Hunting deer is a sport you learn your entire life. Novice hunters think that their older colleagues know everything there is to know about tracking and killing game but in fact, hunting is a sport in which you constantly learn. In order to make things a bit easier for beginners, here are 6 tips that will help you get your first deer safer and faster.
Dress for the occasion
Before you even pick up a gun, you need to be sure you are dressed properly for staying out in the woods. What you want to do is to fit in not only in the natural surroundings of the forest but adapt to the weather as well. The biggest problem for hunters are sudden and violent changes in the weather.
For example, if the weather is hot, you should wear a light long-sleeve shirt that will soak in all the sweat. However, if the temperature suddenly drops or it starts raining, you ought to don a light coat, a vest or a hoodie; otherwise, you’ll get a cold. You should always pack these things in your rucksack.
Know which way the wind blows
Although the deer is the one being hunted, this doesn’t mean that it is inferior to the hunter in every way. Deer have a keen sense of smell so if they smell you from a mile away, the hunt is over before it begins.
You can use soap, shampoo, body wash, and similar chemicals to conceal your smell but it is more important to learn which way the wind blows. Even wearing a camouflage suit won’t help you if you’re downwind from your prey. Try to stay in the upwind direction from the animal, thus depriving it of its excellent sense of smell.
The weapon of choice
Deer can be killed using a wide variety of weapons, from bow and arrow, across hunting rifles, down to a shotgun. Heck, even a solid 45 caliber pistol can bring the animal down. Whatever your weapon of choice might be, you should get to know it well before you close in for the kill.
Even if you’ve been around guns your entire life, visit the local shooting range a couple of times to test out the weapon you are going to hunt deer with. Like soldiers in war, you must rely on your gun because you’ll get only a limited number of clear shots of the mammal.
Go through the licensing process
A hunter is not every person who picks up a gun and starts a shooting game. No, you must get a hunting license and attend safety certification classes required by the state or the local wildlife authorities. Although the tests aren’t particularly demanding for the average hunter, you still need to carry the license on your person and show it when the gamekeeper asks you to do so.
Pick the right time
A typical deer will give its best to elude you at any time of the day or year but there are hunting windows better than others. For instance, hunting during the final 3 hours of daylight is more likely to get you a kill. The last half an hour before the sun goes down are especially fruitful for hunters. This is because deer are active the most just before sundown so you have to be patient to this moment.
Pack only the necessities
We’ve mentioned earlier that a (rain)coat should find its way inside your backpack. However, this doesn’t mean that you should overpack, as traveling light is essential for a good deer hunter. Things like binoculars, extra ammunition, and a solid hunting knife are mandatory but you don’t really need chairs or sleeping pads that are suited for a camping trip. In addition to standard hunting fear, hunting deer requires you to pack scent blockers, energy bars, and plenty of water because you won’t be able to move much after you’ve set up an ambush for the deer.
Now that you know the best time of the day to hunt deer, it is time to start practicing with your weapon. Pack everything we’ve suggested, stay safe, and good luck on your first hunting trip!