This post may contain affiliate links. Buying something through these links doesn't cost you anything and helps support Know Prepare Survive. For some light reading, check out our affiliate disclosure.
How do you become a great deer hunter and be able to bag every buck that you target in the woods?
Consider this scenario:
Hunter A goes to a given hunting spot and skillfully clean kills a monster buck; Hunter B goes to the same place and fails to knock down a single deer.
The difference between the two hunters?
It’s simple: Hunter A has all the skills and tricks necessary to trick that deer into his range for a nice shot.
There are probably numerous deer hunters in real life who always finds themselves in a similar situation to Hunter B.
If you’re one of these hunters, you can raise your game in the woods by learning some powerful skills and tips.
Whether you are a veteran deer hunter or a beginner venturing into the woods for the first time, the tips below will help you maximize your hunting prowess in no time…
7 Tips and Tricks That Will Make You A Great Deer Hunter
1. Cover Your Scent
The ability to fully cover up your scent is one of the primary determinants of whether your deer hunting sessions will be a success or not.
The deer can sense human smell a mile away – not forgetting that they can also detect the smell you leave on the ground as well as in the air as you walk.
The good news is that you can easily cover up you scent and prevent the deer from detecting you by using some scent eliminator (I’ve only tried this brand). Simply spray the bottom of your boots and hunting stand with an odor eliminator.
Bathing with a scent-free soap (like this one) before every hunting trip also ensures that you don’t leave your scent in the air.
One more thing: always ensure that you’re downwind to your range to further prevent the game from detecting your smell.
2. Dupe the Deer
If you fall into the category of deer hunters who don’t believe in tricking deer with decoys, calls, etc., then you have been missing a lot!
But it’s never too late. You can start incorporating different methods of tricking the deer into your range and thus increase your luck in the woods.
Decoys can be an excellent way to fool the deer. Modern models come with lifelike features that enable them to trick the deer easily.
As long your decoy setup is correct, you’ll surely get deer visitors to your hunting area.
Other methods of duping the deer include the use of calls, e.g. the grunt tube and bleat cans and even the rattling of antlers to draw in the deer to your range for a perfect shot!
Take Note: before using the above deer tricks, it’s important to learn how and when to use them to get the most out of them.
3. Be Attractive
You heard that right.
Using deer attractants is another strategy that veteran hunters have been using to maximize their hunting success.
Fortunately, the market has all kinds of deer attractants; ranging from deer feed, deer urine, deer feeders, and so much more. (or you can make your own deer feeder!)
These enable you to attract the deer to your stand for easy take-down.
A great example where the deer attractants have been proven to work is the use of the drag rag soaked in the doe estrus in the peak-rut season.
Often, bucks will follow these trails right to your waiting stand!
4. Try Using a Bow
Using a bow to hunt deer?
Great! This part is for you.
Using a compound bow has proven to be a great asset when it comes to deer hunting and many hunters swear by it.
But to enjoy the ultimate success when using your bow and arrow in the woods, you need to take care of a few things:
- Ensure that you have the ideal bow for you: one that fits your size and strength and that you’re comfortable using.
- Accuracy matters most: when that magical moment appears (when the buck enters your shooting range), you’ve got only one chance and your accuracy is all you need to grab the chance. Do everything to ensure you get the buck down with the first shot. Employ accuracy enhancing accessories such as the single pin bow sight. Don’t let the opportunity go!
- Practice makes perfect: if you wait until the hunting day to use your bow, you’ll definitely fail. The surest way to hone your archery skills is by practicing shooting at different elevations and positions using readily available archery targets.
- Use razor-sharp broadheads: most bowhunters recommend this type of arrowhead, quoting its capability to kill the game more efficiently and even leave a good blood trail.
- Know your distance: did you know that most of the missed shots are attributed to wrong yardage estimations? When in your tree stand, try ranging the trees at different distances and use them as landmarks in your head. A rangefinder will also be helpful here.
5. Be Quiet
So you believe that after fully covering your human scent you’re safe?
Deer have excellent hearing as well. In fact, they can quickly detect your movements from a quarter mile away on a non-windy day!
And if they hear your movements, they can take around two hours to return.
You can avoid making any noise on the hunting day by setting up your stand 1-2 days before.
You might also want to walk carefully and step with great care to minimize the chances of your sound spooking the buck.
Wearing special sound eliminating hunting boots or boot covers can drastically reduce the noise you make while walking.
6. Know When to Hunt
Anytime is not the time to hunt deer…
For the most part, deer are active in the early morning as well as near dusk.
This means that the best time to hunt them is early in the morning and in the evening as the sun sets.
For the evening hunts, you ought to set up your stand around the deer feeding area. And for a morning hunt, set up on its route to bedding.
It’s good to note that this strategy does not apply at all times.
If you’re in the rut season, feel free to hunt at any time of the day – since the buck will show up at any place, anytime. But be sure to remain downwind of the does.
7. Know Where to Hunt
Scouting a hunting area before the hunting season is recommended.
The deer will need to feed, drink, defecate, and mate.
When and where they do all these things is what you should set out to discover so that you can secure an ideal hunting location.
Different times of the year will always put the deer into different home ranges which are easy to identify by looking for various evidence and indicators such as tracks and droppings.
So, these are the top skills, tips, and tricks that you need to incorporate into your deer hunting if you want to make all your hunting sessions a success.
These tips are easy to understand and implement and are helpful for both experienced and newbie deer hunters.
And oh! Don’t forget to keep warm as you go about your deer hunting activities in the woods. Nothing has been shown to kill a great hunting day than cold.
Be sure to dress warmly – wear warm gloves, warm boots, layers of warm clothes under your hunting jacket, and heated socks and you’ll have a much more pleasant experience.