We're all human, but these are nine of the dumbest mistakes you can make while hunting.
These hunting mistakes can do more than cost you that big buck. They can also cost you all of the hunting buddies you know!
We're all guilty of making mistakes in the field, but we haven't all suffered the consequences.
Have you ever done any of these things?
1. Texting while hunting
This has cost hunters opportunities more than anything else on this list. We all remember the video of the hunter that was spooked by a deer that sneaked in on him while he was on the phone. Sadly that was a video of me.
I was planning a proposal for my fiancé and the only time I was able to make plans was while I was away hunting. Needless to say, being on your phone and hunting at the same time makes for a bad combination.
2. Drop your release without a backup
This may seem like an obvious mistake and sure it happens, but ultimately, this could be very costly. When it really becomes a dumb mistake is when you do it from a climbing treestand. You didn't bring a backup with you so now you have to climb the entire way back down the tree and then back up again.
When you are trying your best to be still, quiet and always prepared, dropping your release just doubled your noise and movement and you may have just missed an opportunity at the buck you've scouted all year.
3. Fall asleep
So, you wake up early and you drive out to your favorite spot. You are scent-free, your trail is cut and you are extremely quiet. You are fully prepared for the hunt, except you are feeling a little tired, so you take a nap. The dangers of doing this in a treestand are obvious, but the reality is, this is just flat out dumb. If you want to sleep, you should have stayed home.
Okay, maybe sleeping in the forest isn't all that bad and some of you claim you are just "resting your eyes" and your ears will hear anything come in. Regardless, you have decreased your chances a tremendous amount at getting a shot at anything. Remember, the early bird gets the worm, but only if the bird stays awake to find the worm.
4. Fail to shut off your alarm
So, you may not be sleeping in the blind or your treestand, but your phone might think you still are. We've seen this before, right?
You no longer need that 6 a.m. alarm because you were in the woods by 5 a.m., but you forgot to turn it off. Say goodbye to all the deer!
So you'd think this is an obvious one, right? Well, regardless of how long you've been hunting this is a no-no.
Sure, I've heard deer camp stories from old-timers who say I'm wasting my time with the scent-free soap, deodorant and laundry detergent. They usually follow up with, "I've killed deer in my jeans, smoking on my pipe!"
That may have been a lucky shot, as I can assure you smoking in the blind or in the treestand will surely scare deer away.
6. Listening to music
At first you may think, well of course that would be loud and it would scare everything away. I'm not talking about playing it over a speaker.
Bringing your headphones and listening to music, watching videos or playing games on your phone defeats the entire purpose of being in the woods.
7. Eating loud, smelly foods
I spend my in-season days hunting from sun up to sun down. It's obvious I need food and water while I'm in the stand or blind, but there's one mistake I'll never make, and that's Doritos. They are loud and smelly.
I won't deny they are delicious, but they aren't a good snack to take with you while you're hunting. If you make yourself a turkey sandwich, it's probably better to hold off on the vinegar and pickles, too.
8. Being uncomfortable
Without a doubt, this is a silent killer of any hunt. I can't count how many times I've been set up on a hunt, expecting to sit all day, and then realized I got an extremely uncomfortable seat. Whether it's in a blind or a treestand, be sure to be comfortable.
You don't want to be so comfortable that you're falling asleep, but you don't want to be counting the minutes until you can finally get up.
9. Adjust your climbing treestand while climbing
You may think you're James Bond or Indiana Jones as you make your way up the trunk, but it's just not a smart idea. Have I done it? Yes, I speak from experience.
One time, the bottom slipped out and I fell from the tree, broke all five arrows in my quiver and bent my brand new CBE sight.
Whatever you do out in the field, always practice safety but and ensure to enjoy your time out there.