Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tips and Tricks: Deer Hunting Tips

Don't let the deer know what you are doing.
Here is a rule I hunt by. I never walk if I can drive and I never drive if I can use the binoculars.
Stomping around on foot all over your hunting area is a sure way to let all the game know that you are after them. The best way I have found to check out an area is to sit for a few hours, preferably at dawn and dusk, at an elevated point, such as a hilltop. From there I have a good view over the area. With a pair of high powered binoculars in the range of 10 x 40 or 10x 50, I can observe from far away what the animals are doing without ever letting them know that I am in the area.
If this is not possible I drive around in the car. Cruising the country lanes and back roads spooks game very little, they are more used to see vehicles than people on foot.

Be different and kill a buck.
A good friend of mien has gone hunting for many years, but failed to shoot at anything. He asked me why that might be. In a brief conversation I found out that he does every year the same thing, even placed his tree stand in the same tree.
The only thing that constitutes insanity is to do the same things over and over again but expecting each time a different result. If it is not working what you have been doing then perhaps it is time to change what you are doing and if that means you have to get out of your comfort zone then so be it. It is often not what you do that spells the difference but what you are not doing but should do.

Avoid other hunters, deer do to.
To upon your hunting success and make it a lot more fun, take this advice to heart. First you got to hunt on some place where there are deer. Some hunters I know of hunt on places where there are no deer or very few and far in between. Second I always hunt places where there aren’t many hunters. This to me is the most important aspect. I know most of us hunt on public land, where it seems at times that there are more hunters than game. But even these places have pockets where other hunters do not venture to, for various reasons, mostly because these places are to far away from the car. Over the years I have become somewhat an expert on public land hunting and I always look for the places that other hunters don’t go to and that is where the deer go too. My very first Buck was killed on such a place. Right next to the parking lot in a thick dangle of undergrowth where no sane human being ever would think of going.

Deer calling that will bring the deer to you.
When I talk to hunters about deer calling then many complain that calling does not work for them. As I have often discovered in such conversations. The reasons are.

  1. Calling where there are no deer. The deer need to hear your call to be able to respond to it. Deer are not like elk and turkey which react to prospective calling.
  2. The wrong call at the wrong time of the season. Make sure you use the right call, i.e. A Doe-in-oestrus-bleat won’t work in the early season. A dominant buck grunt in an area where there are no big dominant bucks will scare all the deer out of the area. The same is true for very aggressive antler rattling.
  3. The most common mistake hunters make is simply to call to LOUD. Deer don’t SHOUT at each other, they whisper. A deer hears about 500 times better than a human what sounds quiet to you is deafening to a deer.
  4. And finally use a quality deer call, such as those from Modern Call Products. LLC. These calls come so close to the natural sound that you and more importantly the deer won’t know the difference. But not only are these calls top quality sound and material wise. They are also so small that they fit in the palm of you hand or you can keep them in your mouth with the bowstring pulled for that bleat to stop the buck just long enough to get the arrow into him.

Tree stand height.
Bring a few bow hunters together and get a conversation started about tree stand height and soon you have a very heated debate going. There are those that advocate 20ft. of the ground and even higher tree stand placement. While others are of the opinion that 12ft. to 15 is enough. Well the truth is that the most important aspect to tree stand placement is background cover and being able to get a clean shot at the deer. It is an irrefutable fact that the higher you climb up a tree the more likely you are to run out of both, the background cover and being able to make a good killing shot. That is just plain common sense.

Check your Equipment
Check your equipment when you get in the stand not when a buck walks out. Is your scope clear, will your bow draw back properly, shell in the chamber, etc. etc.

Stay to the last Minute
Don't leave before the legal shooting time is over. Probably the best time of the day to kill a buck is the last minute of shooting light. Don't leave your stand like me and most hunters tend to do, 10 minutes to early.

Lower the Bow Pull Weight
Many bowhunters have their bow poundage set too high. Not too high for the bow but to high for their arms. Its onething to be able to pull it in practice and quite another to be able to hold it steady for 30 seconds waiting for the deer to step out from behing that bush.

Hunt more!
To increase your success. Hunt more! Sounds dumb but its the truth. You say you hunt every chance you get when you don't have to work!!! Well that may be true but how much of that time is spent at the camp? Why not spend the middle part of the day in the woods? Staying in bed due to bad weather! Not a good excuse! Remember deer are killed every single day of the deer season. My biggest buck was killed in the middle of the day. The largest bodied deer was killed in between rain showers. You can scoff and say this is not a real hunting tip but I promise you one thing, if you were to live by this one rule it will increase your kill opportunities more than any other tip you find ANYWHERE.

Hunt a new stand location every day
When hunting a new area, or during the rut where bucks are constantly moving, it pays in the long run to hunt a new stand each day. This is the fastest way to learn the deer movement patterns.

Be mobile
Ever sat in a, oh so carefully, scouted stand and wondered why the deer move past your stand hundred yards out and not by your stand where they should? There are many reasons deer avoid your stand or simply have changed their travel patterns. Some hunters keep hunting the same stand day after day in the hope the deer will come closer. The smart hunter changes the stand location to where the deer are moving. A successful hunter is adaptabs to deer movement!

Wait, don't move that stand now!
If you have to relocate your stand, or set up a new stand in the middle of the hunting season, do it in the middle of the day when deer are resting and not in the morning or late afternoon when deer are on the move.


If you have any helpful deer hunting tips feel free to share them with our readers by adding them in the comment section.

33 comments:

Editor said...

I thought this would be another lame blog spouting off bullets point. Instead, I found it to be interesting, informative and useful.
Thank you,
Rex
come visit me!

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you Editor.
Yes, I try very hard to be different than other websites and blogs. What would be the point of having a website if it only would be more of the same. J

I visited your blog and find it very interesting, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

that was an interesting blog thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

Awesome job hitting up multiple aspects of the hunt. As a new bow hunter I was sceptable about public land and the pressure I would encounter from other hunters. After three seasons I found that not many take advantage of this great resource. In Nebraska I have seen nothing but big bucks and have been fortunate enough to take one. Your tips are definately useful and I think would help anybody be successful. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I have hunted for the vast majority of my life (since I was 6 I am now 38). I have found that sometimes it is best to move your after legal shooting light. I have done this several times and have had deer all over me the next day because they were not aware that I had moved. Case in Point. I was seeing deer all around me but they were moving about 75 yards away from me. i decided to move the stand that night after legal light. the next morning i went in to the new location and 20 minutes after sitting down arrowed a nice 10 point at 7 yards. he had no idea that I was even there. Sometimes it is better to move the stand when the deer are moving too as they are making noise and so are you!!!!!!!

bob said...

You can spook deer by snapping the safety switch off. To avoid this, use your finger and thumb, finger on one side, thumb on the other, to slide the switch off.

Steven U. said...

i thought this info. was really helpful. I am 16 and started hunting about 3 years ago. I have seen bucks from 14 pointers to little cowhorns and havent killed one yet, ive shot at em but never found them. I have move to another hunting location this year behind my house and have had alot of action, my neighbor recenlty killed a 8 pointer back there. I am in high hopes with killing deer now that i have read this blog. Thank you for posting this!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, that really helped. I have been hunting this stand on the edge of a field and the deer were moving around me in the field and in the woods, but too far away. after i read this i went out and moved my treestand to a different spot in the same field and deer are walking all over it! now there is even a deer trail running right under my stand 5 yards away. thanks!

Anonymous said...

I admit that I don't hunt, but I was interested enough to read all the way through your tips. They make sense. So much better than the advice to "buy some better deer urine" to attract the deer.

Your no non-sense, let's be practical about how to hunt with a stand, is great!

Anonymous said...

i used some of these tips and ive already killed 10 deer this year. i killed a 23 inch buck the first day.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know how to keep your bow/gun steady? It seems like every time I shoot my gun/bow, it isn't steady. Any ideas?
Thanks

kalob said...

I found this to bee really intresting especially for early season hunting. and stand placement. Thanks for the tips on everything...... kalob

Anonymous said...

My stand is universal, I can sit on front of the tree or behind the tree. I prefer to sit behind the tree for better cover. I place climping spikes on each side of the tree in front of me to rest my rifle on, It gives me better stability when taking a shot.

Anonymous said...

I keep running into pack's of does... why don't i ever see a buck? It's rut, 12 horny does running around the same place for 3 years. how does this elusive buck get past me? Is there anything i can do to be more successful? any tips or help would be appreciated

Othmar Vohringer said...

You're not alone in your complaint Anonymous. It's hard to say why the bucks are not around with the little information you provided.

If there are a lot of other hunters, the bucks have turned nocturnal, meaning they come out after dark and head back into the woods before the sun is up.

However, the good news is that even such bucks are vulnerable to good tactics. Look for the thickest thickets in the area. Scout carefully for buck sign there. But be very careful as bucks will not tolerate much in these places. Look for isolated pockets where other hunters do not go because these are the places where the bucks go. Such isolated places can be very small, things like a small woodlot in the middle of nowhere, a small overgrown field, bramble thickets, standing cornfields and swamps to name a few. I killed my largest public land buck in a small bramble thicket right next to the hunter parking lot. No same person would have looked there and that is why the bucks went there.

Good luck.

-ov-

ethan said...

thanks i am going to try this and hope it works cause my time is running out and im freaking out

Anonymous said...

i have private property that i hunt on and we mowed trails through the fields and through the woods and there are tracks everywhere. the deer are lazy and take the trail and i have seen alot of deer walking on them. it also makes it alot easier for us to get to our stands.

Mike cha said...

I have been hunting for over seven years for everthing and even did some trapping. But even though I started with deer I still never had one down. I have had brown in my sights but a brach knocked the flight lone. Also I go hunting on my buddies land and he's mr. No it all this year I wiser up and I'm not hunting on his land this your. So hopefully I'll get my deer. I really liked everything you said this are some things I have been trying to tell my buddy but he won't linsten. There's a lot of good info here. I hope that within the next 12 hrs I can reply on here saying next your tips got me a deer..

Anonymous said...

I have a question. The first three days of
Opening season I saw three 10 point bucks and ever since in the same general area I have not seen them ever again. Why I's that? Will they come back in the rut?

Nick said...

For better accuracy you should hold gun tight to your shoulder lean into it and relase half your breath slowly then hold the rest in and slowly curl ur finger to pull the trigger ... Alot of people have the common misconseption that a quick pull on the trigger is better but in all actuality its better to pull slowly so u dont jerk your gun ... Ive been hunting scince i was 12 i am now 17 and ive gotten a total of 13 dear spined 10 of them and the others were lung shots ... I dont aim for the heart cuz thats the best part of the deer ... Well that and the backstraps

Anonymous said...

im 17 and iv been liveing by the same ideas and i can say that it works for me, this year i got 3 deer bow hunting a 4 gun hunting but i have been geting pics of big buck moveing at all times of the day, so i sat all day for a good part of the seson and never saw him, eny ideas so i can get him i the late season?

Anonymous said...

im also 17 this is my first year hunting on my own since my dad passed. i strictly bowhunt and two days ago harvested a nice non typical 11! the trick? i watched this buck move back and forth through a pasture i knew his pattern but he never got close enough for a shot! the next day i set up farther down the pasture where he hops the fence and WAM! he's on the ground! best advice i guess is you have to find out where these deer are comin from and what they are heading to, once you find that your odds will greatly increase! good luck to you all!

prettygirl said...

yoi aint gotta do all that crap just to kill a buck. i sit in my truck and hunt( sometimes in a stand) and i - along with my dad - have killed many a buck in this way.
1- go early
2- be still
3- wait
4- shoot if you see one
9 times out of 10 you will see one. we have bucks bedding down in our dried up pond and i have shot many large bucks down there.
anyone with enough land can set up food plots and attract the deer to you.
(or you can drive down dirt roads with the gun hanging out the window and hope you might see one:)

Othmar Vohringer said...

@Prettygirl

A.) Not everyone owns his own land and can plant food plots, and even then it's not that easy to kill a deer, let alone a big buck.

This brings me to point B.) of my comment.

I somehow doubt very much that you're a hunter. The reason being that no real hunter would suggest to others to commit illegal acts. It is against the law in North America to hunt and, or, discharge a firearm from a moving vehicle.

O.V.

Anonymous said...

That's why there is no deer around where I hunt. Everyone around here poaches and hunts from the road cuz they are too lazy to get out of their truck. I'm 17 and I know that this isn't right. I feel much better when I get a nice buck and its legal anyways. I could understand someone that's handicap or too old to really get out there and walk but if your able to then you should, you will feel much better about your kill in the long run when your tellin the story to everybody. These are very good tips by the way and by using these tips this year and walking where no one else would go way up at the top of the mountain I killed a 140 class 9 pointer here in VA on public land. Thanks for the tips! I hope to get more bucks this season!

Aaron said...

When looking for land that has very little pressure from other hunters, a good set of chest waders can be your best friend through the hunting season.

jgillchevy said...

a few tips that has been very useful to me are: use googlemaps in the aerial/satellite view mode of your hunting area, wheather it be private or public land. This is the absolute best way to do your initial scouting because it allows you to see all off the wooded areas, open areas, water sources, natural "funnels/pinchpoints," etc etc. Its best to even print off a copy of this satellite map for continuous studying of your hunting area plotting your stand locations on it. Next, scout several stand locations so you have many options based on different winds and current deer movement patterns. Take a pen and notepad with you while scouting and make detailed notes on all newly discovered stand sites (ie; north seeking arrow, all pertinent info like trails/intersections, wooded areas, open areas, also info on the exact tree you picked out (is it best suited for a climbing or lock-on stand). You ALWAYS need to have a compass on you (scouting or hunting), this allows you to put your north seeking arrow on your notepad sketch. This is important for two reasons; to know what wind direction would best allow you to hunt this stand and what wind direction would make that stand a "no-go" in which case you select another of your sites that IS suited for current wind directions. Second reason is because you want to know what stand sites are best suited for morning hunts and which are best for evening hunts. In a perfect world you alwsys want the sun at your back and wind in your face....an ol' indian saying. Also try to plan multiple routes to your stands, do not walk in from the most likely direction/area you expect to see deer.
Lastly buy the absolute best equipment you can afford, especially scope, and PRACTICE OFTEN, know where your gun is hitting. Keep scope on lowest power setting, you can always crank it up if you see one farther away. NEVER hunt in a tree stand without a safety harness on, you owe that to your family.....it doesnt always happen to the OTHER guy!!! Good Luck!!!!

Anonymous said...

First time deer hunter here. I found your info interesting. I will try to use all of it this season.
Hunting deer will sure be different than hunting Hajjis. Good thing is Deer don't shoot back.
I've come across so many bucks and older does. While timing my mountain bike. I'd come around a corner flying. And BAM! There one would be.
Damn ne'er hitting it.
I got the ok to hunt on private land. On the side of a rocky hill. Overlooking an oak tree grove.
Saw boat loads of deer tracks. And one big ass set of moose tracks. It's got a nice creek close by
Too. I have a decent tree stand but prefer a ground blind. It would bee a perfect sniper position if I was in DOUCHEBAGISTAN. I'll be out there for bow, black powder and rifle seasons.
If y'all have any other advice. Please give me a holler on FB. John wrench Morrissey

Anonymous said...

This is for prettygirl n huntin from a vehicle is illegal I hunt for meat myself n when I 16 someone poached a very nice buck off of my grandfathers land n I almost got in trouble for it. The conservation officer said I shot it n it wasn't big enough now since that's happened I now buy a buck tag for that reason because people like u take it away from the guys that actually do it the legal way n it's bullcrap wat u r n have been doin. Thank u guys that hunt legally.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous. Don't get to upset with "Prettygirl" I think she is an animal rights activist. Sometimes these people come to websites like this one and post illegal things just to get rise out of hunters. Or worse, hope someone would say "cool i have to try that" so they can go back to their people and spout off that hunters commit illegal offenses.

Fortunately, real hunters are much better then that. Real hunters, like yourself, strictly obey all game laws and ethical standards.

jennifer said...

Yeah. its illegal in Georgia also huge fine if caught Im 29 & I shoot with a bow and a crossbow i hunt in a field beside our house and my fiance hunts behind the house in pine thickets, its awesome I have several stands but for some reason I find it more heart pounding and challenging to hunt on the ground no blinds just blending in. my only issue is we have a lot of oak trees and the squirrels run crazy and run me crazy.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to hunting and proud to say that I killed my first deer (doe) on my first season with a bow at 20 yds this year. I just so happened to have a thick 'Y' branch coming off the main trunk at about 70 degrees. As I was doing my pre-checks and drawing around my shooting lanes I used that thick branch to shoot over leaning on it with my underarm and rib cage. It was the most steady I've been with my bow that I decided to shoot some field points at the ground and made minor adjustments. It was like shooting a rifle in the prone on bipod it was so steady. I now zero my bow where I can find a suitable tree with a branch like this. If I could shoot my bow from the prone to zero it I would.

Anonymous said...

A simple and easy way to prevent someone from stealing your tree stand is to buy Master Lock trailer Hitch pin locks. Use one in each section of your ladder, instead of the clip pin. Now the sections are locked together all the way to the top. Kind of hard to carry out a fully assembled 20 foot tall tree stand!

Plus they are SS, and resistant to corrosion.

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