Hunting season is once again upon us. Before you suit up and head out into the woods, use these helpful tips to increase your chances of bagging yourself a deer.

      1. Make a plan

Decide where to hunt in advance so that you don’t find yourself scrambling on opening day and beyond. Be sure paths to your stand are free from obstructions to sneak in and out of your stand undetected.

Know where all your equipment is and have it ready beforehand. Much easier to grab your gear and go than to be scrambling looking for misplaced items.
Practice with your weapon of choice before the season begins to ensure your shots are accurate and your kills are ethical.

      2. Study the land

If you want to be a successful hunter, it is important to understand the area where you plan to hunt. Scout the area as frequently as possible, install trail cameras and observe the deer. Check them regularly to learn their patterns. Try to learn their habits, their patterns. Look for areas where you can set up.

      3. Hunt the wind

Experienced hunters know that reading the wind is a crucial component of any hunt. Deer have a keen sense of smell, with 297 million olfactory receptors, compared to 220 million in dogs and about 5 million in humans. It is important that you set up down wind from where the deer are located. While natural odors won’t startle them, human scents will. Shower with unscented soaps and apply unscented deodorant before you venture out. Keep your hunting clothes in a tote or plastic bag with a handful of dirt or leaves from the area you hunt.

      4. Know when to hunt

You know where the deer are, now know when they’re there. Generally speaking, deer are most active in the morning and in the evening. For a morning hunt, try to set up near the deer’s bedding areas. During the evening, set yourself up near their food. It is important to note, however, that this rule does not apply at all times, as things such as weather, the rut, and hunting pressure can alter the deers normal movement patterns. During the rut, the deer mating season, it is likely that you will see more deer throughout the day, and not just at peak times.

      5. Be quiet, be still

It is important to remember to be quiet when hunting deer, particularly during morning hours. Deer have an acute sense of hearing, picking up many small sounds you may not even be aware that you are making. Additionally, you want to pay attention to visual cues and be as still as possible. Even though you may not be able to see a deer, that deer may still be able to see you. A whitetail’s eyes are found on the sides of its head, enabling the deer to have a field of view of approximately 310 degrees. Deer do, however, have poor depth perception.

       6. Above all else, OBEY THE LAW

If you do nothing else when hunting, make sure that you are always staying within the law. Do not exceed your tag limit, always properly tag deer, and always be sure to properly dispose of deer entrails.  Only hunt within designated seasons and designated hours, and do not bait animals. NEVER hunt on restricted land. Being ethical is critical if you want to be a successful hunter.

While we can’t guarantee these tips will guarantee you a deer, we can promise that following them will help you become a better hunter.  Wishing you many happy and successful hunts this season.