Deer hunting tips for beginners- the best way to get started
Truth be told, it's not every day that you'll come across an internet guide that's got the best deer hunting tips for beginners. As a matter of fact, what tends to be spread all over the internet are articles titles such as “advanced hunting techniques” or “expert level hunting techniques”.
But here’s the thing…
We’ve all got to start off from somewhere and it is of utmost importance that you pay close attention to the most basic of deer hunting techniques so that you can then get to be the advanced hunter you’ve always desired to be.
That being said, the main reason as to why we’re here today is to give you a head start on how you can have the best-hunting expedition as an entry-level hunter. It is from what we'll be taking a look at in a short while that you can then gradually develop advanced-level hunting skills.
Let’s get started, shall we?
- 1 Get your head in the game
- 2 Get the dressing code right.
- 3 Heavy winds
- 4 The rain
- 5 Snow
- 6 Warm weather
- 7 Explore new locations
- 8 Long range surveillance
- 9 Get your GPS coordinates right
- 10 Scout your hunting grounds
- 11 Have complete mastery of your weapon
- 12 Always carry the necessary gear with you
- 13 Final verdict
- 14 Share this:
Get your head in the game
The rule of thumb from my own experience as a deer hunter is that if you want it bad enough then you should start off with the basics.
The best deer hunters are made in the field and not at the comfort of their abode. So, that being said, the first thing you should do is get getting in the right shape to be in the field; as a matter of fact, something as simple as maximizing your time in the field should do just fine.
No one ever shoots a deer simply by sitting at home, laying in bed or watching the TV. For your first hunting expedition, go ahead and pack lots of food and water to take you through the day.
It is always a good idea to go out hunting with your pals but even so, you will have to prioritize which one is most important between socializing with them or hunting deer. Now I’m guessing that hunting deer is your top priority and that being the case, I’d recommend that you get enough rest at night before waking up to hunt the next morning- after all, the early bird catches the worm, right?
Get the dressing code right.
Yet another thing one should always get right is the dressing code or to put things in much simpler terms, you should let the weather be your guide. Before we take a deeper look into the different prevailing weather conditions.
Depending on the weather, the movement patterns of the deer will be different and in addition to this, you should also know how to use the weather to your advantage in order to strike your catch.
The most important weather pattern that could either make or break your hunting expeditions is the wind.
For the wind, you will have to take into account both the wind speed and the direction in which it is blowing. There is much more to hunting der than just being on the downward direction of the wind.
The general rule of thumb is that the stronger the wind speed, the faster the barometric pressure will spike and it would be a good idea that you be out in the hunting grounds after the wind subsides.
As much as hunting in calm weather is highly recommended for beginners, you can use the wind to your advantage only if you know where the deer is (staying on the downwind side of the deer). Alternatively, you could sue this time to plan a drive from one spot to another.
The worst hunting days are the rainy ones since unlike the deer who are used to being out in the wild, precipitation will be a huge obstacle to you.
Your movement will be slowed down but the deer, on the other hand, will see the rain as being much less of an obstacle.
Go ahead and grab your rain gear and since the deer will not be able to smell you or hear you, this would be equally as good a time for you to hunt. My recommendation on the way to go is that when the clouds are about to burst and let the rain pouring down, you should go ahead and wait out in your hunting shelter since by doing so, you may get lucky and not be forced to go out in the rain after all.
Of all the weather conditions you could face, snow makes deer hunting much easier. Look out for when there'll be snow on your weather forecast and regardless of whether it is heavy or flurry snowfall, you’ll have the upper hand.
As is the case with rain, deer will not be able to smell or hear you and more so, you can be able to see them better against the white background of the snow.
Though snow is meant for tracking as you can see the hoof-prints easily, it would be a good idea to sit in a stand to get a wider view of your landscape.
Tip: if there's a coming snowstorm according to the weather forecast, I'd recommend that you hunt two hours prior to or after the snowstorm has settled.
As we will find out later on, you need specific apparel to have the best-hunting expedition and as it is the case with most hunting clothes, you’ll need to show very little skin.
With this in mind, it would be wise to consider when to hunt if the temperatures are high. I’d suggest that you only hunt during the morning hours or in the evening. Alternatively, since the deer will be feeling the heat as well, erecting a hunting stand near a water source could have you at an advantage.
Explore new locations
As a beginner, playing it safe seems like the most viable option and this actually holds in most cases. Most people would recommend against going out of the box and getting creative but as it turns out, this is, as a matter of fact, the best player.
Deer, like most wild animals, tend to avoid too much interaction with human population and as much as they may be thriving in a specific location, they’ll move out to another if a lot of hunters are in their present location.
By trying out new hunting grounds, you might get lucky and strike your first kill. By going out of the box and heading to the isolated pockets covers which happened to produce most deer with each hunting season, the odds will be in your favor. Just don’t ignore any portion of the forest- from ditches to isolated pockets and the hunting hotspots.
Long range surveillance
Like most wild animals, deer have much better sense than us and we’ll count on our eyes to help us hunt and our ears as well in some cases.
If you start off as a beginner hunter by using your observational skills, you’ll be able to pick up a lot more about the dear and the surrounding environment than most hunters. Go ahead and set up a stand then observe from a distance. Though you may not be able to notice it all at a go, you will, with time see deer tracks and know where the deer have been.
If you happen to spot a deer while in your stand, let it get comfortable with the environment around it (and of course around you). Once you are certain that it knows what it is doing and its guard is down, you can then consider the option of shooting at it. The flip side of the coin is that you monitor its behavior and pick up a thing or two about deer before you can take your shot.
But what if you live in an area with thick vegetation cover?
There’s no way you can tell how the vegetation cover will be and, in some seasons, it may not be in your favor. So, when the coverage is too thick, you could get some trail cameras.
I’d recommend that you only set these up on the blind spots after doing a careful surveillance of your hunting grounds and pointing out the locations that you can’t see totally. If you’ve got a friend come along with you, the two of you could set up stands in different areas in such a way that you will cover the most ground.
Get your GPS coordinates right
In addition to long-range surveillance of your surroundings, you could go a step further and make use of technology to get a better mastery of the terrain.
Utilize hunting apps to do this since most of these will show you’re an overlay of the terrain and in addition to this, show you the private and public land boundaries as well as land information.
By using the GPS function of your phone, you’ll be able to know exactly where you’re at and in addition to this, know the cover ahead of you with the aerial imagery.
Scout your hunting grounds
As compared to other game animals such as ducks and hare, you should take a whole new approach when scouting for deer.
The idea here is looking for deer movement and the best times for doing this is either early in the morning or late in the evenings since deer are most active during these hours. It is much easier to scout in private property as compared to public property.
If you’re only restricted to the latter, go ahead and scout a number of potential hunting grounds- it’s always good to be familiar with a number of options just in case one area may be flooded with hunters.
Have complete mastery of your weapon
Knowing your weapon completely is a must have and as a matter of fact, the very first thing you should be keen on as an entry level hunter.
You’ll have to use either your gun or your bow for hunting. Regardless of the choice you settle for, you should shoot as much as possible to perfect your aim. Hunting with a gun is normally easy since it’s just point and shoot.
Shooting with a bow, on the other hand is much more demanding since you’ll need to be keener in taking your aim and more so, your shot is affected by factors such as the wind speed and distance- you'll only be able to use a bow for close range hunting and this calls for you to be keen on your stalking skills.
It is also important to consider the hunting grounds in which you’ll be. If you'll be in open areas, you can shoot as far as 200 yards but if you're in areas that got heavy vegetation cover, the longest shot you may have to take is about 50 yards.
Always carry the necessary gear with you
Other than just mastering how to use your weapon, you should also know of other important gear to compliment them.
A tarp and rope for starters could come in handy. In addition to this, carry with you hunting apparel that blends with the environment.
I’d also recommend that you use scent killers if you hadn’t use odorless soaps and detergents. Also, if you won’t be having a vehicle with you, go ahead and get a hunting cart. You could get a cart just for you or a single large one if you’ll be out hunting with a friend.
Before going out to hunt and as you get the hunting gear, it is important that you have a checklist of everything you'll be needing just to be sure.
We’ve had a look at the most important things you ought to have in mind if you’re just getting started on deer hunting, right? From taking advantage of your surrounding to the hunting gear you’ll have; every tiny detail is of importance as far as deer hunting is concerned.
At the end of the day, hunting is a game of patience and whereas some days may be good, others may have the odds against you. It is also a good idea to have a mentor guide you in your first few hunting expeditions.