A hunter's first hunting experience can be particularly challenging if they've never hunted before. Besides learning hunting laws and regulations, it is necessary to acquire basic hunting techniques and safety protocols as well.
This is a beginner's guide to deer hunting that provides beginner hunters with everything they need to know about deer hunting so they can have a successful and safe hunt.
Methods of Deer Hunting
It is possible to hunt deer in two different ways. A ground blind is preferred by some hunters, while tree stands are preferred by others. Does a tree stand or a ground blind work better? Taking a closer look at each method, let us examine its advantages and disadvantages.
Tree Stands Hunting
In deer hunting, hunters use hunting tree stands, which are elevated platforms with a good view of the landscape and a reduced chance of being spotted by deer.
Moreover, hunters can keep their scent away from the ground by elevating themselves, so their scent is not detected by a deer's acute sense of smell.
It must be noted, however, that the use of tree stands poses an additional safety risk. Each year, people are injured by falling from tree stands. It is possible to get seriously injured when climbing tree stands if they are not properly secured.
Also, they can be disrupted by animals or the wind, creating an unstable hunting environment. Therefore, if you intend to use a tree stand, make sure you wear a safety harness.
Ground Blind Hunting
Deer hunting from ground blinds is done by some hunters. Hunting ground blinds provide hunters with a cover from detection that allows them to get close to their targets without being spotted.
Camouflage and concealment are excellent features of blinds. Furthermore, ground blinds provide protection against rain, wind, and snow.
Using ground blinds has some downsides, as it is possible to limit your visibility and shooting lane by using ground blinds. You can only see what is right in front of you from your vantage point.
When Is The Best Time to Hunt Deer?
In general, deer hunting seasons are set in the fall, but each state has its own exact start and end date for deer hunting in the fall.
It's still early in the hunting season, so deer haven't been subjected to much hunting pressure. Hunters have a better chance of spotting deer when they have more freedom to roam around the landscape, so the early season is a great time for deer hunting.
Moreover, the early hunting season is easier for tracking and spotting bucks since they are still in their summer patterns and groups.
During the Rut
It's a good time to hunt deer during the rut in full swing. Bucks are actively hunting does and will go to great lengths to locate them. Due to this, hunters are more likely to spot them outside of their comfort zone. Thus, hunters are more likely to capture a buck.
Time of Day for Hunting
The most active time for deer might be at dawn and dusk when they are seeking food and mates. This increased activity makes them more visible and increases the likelihood of being seen.
Having knowledge of active times, the best times of day to hunt deer, will allow you to prepare properly for your hunt. Additionally, no matter where you hunt, make sure you adhere to all legal hunting laws.
Where to Hunt Deer?
When you're just getting into hunting or if you're just getting started, finding a place to hunt is the biggest issue. In terms of hunting land, you have two options: public lands and private lands.
The government generally provides free access to public lands, but private lands require a landowner's permission.
Public land has the advantage of being available to everyone and free, so anyone can access it. However, there is a great possibility that successful hunting will be harder to come by as a result of so many hunters on public land. Further, a state hunting license is required for all hunters on public lands.
The best way to hunt on private land is to purchase or lease it if you do not own your own land. Private land owners can lease their personal hunting grounds to anyone who wants to hunt them. Besides, hunting pressure is lower on private hunting lands, so you have more chances of spotting and harvesting game.
Having determined the location for your hunting excursion, the next step is to take a scouting trip. The purpose of is to determine which areas are optimal for hunting and which types of animals can be found there.
An electronic scout should be completed prior to going into a field to scout a newly discovered hunting area. Using online map services such as OnX Hunt, HuntStand, and Google Earth, you can see the terrain and potential access points.
In this way, you can determine the best routes to take and the best areas to target when hunting. As well, you will be able to access offline maps and historical weather for your hunt areas, and drop markers on a map.
When you have located a good hunting area through E scouting, you can go on a field trip. In addition to the information you can gather from e-scouting, scouting on the ground provides you with more detailed information.
Once you've scouted the area, make sure it's accessible, then check if the details match what the maps showed. Having determined that the area is acceptable, look for signs of animal existence.
Look for bedding areas, feeding areas, cover, water, and take note of small things that animals leave behind, such as scat, tracks, rails, rubs, and scrapes.
Essential Equipment for Deer Hunting
There are three basic types of tree stands, and each with a distinctive design and function. Ladder stand, climbing stand,
A ladder stand has a seat and platform at the top that the hunter can stand, along with a multipiece ladder assembly. It provides a hunter with a higher view of the surrounding area. However, it normally takes two people to set up a ladder stand.
Using a climbing stand allows hunters to climb up trees, increasing their visibility while hunting and allowing them to remain undetected by their prey. But there are some precautions and proper practice needed when climbing stands.
The hang-on stand consists of a platform and seat attached and can be set up quickly and quietly. A hang-on stand offers a great vantage point in the woods as well, and it is also possible to use this type of stand to observe the terrain more clearly and to remain concealed from wildlife when hunting.
Wearing orange is required for hunting safety in order to reduce the possibility of hunters being mistaken for animals and thus increase the odds of a successful hunt. Then you need to choose clothing that is appropriate for your hunting method and the season.
Binoculars are extremely useful hunting tools that enable a hunter to identify their target from a greater distance, increasing their chances of success. Besides, hunters can also scan an area quickly with binoculars, which makes it easier to spot potential targets.
Spotting scopes are specially designed for bird watching and other types of wildlife observation. The spotting scope is generally mounted on a tripod for stability and offers a higher magnification than binoculars. Even more clear is the view from a spotting scope than from a pair of binoculars when viewing distant objects.
Using a rangefinder, you can determine the distance between two objects. As a hunting tool, it measures the distance between the hunter and the target, allowing hunters to ensure they are shooting within their effective range.
A compound bow is the most commonly used bow for hunting and target shooting. An arrow is released by pulling the cables and pulleys through the limbs, and storing energy.
Compared to traditional bows, compound bows are generally more accurate and have a greater range.
Using a bow is a more sustainable method of hunting than using a firearm, and it requires more patience, skill, and knowledge of the environment.
Bowhunters can hunt faster, longer, and more accurately with crossbows. Additionally, crossbows can be adjusted easily to different terrain types and conditions, which makes them perfect for hunters.
Comparatively, crossbows are heavier and unwieldy than light and quiet compound bows. And the crossbow is prone to misfiring once it has been cocked, so you must treat it as a loaded weapon.
Crossbows and compound bows both have advantages and disadvantages, and they can both be used for hunting, depending on your preference and local regulations.
A rifle is an effective weapon for taking down large game, and the hunter is able to harvest game from a greater distance. Nevertheless, rifles have short, limited hunting seasons, and costs associated with ammunition are high and recurring.
What Types of Boots Are Best For Deer Hunting?
Choosing the right boots for deer hunting is important for having a successful and comfortable experience. Make sure to get boots that are insulated and waterproof. This is especially important when you're walking through different terrains and the weather is unpredictable.
Deer hunting usually happens in Fall and Winter so insulation will keep your feet warm in colder weather, and waterproofing will keep you dry when you're walking through wet or swampy areas.
The sole of the boots should be durable and supportive, with features that prevent slipping. This will help you stay stable even on uneven ground. Think about the specific demands of your hunting environment and choose boots that offer the comfort, protection, and performance you need for a successful deer hunting trip.
You will find this beginner's guide to deer hunting to be very helpful if you read this article carefully.
Hunting successfully is not easy, but the right equipment and knowledge can greatly enhance your odds. Plan ahead and stay focused on your hunt, and stay patient throughout the process.