to walk slowly and calmly through the woods making as less noise as possible. Some people might not think this is a great idea but dripping a couple drops of estrous on the heel of your boots will help cover your foot scent and might grab the attention of bucks that might cross your path and lead them right to you.

As for calls, rattle bags, etc. I’m not going to even touch that subject. All I will say is to make sure you are using something that the time of year calls for. I always laugh when I hear guys out there rattling the first week of bow season.

The main overall point of this article is to get you thinking about how important it is to think out your hunts even just a little. You will be setting yourself up for success and that’s what it is all about.

Author's Profile

Northking Tm enjoys writing articles for View the Northking Tm Author Profile

Please Rate this Article
Poor Excellent