Every year that you go hunting should always be focused on one goal: to be better than you were last season. Hunting is more popular than ever, and that means competition can be a lot greater than it used to be depending on what and where you’re hunting. For deer hunting, there are some simple ways to ensure that you have a much better experience than you did last season, even if you did manage to bag yourself a big buck. Follow these essential tips and your chances of a more successful expedition will only improve, and you’ll be returning home with more meat than ever before.
One of the keys to being a better deer hunter is to reduce your potential to make unexpected noises. Silence is absolutely essential at all times, so cover any exposed metals on your tree stand or blind set up to reduce high volume impacts at the worst time. Look at every piece of equipment you own and look for ways to limit the chances of those sudden noises that will scatter deer as fast as buckshot.
Know Your Goals
Not all hunters have the same ambitions, so make sure that you know what you're hoping to gain from the next season. If you’re simply hoping to improve your skills, then practice where and when you can. If you’re hoping for more trophies, then learn how to score a mule deer by sight quickly. It’s almost always beneficial to have focus when you’re planning for the next seasons, so think about the best goals to suit you and then start your research on how to better achieve those goals.
Beginner hunters are particularly prone to using their calls too often, but even experienced deer hunters can be susceptible to this mistake. Don’t keep using your grunt tube if there are a lot of other hunters in the area, or if you know that mature bucks are in smaller numbers in the area. It can take time to get used to when and how to use your calls (never call if you already have the attention of a deer), so it’s better to limit your call use until you develop a better understanding of when it will be most effective.
Cover is King
If you get seen by a deer before you're ready, you’ll have missed your opportunity. The right level of cover is absolutely essential, whether you’re in a tree stand or in a ground hide. Don’t forget that you don’t have to stick to natural cover. You can take large fallen branches and attach them where you need them to be to improve your cover, and some hunters even take along their own fake Christmas trees to use. When cover will make or break a season, make sure that you get it right.
From scent control to planning your trail route, the most important thing to get right when planning for a fresh season of deer hunting is preparation and planning. The more that you have your equipment (and the right equipment) ready to go and fully optimized, the more likely that you will return home having improved your skills as a hunter and ready to make further improvements for the next season.