Hunting whitetail deer is a cherished pastime that is often passed down from generation to generation. It is a way to create family bonds while also providing a recreational activity that gets the family off the couch and into nature.
Hunting also instills a sense of appreciation within the hunter. Living within the land connects you to the environment around you.
However, there are always new hunters. They have not been groomed by a parental figure in terms of how to hunt. For new hunters out there, as well as beginners, there are guidelines that should be followed in order to hunt successfully.
Patience is a Virtue
Patience is a virtue is an expression applicable to a lot of different situations. When it comes to hunting, it is incredibly applicable. As a hunter, having patience is of utmost importance. You will never see a hunter successfully take down a prized buck by charging into the forest guns blazing.
Successful hunters are those who let the game come to them. Stealth is key as you walk quietly and strategically to the spot that you want to post up. The best strategy is to sit down and wait for your target to come to you. You’ll either want to set up a tree stand or use a large truck as a sort of chair for yourself. Sit quietly and pay attention to your surroundings.
Although it is not ideal for your face, you’ll want to sit in a position where the wind is in your face. The reason for this is scent. Beginners do not have as much experience masking their scent so it is important to have the wind blow towards you, instead of away from you and towards a deer.
Follow the Tracks
Experienced deer hunters know what to look when stalking a buck. For beginners and newcomers, it is important to take in all of your surroundings, especially those underfoot. You want to search for and follow the clues that deer leave behind.
The first clue to look for is deer tracks. These heart-shaped marks in the ground will point you in the direction of the deer. Deer have what are called, cloven hooves. This means that each foot has two hooves. The point at which the two hooves meet points in the direction the deer is traveling. The more separated bulges are located at the back of the hoof.
The other thing that you want to be aware of is deer droppings. This is another telltale sign that deer are in the area. Deer droppings are typically resemble the shape of rocks. They are each about three-fourths of an inch in length. Deer don’t typically have elongated feces, so ignore any type like that. You are looking for small mounds of the rock-like droppings.
Practice Makes Perfect
As with any skills, practice makes perfect. Becoming an experienced hunter requires a lot of practice with your tool of choice. Whether you are using a rifle or a bow, the more you practice your shot, the better chances you have of actually hitting your target.
One mistake that some beginners make when practicing their shot, is practicing from positions that they would never actually use while hunting. So if you plan on using a tree seat for hunting deer, you should practice your shot from the tree seat. If you plan on taking the shot from the ground, practice your shot from the ground.
Use Topo Map as a Marker
Another guideline to follow while hunting deer, is to use your topographical map as a deer sighting marker. Some hunters prefer to purchase their own private hunting land through land realtors such as Michigan Whitetail Properties. In this situation, the hunter knows exactly what type of land they are purchasing. They can easily get a topographical map of their land and mark down various sightings.
As a recreational hunter on public lands, you should still acquire a topographical map. This allows you to mark deer sightings and you continue along your hunt. You may also start to see a pattern over various hunting seasons as to where the deer usually spend their time in this area.
Know Where to Aim
One of the final guidelines to hunting deer, is knowing where to aim. The ideal shot is a broadshot shot. This is a great shot for both bow hunters and rifle hunters. This shot gives you the largest surface area to hit and provides you with the vital organs needed to take down a large buck. You want to shoot at the deer’s heart and lung area which is located right behind the front shoulder.
A deer quartering away from you is another good shot for both bow and rifle hunters. The general rule of thumb is to shoot through the deer towards the opposite shoulder. Other shot placement success is determined by the type of hunting weapon you are using, along with how good of a shot you are.
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Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.