Hunters have heard the best ways to harvest a deer. But, do you know how NOT to fill your deer tag?
Do you hate venison? Do you want all that money you spent on gear and a hunting license to go to waste? Do you just want to sit on the couch for the next few months and wait until next hunting season?
Well, here are some ways NOT to fill that deer tag you bought.
If you do not want to fill your deer tag, do not scout.
I was told as a young hunter that in order to kill deer on a regular basis I must scout. That is one statement that still holds true all these years later.
Having confidence in your hunting area allows a hunter to stay put. The only way to build confidence is by scouting. Your best chance to kill a deer from any particular location is the first day you hunt at it. On each day after the first your chances decrease.
Make the most out of the first day afield.
The best time to scout is as soon as season is over. Deer signs are still fresh and easy to locate and should remain close to the same the next season. Shed hunting is another great way to find out what bucks survived the season as well as provide an enjoyable day outdoors.
Trail cameras offer year-round scouting opportunities and glassing from afar is a great tool to use in the summer.
If you do not want to fill your deer tag, do not worry about scent control.
The best way to combat a whitetail’s nose is with proper personal hygiene. This is simple enough.
Shower before your hunt with scent-free soaps, shampoo and deodorant. Dry off with towels that are scent-free. Wear clothing that has been washed in scent-free detergent and air-dried. Once dry, spray down with scent elimination spray, store in scent-free bags or bins. Do not wear cologne. There is a time and place for such fragrances and the deer stand is not it.
Do not overdress as you walk to your stand. Wear the minimum amount of clothing and finish dressing once you arrive to your stand. This will cut back on the amount you sweat. Also, do not drive wearing your hunting boots. Change into them after you arrive at your destination. This will prevent gas, food and other foreign odors from contaminating your footwear.
Before beginning the walk to your stand spray yourself down from head to the sole of your boots with scent elimination spray. Do not forget to spray your equipment too. This is also a good time to use a drag rag sprayed with a cover-up scent. Spray yourself with scent elimination spray again at your stand when you are fully dressed before you climb to your perch.
If you do not want to fill your deer tag, do not have realistic practice sessions.
Just about any time I pick up my bow in the middle of summer I shoot a few arrows and usually hit the bull’s eye. However, this is not hunting realistically.
In order to be confident in our shooting abilities, we need to practice in realistic hunting conditions.
This entails shooting while wearing a complete hunting outfit, even in the heat of summer and shooting from an elevated platform and/or from inside a ground blind. Don’t forget to practice with your broadheads well before season opens. They will hit differently than field points. Practicing in advance will give you plenty of time to correct any problems.
Instead of shooting from known distances at broadside targets, make it real. As nice as it would be to have every deer standing broadside at 20 yards, that doesn’t happen all that often. To simulate realistic hunting conditions, practice shooting from unknown distances at different angels. Deer will often offer shots quartering to and away rather than broadside.
Practicing in real-world hunting conditions is a great confidence builder when it is the moment of truth.
If you do not want to fill your deer tag, do not be prepared.
You can have done all the scouting possible and have the deer figured out to a “T.” Practice sessions have you putting arrows in the bull’s eye every time. You have scent control down as close to a science as you can. But, if you are not focused on what is going on around you, you will not be prepared to shoot.
A case of boredom can mean the difference between killing a deer and not. Why boredom? It is all the fault of smart phones.
Hunters can easily pick up their phone while on stand, and instead of concentrating on hunting, they concentrate on social media, checking emails and playing games.
There is no easy solution for this except to leave the phone in your pocket. I do recommend leaving the phone at home. Now that we have the technology to call for help if an accident occurs, it only makes sense to keep it close.
It is up to us to keep it on silent and to practice self-restraint and keep it in our pocket unless it is absolutely necessary to use it. One of the best time to use it is to call for help to load the big buck and to snap a few photos of it.
Now that you have a good idea what to do if you do not want to kill a deer, you can use this information to actually get one. Don’t worry, it isn’t as confusing as it sounds.