Expert Deer Hunting Tips to Use This Fall
Deer hunting season will be here before you know it and if you want to bag that trophy buck this fall, then this guide is for you. All kinds of things can have an effect on your success in bringing home a deer this fall, from location to strategy to equipment and beyond.
So, before gearing up for a hunt, read through the following tips to increase your chances of landing a deer in your crosshairs this season.
Table of Contents
Before the Hunt
Let’s start with the planning phase. This is where you’ll plant the essential roots to support a successful hunting strategy. First things first: the location where you choose to hunt will play a large role in whether or not you come across the deer you’re looking for.
Choosing a Location
When scouting for the perfect perch to hunt from, consider a few of the following tips:
One, position yourself downwind from whatever animal paths you’re hunting. If the wind is blowing just the right way, deer can pick up your scent from hundreds of yards away. Keeping your scent hidden is just as, if not more important, than staying visibly hidden. The right tree stand coupled with the right scent-blocking spray can be a deadly combination.
Speaking of tree stands, it’s important that you set up in a spot that’s both accessible to deer passing upwind, and allows you to aim across the left side if you’re a right-handed shooter. This reduces the need for excess movement while helping you remain invisible. Of course, tree-stand hunting is just one option you have this season — more to come on this later.
Lastly, consider a location where deer graze, like a cornfield, wooded area, or local water source. If you can position yourself in a way to decrease potential flight paths, perhaps by placing your stand against a natural obstacle, you’ll increase your shot opportunities.
Scour other popular hunting spots to uncover the specific areas where deer tend to congregate, like buck and doe bedding, barrier crossings, and patches of coniferous trees.
As an essential part of human evolution, hunting wildlife is one of the oldest forms of strategic thinking. And while we don’t necessarily hunt to survive as people once did, strategizing on how to take down a wild animal remains a primal, challenging and rewarding experience.
To this day, we hunt deer both for fun and for their delicious meat, but regardless, you should spend time putting a proper hunting strategy in place.
Many hunters have a love/hate relationship with early-season outings. On top of potentially muggy and buggy weather, it can be hard to understand where deer will be and when. But, if you understand one thing about deer, understand that where there’s food or fresh water, deer will likely gather.
Deer are still in their summer patterns at this point in the season, meaning that bucks gather in groups, set up beds near food sources, and feed in the evenings. As the season progresses into September, bucks experience an increase in testosterone for the upcoming rut and subsequently break off from these groups, changing their day-to-day patterns. The best place to set up at this point are paths between heavy cover and known food sources.
By the time late season rolls around, deer have grown accustomed to being shot at, so their natural instincts are to avoid the slightest hint of human scent or noise, along with common hunting areas. But, as long as you are stealthy and smart, this time of year is fantastic for hunting whitetail.
The great thing about hunting deer later in the season is that, even more so than early season bucks, the animals are eager for food, often eating in the afternoon and bedding down before sunset. Because so much energy was expended during their recent rut, they need to increase food intake to rebuild their health for the upcoming winter. Camping out among the edges of corn or soybean fields, for example, can be a great place to pick off hungry bucks.
But, no matter what time of season you prefer, there are certain techniques that can help you out in such timely situations.
Although there are many approaches to hunting deer, we’ll take a look at three of the best techniques for beginners.
Stalking is a technique that involves a lot of practice but can be a fun way to stay active and use your wits to bring down a whitetail. This stealthy pursuit has you on your feet, following animal tracks, droppings, and other clues to locate deer and make an ambush. For beginners, this may be the most difficult hunting technique, because it requires special knowledge that comes with experience, such as knowing movement and eating patterns, the best time of day to hunt, specific mating calls, and so on.
For an easier option, try hunting from a tree stand. These platforms are installed in a tree at the appropriate location upwind from known deer gathering spots, allowing you a clear vantage point from higher up. And, since whitetails love tree cover and wooded areas, this technique is particularly effective.
Finally, another good technique for beginners to try is hunting food plots. These are simply crop fields that deer enjoy grazing. Oats, wheat, rye, soybeans, and corn are the crops that deer tend to enjoy, although they’ll eat a number of things if they’re desperate enough. When green forage starts to die off later in the season, food plots attract large numbers of whitetails, providing them with essential nutrition during this hard time.
Getting the Right Gear
Another essential part of hunting deer this fall is acquiring the right gear. With the weather becoming more unpredictable, the days growing shorter and cold setting in, it’s important to safely equip yourself. And, in addition to improving your gun’s capabilities, consider other outdoor survival tools, as well.
To improve your shot accuracy, consider adding a rifle suppressor to the end of your gun barrel. Not only do they suppress loud gun blasts, allowing you to stay more camouflaged and more focused on the shooting process, but they also reduce recoil that affects bullet path.Rifle Silencers
Since the weather is getting colder and there’s the potential for snow, make sure to bring the proper clothing. That means wearing heavy layers, as well as gloves, a hat, neck gaiter, wool socks, and other items to protect extremities. A jacket with big pockets can help store extra amenities like snacks and drinks. If possible, always have a backup plan, like hunting in close proximity to your truck if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
In many hunting locations, you will need to wear an orange safety vest. Goggles and earplugs will also help protect vision and hearing, although aren’t required. If you’re planning on hunting from a tree stand, consider a safety rope and harness to prevent accidental falls.
If you have yet to master wind patterns, these products can help you understand which way your scent will blow. A wind checker is a handheld bottle filled with scentless dust. Simply give it a squeeze to understand the direction of the breeze.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still searching for more tips? Browse the list below for answers to common questions about deer hunting.
What time of day is best for deer hunting?
The answer to this question heavily depends on where you’re hunting, how you’re hunting, and at what point in the season. However, you can generally expect the best hunting from dawn to mid-morning, slowing down throughout the day, and then picking back up in activity around dusk.
How can I get better at deer hunting?
Practice makes perfect. Spend your free time at the range getting to know your firearm, it’s quirks and nuances, and mastering your aim. There’s also nothing better than first-hand experience. Spend time talking with professionals at your local gun store to pinpoint some ideal hunting locations for beginners, and head out into the field to get your feet wet. Even if you don’t make a single shot, it will give you insight into how you can make your next trip that much better.
What should you not do while deer hunting?
Safety is paramount when it comes to hunting, and you have to be particularly careful as a beginner since you don’t have as much firearm experience as veteran hunters. Never point your gun at something you don’t intend to destroy, never assume a firearm is unloaded, and never put your finger on the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot.
Is it better to hunt deer in the morning or evening?
In general, it’s better to hunt deer in the morning, although activity will potentially pick back up in the evening, particularly early in the season.
At what time of day are most big bucks killed?
Most big bucks are killed by mid-morning, allowing you the perfect opportunity to break for lunch and a cold beer.
What attracts deer the most?
The best way to attract a deer is through its stomach. Whitetails love large plots of crops, with their favorite usually considered soybeans and corn.
Improve Your Odds of Bringing Home a Deer this Year
Now that you know some essential tips for hunting deer, you can enjoy more success on your outings this fall. Remember to scout the right location, develop a hunting strategy, utilize the right gear, and employ other common-sense deer hunting tips, and you’ll start off on the right foot.
Are you trying to increase your odds at landing a trophy buck this fall? Consider adding a silencer to your arsenal. Not only do these handy accessories protect your hearing, but they also reduce recoil, allowing you to make a more accurate shot. Silencer Central has made it easy to purchase a new suppressor — just make your purchase through our EZ-Pay system and let us do the paperwork for you. To find out more about our silencer products, visit our online store.Shop Today