Deer Hunting Success

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All deer hunters want to have a successful deer hunting story to come home with. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

In this world of fast food, overnight mail, instant messaging and quick fixes for everything from your broken down marriage to your broken down Volkswagen, many are naturally looking for a quick, zero commitment, low monthly payment route to success in the deer woods. It doesn’t work that way. The best deer hunters earn their stripes over many years, not to mention they deer hunt in great areas and spend a lot of time doing it.

They have found consistent success not by using a certain hunting product or a never-fail strategy. While every tool has its place, they have shot more than their share of the whoppers by staying focused on the deer hunting fundamentals.

The entire bowhunting equation for success truly does hang on how well you do just a few basic things. Applying the deer huntng fundamentals to the best of your ability, tirelessly day after day and season after season, will produce a photo album full of deer hunting success stories. That is how you do it - no secrets, just stick to the fundamentals.

Priortiy Number One

The most important single thing you can do to shoot more trophy bucks is to keep the element of surprise in your favor – that’s it, no earth-shaking news, but nonetheless this step is critical. Once the deer know you are hunting them, your chances sink faster than the Titanic.

deer hunting success stories
There are a few basic bowhunting fundamentals to follow in order to have deer hunting success. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

If you are wondering if you are good deer hunter, there is one question that will help you clear that up: how often do you spook deer? Good deer hunters have learned how to avoid detection on every level. Not only are they sticklers for where they deer hunt, wind direction, staying still on tree stand, moving at the right time and all the usual stuff, but they also know how to avoid detection when traveling to and from their tree stands.

When you start to look at all the implications of the simple goal of maintaining the element of surprise, you will realize this thing has roots that spread in every direction like a big old oak tree. Preserving the element of surprise affects everything you do from the time you get out of bed each day until you get back into it. Every decision you make about what detergent to use, what type of clothing to wear, where to park, how fast to drive, what time to walk to your tree stand, what route to take, which tree stand to hunt, how often to deer hunt your best tree stands, whether to rattle or grunt call while on a tree stand, when to call, how much to call. All these decisions make a big difference in the outcome of the deer hunt.

deer hunting
There are many decisions a deer hunter makes that can impact the outcome of their deer hunt. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

From that long list, two items stand out. Most important are which tree stand to hunt and what route to use to get to and from that tree stand. The next few paragraphs will focus on that subject before moving on.

Which Tree Stand To Deer Hunt

The answer is simple, the one you can get to and from and deer hunt without alerting any deer. The tree stand and the route are like a hand in a glove. Consider what is involved in getting to the tree stand. That would be a book in itself. In truth, the search for the perfect tree stand actually starts with a search for the perfect entry and exit route. Once you have established the routes you will use, you can choose the best tree stand along that route.

You are better off deer hunting a tree stand overlooking marginal sign but with excellent undetected access than deer hunting a tree stand overlooking the hottest sign on the farm without an easy entry and exit route. Maintaining the element of surprise is worth giving up a few deer sightings. Sure, you can deer hunt those tree stands right in the middle of the action and possibly get a shot the first day, but if you don’t get that shot – or you miss it - you run the risk of educating a lot of deer. It is a risk you should be very slow to take.

Deer hunters are better off deer hunting from a tree stand overlooking marginal sign that has excellent undetected access.

Think about it this way, suppose an eight-year-old boy decided to do something stupid like moon every car that came past. If he goes right down in the middle of town and stands right next to the main stop light, it won’t take long before everyone in town knows about his stunt. Now suppose he did the same thing standing well off a less-traveled country road leading into town. The cars are speeding by; many motorists will never even notice him off to the side. Chances are he might get by with his little prank for a good while before everyone at the coffee shop is talking about it.

That may seem like a strange analogy, but if you think about it, the process is very similar to how we educate deer. If you do something stupid (like using a poor route, being caught in a swirling wind, being seen, etc.) in an area where many deer concentrate, it won’t take long before most of the local herd knows (through firsthand experience or through the body language of other deer) that they are being deer hunted. The fun is over fast – little Bobby and his white bottom are in jail. However, make a few mistakes in less concentrated areas with traveling deer and you live to fight another day – Bobby gets grounded but doesn’t go to jail.

Deer hunters need to learn to manage the impact they have on local deer by deer hunting from tree stands that offer undetected access. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Learn to balance the amount of impact you have on the local deer. In fact, learn to manage it. You can only manage impact if you recognize when you are playing safe and when you are pushing the envelope and taking risk. To play safe, deer hunt tree stands that offer undetected access and a safe wind. Only push the envelope when the deer hunt is ending and you have nothing to lose. Don’t be tempted to take risks too soon or you will regret it.

What Route To Use

Again, it actually makes sense to talk about the route before talking about the tree stand location. The best routes are the ones where you can keep out of sight, where you can slip along quietly and where your scent won’t blow to any deer. Start thinking about your deer hunting area; there are not many such routes. Ditches and creeks are classic examples. Manmade objects such as farm equipment or a line of round bales also offer some concealment. You might even be able to convince the farmer to leave a few bales in certain areas so you can sneak behind them.

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