Ask any number of hunters for tips and advice, and you'll get a wide variety of responses. Some will be helpful. Others, not so much. Either way, here are some simple tips that can set you off in the right direction as you begin your journey into the deer woods on your first deer hunting adventure.
Talk to your local game and parks agency.
Unlike many private hunters, your local agency has tons of information and is often ready to share. Explain that you're just getting into deer hunting; odds are, you'll be flooded with valuable information. From local sources, you can learn about good locations to hunt, population statistics, hunting pressure, trends to watch for the upcoming season and a variety of other information will suddenly be at your finger tips.
Really, this is true even if you're not new to hunting. Many seasoned hunters underestimate this value or fail to use their local agency resources.
A little research goes a long way.
Whether you're tech savvy and popped for the latest map application for your phone or prefer an old-school paper copy, make sure you know your options for hunting locations. If you can find access to private land, even better. Either way, you'll want to spend some time scouting or put a few trail cameras to use. The worst thing that can happen to a new hunter is to get set up in a location with no deer. That'll be a quick way to ruin the joys of hunting for someone new to the sport.
Clothing and Gear
If you're new to hunting, chances are high you were overwhelmed the first time you started looking at clothing and gear options. The options are truly are endless. An easy rule of thumb when it comes to your gear selection is to assume that you get what you pay for. However, that is not my way of saying that we all need to spend thousands of dollars on a new bow setup or head to toe high-end apparel.
There are some fantastic options for cheaper equipment that don't sacrifice on quality. One perk of being new is that you have no set expectations, and you've formed no habits around what you like or don't like. Work your way into things. Upgrade over time when you've got spare cash.
The only other requirement for hunters, new and old alike, is that you get used to your gear. Break in your boots, wash your clothes, and for Heaven's sake, make sure you get plenty of practice time shooting. Understand your limitations and plan accordingly. Here some other things to do to prepare for deer season.
Scent Control and Movement
So, scent control actually is as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be. Be aware of this and don't forget to play the wind. While there are different theories and approaches, one thing is for sure: deer have a fantastic sense of smell. Stronger, in fact, than your favorite bird dog. Oh, and don't move. Camouflage clothing is great, but if it's not scent issues it's movement that will often bust a hunt. Deer will spot your movement very quickly, regardless of your clothing choices.