The True Secret to Deer Hunting is You

The true secret to deer hunting your property, it’s your effort, not someone else’s opinion.

There are a bazillion articles, videos and people out there telling you every day how to hunt deer and shoot a monster buck. I used to read and watch them all until I realized that 90% of them were worthless to me. It doesn’t matter how someone hunts a managed preserve in the West, an overpopulated sanctuary in the South, or the frozen tundra of the North. Ypu just want to figure out how to hunt my specific area and more importantly, my specific property. There’s one secret to deer hunting. PUT IN THE WORK YOURSELF. If you need help getting information on regulations before going hunting, you can try it here.

Ok, let’s face it. We as humans are lazy. We all know that. Some of you would rather be told how to do something instead of figuring it out yourself. I think that’s natural and don’t have a problem with it. I also don’t have a problem with authors and TV people talking about how they shot that Booner buck with their top hunting crossbows. What I do have a problem with is all the “do this and do that to shoot a big buck like me” stuff. That’s getting very old and more and more hunters are agreeing with me. I never have and never will ever tell someone how to hunt or how to shoot a monster buck. How I hunt on my property has nothing to do with how you may need to hunt on your property. I will only say what works for me where I hunt, but I would never try to tell someone “how to” where they hunt. Except, for a few secrets to deer hunting only you can do to be successful.


Get out there and look at where you’re going to hunt. This is so crucial. Walk every inch of your property and note either in your head or on paper where you’re finding signs, trails, heavy amounts of deer crap and so on. Also make sure you note what time of year it is and in the case of the trails, you can also note how much traffic and the primary direction the deer are going.

Find where the deer live.

There are 3 primary points to where live in most areas. Where they sleep. Where they eat. How they get in between those two.  Every region and area is different as to how far apart the eating and sleeping parts are. Some could be a mile apart while others may only be 20 yards. Everywhere is different. Find yours and record it. Again, note the time of year and what the food source is. Here in my area, this all changes year to year depending on the area crops. After a few years, you should be able to start predicting patterns.

Secret to deer huntingCameras

This isn’t really a must have but they are so helpful. With cameras you can narrow down when deer are traveling to and from feeding. You can also start taking inventory of specific deer. Plus, you can be like those people on TV and have a “Hit List”. That’s cool right??

Another benefit to cameras is all the other wildlife you can watch. You may have a higher number of predators on your property that you didn’t realize or even some turkeys that show up.  Cameras have a ton of benefits and they are a lot of fun.


This one is pretty important. Don’t rush it and don’t expect too much. If you see that buck of your dreams on your camera, that doesn’t mean to sit on that spot every single day, all day.  They do learn your routines as much as you’re trying to learn theirs. Keep scouting, keep watching the cameras, keep moving the cameras and keep track where and when you see them. Once you figure them, you’ll be able to put your new deer hunting knife to work.

Like I said at the beginning, PUT IN THE WORK YOURSELF and you will learn the true secret to deer hunting. The reward in itself is so much greater after you know you’ve done everything yourself, you put in the time and you made this happen.

Now is the time to start, get outdoors and make it happen.


Disclaimer:  I am not bashing everyone’s advice, articles or all those TV shows with celebs shooting a buck on a managed ranch. A lot of good info can be taken from the ones that try and teach. Just wish more would try and teach about the hunt instead making it all about the kill.


  • Colby May 29, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Yep, I feel the same way. I’ve basically stopped watching hunting shows and reading “how to bag big bucks” articles. I’ve probably learned most from cameras that have taught me about the movement cycles of the animals, what brings them to certain places, impacts of changes to feeder set ups, etc. That is more useful to me.

    • Donna Smith May 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      As a new deer hunter I don’t know much but I do think your correct. I know the deer here will be at one end of the property and all of a sudden around December they move to the other end. Cameras and a watchful eye.

  • Bryan H. June 4, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Good trail cams and a good set of binos is by far the best way to get good information on bagging a large buck. Also if you only set out to bag the 8/10 pointer, you will almost always miss out. Set realistic goals. 🙂

  • Matt June 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Just like everything else, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Most people don’t have the time, patience, or ability to set their ego aside and learn what the place you hunt has to teach you.

  • Jonathon Harp June 14, 2018 at 10:59 am

    My dad use to take me hunting but never told me how or why he picked locations or even what to look for.
    It took me going by myself a few years to understand what I was looking for and how to go about it.

  • Corey June 14, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Great points . Some of these are made more difficult in our state as we may draw deer only every other year and elk every 3 or 4.

  • Calvin Gunby June 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    This article is so true, how someone else hunts does not always work where I hunt.

  • Alan June 29, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The meat eater show is pretty good for entertainment that doesn’t seem like a giant half hour advertisement or just a complete set up for the cameras. Still consider myself a young hunter and I’ve definitely learned more on my own in the woods and then discussing it with guys who have hunted longer than me to learn my mistakes or what I’m doing right.


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