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Deer hunting success

Updated on September 11, 2012

Successful deer hunt

Hard work pays off with a nice 9pt buck.
Hard work pays off with a nice 9pt buck.

Hard work, persistence and practice= Success

As deer hunters we spend countless hours freezing or sweating our butts off in a tree stand day after day with nothing impressive hanging off the wall. Nearly every crowd has someone whom seems to always come up with a trophy to show with little effort. That's not me, my only luck is usually bad. I have learned that with hard work, persistence and lots of practice any hunter can be successful.

Success begins by putting in your time and effort, with everything to the camo pattern of your clothes to practicing with your firearm or bow routinely. With so much information available you can know deer food sources, the weather conditions, moon phase and what stage of the rut deer are in. The more you know the better your chances of blending with your surroundings(nature).

The first factor to consider before any hunt is the wind. Always PLAY THE WIND! There are no scent suits or scent control that can completely make you scent free. Pay attention to which direction your scent will be blowing not only at your tree stand but the trail you must travel to get there. I'm not saying don't practice scent control, just don't allow yourself to believe that a buck can't wind you.

One mistake I've found many hunters make is to hunt the same stand over and over. While this make work for getting meat to the table, it does little towards mounting a trophy over your fireplace mantle. When hunting an area where permanent stands have been for a while, many trophy bucks will travel a path to view or wind these stands before stepping out. Try hunting these stands from behind or different angle back just a little you might not only surprise yourself but maybe a trophy deer as well.

Midday Buck

Avoid being patterned

A very productive method I've found to keep deer from patterning you, hunt where others don't. Hunt areas where you've never seen other hunters, there's no water bottles or candy wrappers,on the ground. The first time you hunt an area the element of surprise is all yours and it usually will be your best because the more you hunt a stand the quicker a deer will pattern you. Also changes the times you hunt and stay midday while must hunters are kicked back at a diner or camp. When most hunters think the bucks have gone nocturnal, the reality is that the deer have probably patterned you.

Trail cam pictures we had last season showed about 1/3 of the deer moved midday. Bucks have their routines and with use of trail cams, mineral beds and food plots, you can pattern them without disturbing their routine. One buck last season checked his scrape line every third day around 11AM-1PM, remember it's who sees who first. Once you find a bucks pattern you have a huge advantage so you need to learn to use it.

A little extra scouting could pay off with big bucks

Tip the scales in your favor

Scouting is the most productive thing you can do, in the off season, hunt for sheds, find old rub lines, look for bedding areas, do your homework. To successfully tip the scales here's a few things you should do. It's important to do early scouting, with use of trail cams, feeders, attractants you can locate, whitetail bedding areas, food sources, travel routes and general habits. As seen in the pic below a deer shed means that bucks are at least using this area. Expect the unexpected from your deer and the weather,prepare, practice, be persistent. Learn as much as possible about your deer, the land and learn to mix with nature without disturbing it. Good luck hunting.


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