If you are like me, you can be stubborn sometimes. I tend to prefer to learn things on my own instead of from what others tell me I should know. However, when it comes to deer hunting advice, perhaps it's best to listen to those who have come before you.
The following list of deer hunting tactics is really in no particular order. Each and every little nugget of knowledge has some impact today, and if it doesn't, it will impact your hunting strategies eventually.
1. Be a good shed hunter. If you can find a big buck's bedding area by finding their sheds in the spring, that is half the battle.
2. Place your trail cams in easy-to-reach areas. You don't want to muck up the woods every time you check for pictures.
3. After the gun season opener, start hunting the afternoons. Deer learn quickly that the woods are full of hunters.
4. Create sanctuary zones on every property you hunt...AND DON'T GO IN THEM!
5. Always pay attention to wind direction, and never let the wind blow towards the direction you are hunting.
6. Be careful with scent control and cover sprays. Deer can learn that those sprays mean danger.
7. If you can, stay out of the woods and hunt the edges.
8. When deer are in sight, move very slowly, even if you are in a treestand.
9. During the peak-rut, it's okay to sleep in past first light. Just be sure to hunt between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
10. Make sure you always bring extra clothes. You can always take clothing off, but you can't put it on if you don't have it.
11. Peeing in the woods is okay. It doesn't spook deer. If anything, it helps.
12. Camo isn't as big of a deal as manufacturers make it out to be. Not moving is the best camo. Just be sure to dress warm.
13. ALWAYS check your six when rattling. Bucks circle downwind.
14. Beat every hunter around you to your stand. Let them create deer movement towards you as they make their way to their stands.
15. Park at least a few hundred yards from your intended hunting area. During deer season, deer figure out that parked cars mean hunting pressure.
16. Don't harvest a deer unless you are going to eat it.
17. Fawn bleats right after you get to your stand in the dark before light can put weary deer nearby at ease.
18. If you are going to rattle, do it. Bucks don't tickle each other when they fight. Your best bet is to lean into it.
19. Hunt the does. Where there's a doe bedding area, there's likely mature bucks around, too.
20. Always wear a harness when in a treestand. It's not a matter of if, but when you fall.
21. Hunting rubs and scrapes is largely a waste of time. Hunt travel corridors that lead to rubs and scrapes instead.
22. If there isn't a good shot, don't take it.
23. Fire at least a few arrows every day for weeks (or even months) before bow season opens.
24. If you are only hunting the morning, stay out longer than 10 a.m. Most deer hunters quit hunting between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. This hunter movement will create more deer activity.
25. Make sure you cut shooting lanes for your treestands.
By no means is this the end of the list; it is more of a starting point. I have learned, from personal experience, most of these on my own. Each hunting season brings new lessons, and the best deer hunting tips, from the early season to the late season, are the ones you come up with yourself due to time in the woods.
Whether you're hunting mule or whitetail deer, any of these 25 pieces of advice can apply, and add to your hunting know how.
How many of these deer hunting tips did you already you know? More importantly, what did I miss?
Images via Brad Smith