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Whitetail deer: basic techniques for hunting

Updated on August 23, 2012

What you need to know about whitetail deer


•Speeds: whitetails can run to speeds of 35mph. and jump 6ft. in the air

•Smell: deer have a 5 times better sense of smell than a blood hound and is it's main defense

•Hearing: deer can turn their ears at almost any angle and are very adapt at listening to their surroundings

•Vision:whitetail deer can see off the side of their head with a 300degree field of view and have the ability of night vision

•Stomach: deer are much like cows, having stomach chambers that store food. This allows them to spend 70% of the time bedding and chewing it's cud.

Find the food and deer are sure to follow

Deer food sources

•Plants and vegetation:whitetail deer will browse on almost any plant,grass,green brier,summer weeds,shoots,leaves,clovers,sumac,honey suckle and even mushrooms

•Acorns and nuts:oak acorns are the primary source of protein,they will eat most any acorn including white oaks,red oaks and nuts such as pecans. these are very important during Rut

•Berries and fruits:these are candy to deer,muscadines,black berries,mulberries,pears,apples and persimmons are some of their favorites

•AG crops:deer also love ag crops such as corn,soy beans and oats, these also make a great cover for them to hide especially on windy days

Where to look for your deer


•Bedding areas:Daytime bedding areas tend be heavy thickets,swamps or some place predators can't get to them. Night time bedding areas tend to be along hillsides or open fields.Trophy deer will locate near food and water so not to be seen

•Travel routes:Trophy whitetails like to stay hidden,they travel hidden routes using thickets,ditches,gullies,curves and hills. Trophy deer prefer secluded trails and secondary routes

•Where to start:Deer like forest,backwoods,creek bottoms,marshes,swamps and thickets with water and food sources near. A good combination is changes in trees from pines to hardwood bottoms with a creek or gully an agriculture fields close by

How to prepare checklist

Preseason prep list:

•Hunting requirements:Hunting license,management permits,lease of property,hunters safety courses and rules and regulations for the area

•Maintenance:Camp or camping equipment,hunting stands,safety harness,sight in rifle with the ammo you plan on hunting with and practice,practice,practice

Scouting:Use topo and aerial maps to set up food plots,feeders,mineral beds and trail cams to help locate deer. Take the time to preseason scout and learn your property

•What to remember:Schedule vacation,rifle,bow,ammo,compass,gps,flagging tape,flashlight w/batteries,optics,knife,license,maps,orange vest,drag rope,whistle,hand and foot warmers,safety harness,calls,scents,spare gloves,socks,warm hat,water,snacks,rain gear,first aid kit

Follow the does and bucks are sure to follow

Where and when should you hunt

Where and why

•Doe bedding and feeding areas:Bucks during rut will watch for does along travel routes between bedding areas and food sources.

•Travel routes and cross trails:Any place where there is multiple trails will increase your chance of seeing deer

•Wind direction:Always PLAY THE WIND! It's the #1 rule in deer hunting. Use cross winds or make it so your scent blows away from deer trails or bedding areas

When and why

•Moon phases:The week before and the week after a full moon is when 2/3 of bucks are harvested during this moon phase hunt midday. When it's a new moon phase hunt early AM. and late PM for best results

•Rut or breeding season:This is your best chance to catch a trophy deer off guard, check with people from the area your hunting to find when the rut is

•Weather: After a long period of rain, look to the food sources deer will be hungry, heavy winds will usually force deer to hiding among planted pines,standing corn,swamps or heavy thickets but they still need water and food


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