Need to figure out how to hunt smarter? Read on…
If you are suffering from a hunting season slump, perhaps the easiest solution is to get out there and hunt more.
After all, the more time you spend in the woods, the more deer you will see; and the more deer you see, the more of them you will kill, right?
Well, not entirely. While more hunting time might mean seeing more deer, it will also mean that you are spending more time in your key hunting spots, littering the area with your scent and your noise. You may even be giving deer the chance to wise up to precisely what you are trying to do.
If there is one thing a hunter doesn’t want, it’s deer that know to steer clear of his or her position.
If you are a start-up hunter who is just trying to land a first kill, by all means, spend a lot of time in the hunting field. It’s important for beginners to get experience, whether that means more time in the stand or taking shots and whichever deer wander through their sights.
Older, more experienced hunters, however, should consider putting stock in a single popular cliché: “quality over quantity.”
How can this mantra make you a more effective deer killer – not to mention a person with more time to spare on the side? Quite simply, if you have graduated from the “shoot any deer you see” stage to the “searching for the biggest mature buck in the forest” stage, then cutting down on your hunts and picking your spots are strategies that will help guarantee greater success for you this hunting season.
The reason for this “quality over quantity” effectiveness is simple. If you are spending fewer hours in the woods, you are reducing the chance of spooking the deer on the property. You are moving to and from your tree stand on fewer occasions, and as a result, the number of deer who are seeing, smelling, hearing, or otherwise sensing you is diminished.
Less pressure on the deer in the area means that mature bucks will be more likely to let their guards down and wander away from their bedding or feeding spots, in turn enhancing your chances of killing the buck of your dreams.
I can almost hear you asking, “But what if I miss my shot because I’m not hunting enough?”
This is certainly a risk with cutting down on your hunting time. Ideally, you will be able to spread your hunts out over a dozen different properties so that you can hunt each intermittently without worrying about over-pressuring the deer. Of course, the majority of us don’t get that chance.
You have to view each trip into the woods as a covert ops mission: you either succeed or you fail, either get your buck or alert the enemy to your presence. And a pressured, skittish buck is not the enemy you want. He will avoid your location at all costs, stay under deep cover, and adopt near-nocturnal movement habits.
Bottom line: pick your hunting times carefully between your deer hunting spots, spread your hunts out, and kill more deer. Simple as that.