For many Americans, there is no better time of year than hunting season.  Packing up and setting out into the wilderness for the day can be a calm and relaxing experience, whether you’re with friends or decide to take a solo trip.

Each year around September, hunters across the country pack up and head into the woods in search of the perfect trophy buck.  If you’re planning on taking a hunting trip this fall, here are some tips to ensure you yield good results.

Understanding Deer Habits

Before heading out into the woods, it is important that you have an understanding of the habits and behaviors of deer.  

Feeding

The feeding habits of deer are some of the most important to take note of, as this can affect the outcome of your hunting trip.  Deer are typically food-driven animals, which is imperative information to know when coming up with a hunting plan. Bucks, for example, tend to feed only after the sun sets, making the likelihood of scoring one all the more rare.  Deer are also more likely to feed in “staging areas”, which are essentially small plots of land found between bedding areas and major food sources. Because of this, you may have a better chance of bagging a deer in these areas rather than an open field.

Sleeping

Deer typically sleep anywhere they bed, whether solo or in a group.  Being that they are creatures of habit, deer tend to bed in the same location for weeks and even months, with bucks having their pick of bedding spots.  The sleep cycle of a deer typically includes 30 seconds of sleep broken up with brief periods of alertness, lasting for about 30 minutes. Once every 30 minutes, a deer will usually stand and urinate or defecate if they need to before lying back down.

Deer tend to spend the majority of their time bedding, especially during the cold winter months.  When they’re not sleeping, deer will often clean themselves or “chew their cud”, which means they regurgitate, rechew, and digest their food.  Even when sleeping, deer are never completely unaware of their surroundings, and they can wake up instantly if they hear a noise or sense any movement around them.  Sneaking up on a sleeping deer is no easy task, and even the most skilled hunters can vouch for this fact. If you spot a sleeping deer, your best bet is to keep your eye on it from a distance, rather than try to approach it.  

Watering

Deer tend to drink several times per day, meaning you will have plenty of opportunities to catch one off-guard.  While the amount of water different types of deer drink each day will vary, a large buck will typically drink between 3-5 quarts of water per day, especially during the summer or on hotter days.  Deer often water close to their bedding areas, so if you happen to see a deer drinking from a watering spot, there is a good chance they are bedding nearby as well. One common misconception many people have is that deer only drink from large watering holes, when in reality they will often drink from something as small as a puddle.  Many experienced hunters will even make their own watering holes in order to attract deer, which is something to keep in mind when heading out on your next hunting excursion.

Best Times to Hunt Deer

The success of your hunting trip greatly depends on when you set out into the woods.  Depending on the type of deer you’re after, the ideal time for you to be in the woods will vary.  Typically, younger deer can be seen out and about in the late morning and afternoon, while bucks tend to come out only after the sun sets, making them a more rare catch.  Many hunters like to get into the woods early in the morning to find their spot and set up for the day, as they will have the rest of the day to scout out deer. However, if you’re on the lookout for a buck, it may not be necessary to go out into the woods until later in the day.  

Whether you’re an avid hunter or looking to invest more time in the sport, purchasing your own plot of Michigan hunting property can get you up close and personal with majestic deer.  At Michigan Whitetail Properties, we offer everything from recreational hunting land to country homes and ranches, so you can be close to the action any time you want.  Check out the various hunting properties for sale at Michigan Whitetail Properties and happy hunting!