By: Cormac Reynolds

As we all know, hunting deer is an unpredictable but rewarding activity. There are quite a number of different things you need to know before engaging in it, especially if just starting out so we’ve compiled a list of tips to make it a little easier.

Tip #1. Dupe The Deer

There is a myriad of ways of tricking deer into shooting range and one such method is using decoys. Modern decoys accomplish a number of objectives from doe decoys to bringing in rutting bucks, to challenging buck decoys to bring in dominant bucks.

The other method of tricking deer is to use calls. For this method, you can use a wide variety of methods and products from antlers, real or manufactured for rattling, bleat cans, grunt tubes and more. These sounds will attract deer into range, giving you the perfect opportunity for the perfect shot.

However, you need to take note of the fact that to be successful in using any of these tricks, you need to set them up perfectly. As such, learn how and when to use them before trying them out in the real world.

Tip #2. Use Attractants

Attractants have been successfully used by hunters for decades and have proven to increase the hunter’s success rate. Owing to their success, an ample array of attractants have been used including deer urine (extracted and synthetic), feed, special attractant sprays and much more. One of the most effective attractants, especially during the rut,  is  drag a rag that has been soaked in Doe Estrus into your shooting lane.

Photo: Hinterland Outfitters

Tip #3. Try Using a Bow

Are you are considering bowhunting, this is for you.

Bowhunting offers an entirely new, up close experience unlike that of firearms. Here are a few basic suggestions if you want to jump in.

Find a mentor, an experienced bowhunter to help you get started right.

Visit your local archery range and pro shop for the set up and shooting instructions you will need.

Let an experienced Pro Shop or mentor help you select the best equipment from bow to arrows, etc. When it comes to compound bows, there is no one size fits all. You need to find a bow that fits your strength and size. Importantly, you need to find a bow you are comfortable using.

Prioritize Accuracy – When the buck appears in your hunting range, you only have one chance to make a humane, killing shot. As such, you should make you very first shot count. Accuracy is very important, and you should take it seriously. To this end, add accuracy enhancing add-ons and features. A good first step is to use a single pin bow sight.

Practice Make Perfect – Mastering archery is a daunting task and there is a huge difference between punching paper and drawing down on a live animal but, hone your shooting accuracy at the range and in the field before you ever attempt to go after live game.  You should also practice shooting from different positions and at different elevations.

Judging Distance Accurately – Incorrect yardage estimation is the main cause of missed shots. As such, you should use a Range Finder to ensure accuracy at various spots. Get used to doing this and shooting at these different ranges through practice and 3-D, range competition and practice.

Tip #4. Be Quiet

Masking human scent is vital for bowhunting and cannot be stressed enough. There are a variety of products on the market that will help you be as scent free as possible, but it is not enough. Most deer can detect movement from as far as a quarter mile away in non-windy conditions. Many bowhunters have opted to hunt in ground blinds as opposed to tree stands and quality blinds cover easy to set up, portable ones as well as more permanent ones like those made by Ambush Hunting Blinds.

To minimize noise and disturbing your hunting area you should up your blind or stand at least a week prior to hunting it. That gives the area a chance to calm down, get used to the set up. Now you just have to quietly slip in the morning you plan to hunt, before light.

Tip #5. When Do You Hunt?

Anytime is not the time to hunt the deer…

Deer are naturally active during the early morning hours and during sunset. As such, these are the perfect time to hunt for deer. Furthermore, when setting up your stand, opt to set up around the feeding area for evening hunts. Alternatively, set up around their bedding route for morning hunts.

Tip #6. Location, Location, Location: Know Where to Hunt

It is always recommended to scout hunting locations before the hunting season begins. Deer will usually follow relatively predictable patterns in as far as their living areas and routines.. As such, you should thorough scout for sign long before the season so you can find the game, establish routines, bedding areas, game trails and food sources so you find the best location to set up your blind or stand.

It is important to note that as seasons change, so do game movement patterns. Therefore, be on the lookout for deer presence indicators and evidence such as droppings and tracks.