Deer hunting dates back thousands of years when Man used to hunt for the sole purpose of nutrition. Sources of food were limited, and killing animals and birds was the prime occupation.
Even today deer hunting is carried out in many countries, the sole reason is not food but recreation or to minimise the damage caused to the crops by the deer. Many states have permitted hunters within specific seasons of the yield to hunt down the deer as they destroy the plants in the fields and cause a lot of damage to the food.
It is also an attempt to keep their population within limits, which was increasing alarmingly due to the ban on killing or hunting them. Many national parks serve as hunting paradise for the enthusiasts, and people keep coming from far off places to enjoy the hunting sport.
From time to time, many experienced hunters and animal behaviour experts have given tips to maximise the chance of hunting down a deer. Here, I am sharing some of the essential tricks and tips with you that can give you a successful hunting experience:
- Beware of that human odour: Animals are susceptible to fragrances, and they can easily smell your presence. Before hunting, use a scent free soap in the shower and protect your clothes from any contamination on the way. You can pack your clothes in a plastic bag with dirt, leaves, and some ground debris. It will help the clothes take up the natural odour.
- Use of doe oestrous: Doe oestrous can be used to attract bucks to your location.
- Odour eliminator: Many hunters bring odour eliminators with them to the woods and apply them, after taking their position on the tree stands. While using, pay attention to your hair and hat as well. It is quite useful in fooling the animals about your presence.
- Tree stand: You need to practice how to set up and take down your tree stand before the season. Install the position at low height tree from where you can quickly climb up and down, without wasting time.
- Shooting lanes: Do not try to trim the shooting lanes during the season as it will disturb the hunting area. If you want, you can do it during the summers. Wise bucks can immediately recognise the freshly cut timber smell and can become cautious of human invasion.
- Tree stand blinds: They protect the hunter from the harsh winds and conceal his presence.
- Calling out: If you notice a deer near to you, you can call out to it by making sounds of doe bleating and tempting it to come over to your place.
- Rifle Scopes: Use appropriate rifle scopes while going for hunting. This will not only increase your success rate but will also prevent you from any mis-shot.
- Tick repellent: Always use tick repellent during summer and early fall. A tick-borne disease can make you ill and affect your hunting season.
- Getting to your tree stand undetected: It is crucial for a hunter to get back to his tree hold without alarming the animals. You can use a curtain of bushes or leaves to cover the entry.
- Washing your hunting clothes: You must clean your hunting clothes in a scent free detergent every time you head towards the forest. Keep them sealed unless you reach your spot.
- Wear full-body safety harness: To prevent fall from the tree stands it is necessary to wear full body harness. Try to avoid any injury to yourself which can terminate your hunting session.
- Stop at the noise: If you happen to make an unusually loud noise, stop and stay there for as long as the animal is gazing you. If it doesn’t smell or see you, it will go back to grazing, and you can prepare your shot.
- Quick stepping for deer: A deer is susceptible to human presence. If you walk on noisy leaves, sprint for some yards with fast and light steps. Doing this will make you sound like a squirrel scrambling on the leaves.
- Packing your gear: During the wet season, try to pack similar items in sealed plastic bags. Put batteries and flashlights together, matches and fire starters together, food in a separate packet, and clothing in yet another packet.
- Stay in comfort: Take all necessary but light bedding with you when hunting in cold weather. Staying warm and comfortable is very important to start your hunting session without falling prey to weather.
- Hike before you shoot: If you are taking your vehicle with you, park it way before the hunting location. The animals can hear the noise of the engine from far off and can get alert of the human invasion.
- Carry a shotgun as well: Calling out to bucks can sometimes make them come very close to you. A gun comes handy when aiming from a short distance.
- Switch your call: Try to call out differently if you are hunting in an area where there are other hunters. Deer can become immune to the standard bells and may not respond. Try calling out a fawn bleat or any unusual sound that can attract them.
- Beware of the instant fall: If the animal drops down instantly, it is more likely to run away than the one that runs some distance and then falls down. These animals quickly get up again and run away, so be prepared for a follow-up shot soon after the first shot.
- Look out for blood spots after the shooting: After the shot, look out for blood stains on the ground and nearby bushes. Brown hair with red or pink blood with some bubbles denotes that you must have hit its heart or lungs. Brown hair with thick deep red blood indicates a shot in the liver. White hair with watery blood denotes a hit in the stomach, which is not good.
I am sure these tips are going to give you an insight into the hunting experience and will prepare you well in making successful shots. Every sport gets better with experience, and your scope of doing well increases with these tricks.