Why a Deer Drive Can Be the Best or Worst Hunting Technique

Do deer drives push big bucks and pull in new hunters? Or, do they do the complete opposite?

A good old-fashioned deer drive has always been part of the deer hunting playbook. When properly executed, driving deer can be a great way to tag a whitetail deer. But if you don't do it right, it can result in disaster.

The popularity of deer drives is different across the country. In some places, like Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Maine and Pennsylvania, it's part of the deer hunting culture. Still hunting is probably the most popular hunting technique, but deer drives still have their place during hunting season.

Let's take a look at why it can be great:

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Fill Tags

Deer drives become most effective when it's deep in the season and hunting pressure has caused deer movement to drastically decrease. When it comes to filling tags, deer drives are second to none.

When executed properly, the pushers will direct the deer with the wind direction and human scent. Also, by walking the hunting property or section of public land, they should bump bedding areas to get the deer on their feet and heading to the deer hunters.

Tag Big Deer

Some of the biggest bucks ever shot were on deer drives, which proves it can certainly be effective.

Pushing a big buck out its comfort zone allows for a unique scenario. Most of that buck's time is spent outside of hunting pressure and it feels extremely safe when bedded in that location. Hunters hunters may get a special chance of tagging a mature buck.

Introduce New Hunters

Whitetail deer hunting can be intimidating to start and a proper deer drive is the perfect way to introduce them to the sport of hunting. Be sure to wear hunter orange to ensure the safety of everyone on the excursion.

Bottom line, organized drives can be one of the best ways to tag a late-season deer.

Now let's explore why it could be one of the worst hunting techniques.

Deer drives have their place for hunting techniques, but it's best for experienced hunters.

Shot Opportunities

When it comes to deer drives, most shot opportunities aren't the easiest for the newest member of deer camp. They'd certainly get better shots while hunting over food plots.

Burns Up the Property

A deer drive will easily burn out a property. This can be an issue if you're pushing your only hunting piece. Depending on the lay of the land, you may push deer to the neighbors. All of this should be weighed before stomping through a hunting spot. If it's the end of deer season, though, this con isn't as critical.


Coordinating a good drive takes a lot of work. Sourcing folks who have similar ethics and are willing to follow a plan isn't as easy as most folks would imagine. It's not easy to explain a new property to someone with a map and expect them to follow out the plan without any hiccups.

Remember these thoughts for the upcoming deer season and good luck!