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.
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.