Here are 7 tips to help you become a better deer hunter and make the best use of the hunting season.
1. Manage Your Scent
Human odour is a deer hunters worst enemy. With deer being able to smell humans not attempting to hide their scent from up to 800 metres away, managing your scent is essential. Shower with a scent-free soap before every hunting trip, and try not to contaminate your hunting clothes on the way to the field. If you keep your hunting clothes into a gladbag with leaves, bark and dirt can help your clothes gain natural scents assisting to mask your own scent. Only change into your hunting clothes when you reach your hunting site to minimise your human scent from permeating on your gear.
You can also use odour eliminator products to further minimise your scents presence.
2. Water and Trails
Much like most other larger animals, deer need access to fresh water on a regular basis, so mapping our known water sources in your area can significantly reduce the area in which you’re tracking when hunting. Streams, rivers, lakes and dams are common places where you’ll find deer nearby – so always familiarise yourself with these locations when narrowing down your hunting area.
3. Technology is Your Friend
Free platforms like Google Maps have revolutionised the information available to hunters. With free high resolution access to satellite, aerial and topographical imagery means you can save significant time in familiarising yourself with your next hunt before even stepping into your vehicle. Planning out your hunt via maps can help you improve your odds in a successful hunt and overall enjoyable experience.
4. Consider a Blind
If you’re hunting on land that you own or someone that you know – the option of building a hunting blind might be possible. Concealment is an important factor in hunting and being able to use a hunting blind can create an immense improvement in your hunting success. To position your hunting blind, you will want to locate it within a known deer trail. Consider the orientation of your stand based on wind and sun location so you don’t find yourself facing into the sun at the prime hunting time of day for your location.
If you have time, it’s best to setup your stand a month or more before your hunt so you don’t spook any nearby deer erecting it.
5. Bring Repellent
It may sound simple but you don’t want to be 2 hours from the nearest store and no repellent. Bugs including ticks can cause significant irritation and even illness if you’re bitten, which can completely ruin your trip and potentially the entire hunting season.
6. Know What to Do
You’ve taken the shot, now what? If you find brown hair and pink or red blood with bubbles in it, most likely you got a heart or lung hit. Brown hair and thick, dark-red blood indicates a hit too far back, possibly a liver shot. White hair and watery blood with stomach matter indicate a bad hit.
Be prepared to either carry your successful hunt, or pack it out on site if you’re too far away. Don’t leave yourself in the position of taking a shot you can’t take with you.
It might seem like an odd one – but areas adjust to powerlines can be prime hunting grounds. Because these areas are actively cleared regularly, they provide a good source of grazing land for deer. Check for trails leading to these areas and you might just be rewarded.
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