Hunting Tips

The purpose of this section is to provide tips to help you have a better and a more enjoyable hunting experience.  These tips are taken from various hunting magazines and from submissions from other hunters like yourself.  If you have a tip you would like to share please email me at HUNTING TIPS.   Thanks for your input.

  1. Start looking for antler sheds soon after the season is over.  Some bucks may not drop their antlers until March, but others lose them sooner. Also, look for sign as clues that you must then put together like pieces of a puzzle to form a complete picture of a deer's movement pattern.  Use a topographic map and mark the location of any sheds that you may find on the map. Also take a small notebook with you to describe any rack you may find. You should also mark down trail locations, rub lines, beds, scrapes, and any deer sightings Doing this type of research will give you a good idea of where to hunt the following season along with a better understanding of the deer's movements.
  2. The best time to scout for next hunting season is from January through March.  You can move freely through the woods without any worry of disturbing any deer that you wouldn't want to spook before the season begins. Even if you jump a buck and it runs off, it will have plenty of time to forget about you and return to the area before next fall.  Sign also stands out more clearly now than in the thick, bright foliage of late summer and fall.  Again, take plenty of notes.
  3. Old overgrown homesites are magnets for deer, particularly if they are not easy to find.  brush and weeds will have grown up, offering plenty of cover; saplings provide browse; overgrown fields harbor forbs and other food and there is often a fruit tree or two with just enough apples left to keep that old buck happy.
  4. When you are out in the woods doing your pre season scouting, carry a pair of shears with you and clip away any saplings and branches that might be in the way once you decide on a stand site.  Also, snip any brush or remove brittle branches that might make noise as you hike to your stand location.  Since you will probably be entering the woods well before daylight the quieter your approach the better.
  5. Never shoot the first buck you see entering a field or passing along a trail if you hope to tag a deer with a good sized rack.  Smaller, younger animals will often move into an area before the larger deer come out to feed.  This is usually just before the end of legal shooting time.  Patience is a virtue and it sometimes pays off.
  6. If you plan to have your deer mounted, never drag it by the back legs.  this will bend the hair against the grain and may damage it.
  7. Many hunters know that deer move heavily in front of an approaching storm.  Few realize that much of this activity takes place six to eighteen hours before the storm arrives.  During the final few hours before the storm they'll often be bedded down in thick cover.  The lesson here is: be out from half to a full day before the storm arrives.
  8. Scrapes are good locations to hunt any time just before or during the rut.  A particularly good time to set up an ambush down wind of these pawed out oval area, however, is after a rain.  The rain washes away the buck's urine and glandular scents and the deer will usually return to freshen it.
  9. Trails leading to and from bedding and feeding areas are good bets for deer stands, and the intersection of two heavily used trails is usually a good spot.   If you are looking for a large buck, however, check areas 30 to 80 yards off to the side of the major trails in thicker cover or steeper terrain to hunt.  While the does and yearling bucks travel the heavily used trails the larger antlered bucks will often sneak along back in thicker cover off to the side.  These trails won't show signs of heavy wear, but a few large hoof prints or saplings with the bark rubbed off can give away their locations.
  10. Hunting in the snow can be excellent if it is a fairly light snowfall and not very windy or cold.  Deer will move more freely and they are easier to see.  The snow also helps you move quietly as you hunt through the woods.  In major snowstorms and bitter cold temperatures the deer will bed down in thick cover and won't move much until the weather breaks, this is a good time to be in the woods as the deer will begin to feed to make up for the time lost during the severe weather.
  11. If you are hunting with a blackpowder rifle and plan to use it the next day it is a good idea to leave it on a back porch or in a shed.  If you bring it inside the sudden temperature change in a heated house can cause condensation to form and the moisture may dampen the charge and cause a misfire.
  12. Islands in river and lakes can be hotspots for deer, especially late in the season after there has been a lot of hunting pressure on the nearby mainland.
  13. There is no need to whoop and holler while putting on a deer drive.  Quiet drives can be much more effective.  A group of hunters walking slowly through cover will push deer out to the hunters on stand.  The deer will be much more likely to be moving at a slower pace or sneaking along at a fast walk instead of running at full speed.   This means that the hunters on stand mat get easier shots.  Also, the drivers may get a shot at a deer sneaking away from them.   Remember to be positive of your target and anything beyond your target before you shoot.  Once fired the bullet cannot be retrieved.
  14. A good idea if you plan on trying to rattle in a buck is to paint your rattling antlers fluorescent orange.  This will prevent other, careless, hunters from seeing the antlers and thinking that they see a buck.  For safety's sake, please avoid trying to rattle in a deer in highly pressured hunting areas.  The technique is rarely effective in this situation.  Think safety first.
  15. Just finished looking over your website. Nice work. Love the photos and the tips. I have a few tips of my own. Archery... As the season wears on we pile on more layers of clothing, thus increasing the risk of having our bowstring bump our loose clothing and cause the shot to veer off to one side...I remedied this problem by wearing a stiff  armguard on my forearm and then pull the excess clothing material to the back  of the guard, away from the path of the string. Also I went to a sporting   goods store and bought an elastic knee brace with velcro straps. I wear it on   my bicep area to hold that clothing down. The result...I had four clean kills   this season (hunted Ohio and Pa), two buck and two does, without any clothing foulups during my shots. Archery....I prefer not to have my quiver attached to my bow whilehunting.  To secure it to the tree or my stand, I attached a small bungee cord to the quiver. After climbing into my stand and attaching my safety harness (safety first) I remove my quiver from my bow and can quickly and quietly attach it  to a the tree using the small bungee cord which I permanently attached to my quiver. Easy, quiet, reliable, and best of all very inexpensive. Warm regards, Vince,New Middletown, Ohio.
  16. I would also like to share something that is starting to prove to be a "good  tip".  Anyone that hunts spring gobblers can attest that the hunting can definitely improve once the hens leave for their nest or even start setting. With regards to the rut of the whitetail, I am starting to see bigger bucks, more often once I know that does are being bred and conceiving. The mature bucks that have been enjoying their "success" are now getting lonelier and lonelier with their hormones still on the rage. This is when I would use the estrus lures that are on the market, while saving the money during the time of the year that the does naturally seek out the bucks. The truly mature bucks are smart enough to let the does come to them and cruise at night, when the hot does start to taper off the big boys start to lose their heads and cruise more and more. In short save your favorite lures for the mid to post rut instead of the pre rut. 
     We in Missouri enjoy extensive seasons Where we can pursue deer from Sept 15 through Jan15 with different methods and it has allowed me to see BIG deer well after the "first morning {weekend} massacre".
     And here in MO our deer still act like deer, not the "bedding area to the alfalfa, alfalfa to the bedding area robots that you tend to see in a lot of "infomercials"
                  hemason @earthlink .net  
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