Being Where the Deer Are
Every experienced deer hunter knows that snagging the big bucks is part skill and part luck. However, if you manage to always be where the deer are not, then all the skill and luck (and gear) in the world will not help you. On the other hand, if you are where the deer are, then the sheer amount of opportunity will make it likely you go home happy and proud regardless of the other factors. Here are 10 tips to make you a better deer hunter by ensuring that you spend the season hunting where the deer actually are.
1. Think Like a Deer
Deer are like any other animal: they drink, they eat, and they mate. Always think about where deer will be and what they will be doing according to this simple insight.
2. Deers Are Not Just in the Woods
Deer will eat all manner of plants, and this includes agricultural crops. Harvest season provides plenty of attraction for hungry deer, and agricultural areas will be full of them around that time of year.
3. Water and Trails
Deer will regularly access sources of fresh water, meaning that it is relatively simple to follow along streams or small rivers to find deer trails if there are limited sources of water in the surrounding area.
4. Follow Power Lines
The area around power lines are regularly cleared down to low brush. This creates the perfect grazing grounds for deer, and they will take full advantage at all times of the season. Their trails will usually be a few yards into the bush running parallel along the power line.
5. Learn to Read Droppings
The best way to evaluate the trail you are on is to examine the droppings you find. The pellets will dry and turn a lighter color as they age. The freshest droppings are dark brown and moist, usually indicating the deer was there less than 12 hours before.
6. Look for Signs of Eating
Deer are constantly eating. They consume an enormous amount of food in a day, so looking for places where deer have been eating is a good way to get on their trail.
7. Use Modern Technology
The easy availability of satellite and aerial photography provides maps that were not available to hunters even a decade ago. Use these technologies to make deer maps of the areas you intend to hunt in and mark the likely locations for finding trails.
8. Make Your Own Trails
Deer will often follow the path of least resistance, especially in places where they feel relatively safe. A small and subtle path toward water or food can bring deer right into your sights.
9. Learn About Trails
Deer use different trails for different reasons and at different times. Understanding the general rules by which deer make and use trails can save you hours of following the wrong trails for the wrong reasons.
10. Make Use of Rutting Season
Often the only time the biggest bucks will emerge from their safe and hidden “core area” is during rutting season. You can catch the bucks by following the easier to find does, and then waiting for the buck to come around.
These 10 tips to make you a better deer hunter will help you to start thinking about where deer are going to be and when. Mastering the locating of deer is the first step to becoming a knowledgeable and experienced hunter. You can use these basic tips to develop your own system for locating deer, and success is sure to follow. In addition to this, you could also use a good rangefinder to get a clear shot at it, check Best Ranger Finder Reviews for recommendations.