Deer hunting is not only a sport; it does an important job for population control, as well. Many hunters also do this for food.
As such, the industry welcomes many beginners every year. If you’re one of them, know that it’s not easy and it can be dangerous at times, too.
Don’t worry, you can prepare yourself by reading our deer hunting tips for beginners. Continue reading to learn the deer hunting basics.
- Mind What You Wear
A hunt can go on for hours, so you must be ready to be outdoors for the same amount of time. You’ll be dealing with the heat, cold, or both, as well as dirt and other weather elements.
With that in mind, choose what you wear with care. Depending on the weather, you may be hot during the day and cold during the night.
If the weather is cold, make sure to wear a scarf and cap to keep your neck and head warm. High-quality boots intended for hunting are a must, as well.
However, bulky clothes, while warm, aren’t good for hunting. You have to be able to move unrestricted so you can navigate through the landscape. If your clothing prevents you from going over logs or stalking the deer quietly, reconsider the material of your clothes.
Merino wool, for instance, is a great material for hunting. It wicks away moisture from your body and it keeps you warm even when wet.
Weather clothing aside, you should also wear appropriate ones for hunting. When bow hunting, camouflaged layers are the way to go. Orange-colored clothing pieces are suitable for gun hunting. You may have already heard of hunters shooting other hunters. Wearing something to alert another human of your presence is important.
Deer is colorblind to red, so orange is a good choice. It’s bright and it stands out in the environment. You don’t have to wear orange all the way, through – an orange beanie, for instance, will work.
- Face the Wind
Hunters pay attention to the direction of the wind when they go hunting. Do you know why that is? Pay attention – it’s one of the most important one in our deer hunting tips for beginners.
That’s because humans stink a lot to animals.
Wind may carry your scent to the deer you’re hunting. When it does, it’s over.
A white-tailed deer has around 297 million scent receptors as opposed to humans, which have 5 million olfactory receptors. They can smell your scent 10 days after you’ve left.
Make sure to have the wind in your favor by facing it. However, this is easier said than done, especially in swirling wind conditions.
In this case, it’s worth carrying matches or a small lighter on your person always. You can tell the wind direction by lighting it and observing the flame.
- Bring Your Tools
A bow or a gun isn’t the only thing you need when hunting. What do you do with the carcass once you’re successful?
That’s right, you have to bring a knife and rope, as well.
The knife is for preparing the game. You use it for skinning it and cutting the meat. Meanwhile, the rope is for hanging the carcass in a tree.
A game cart is pretty useful for bringing back the deer carcass to the truck or cabin more easily. However, a nice tarp will do the job.
It’s a cheaper alternative to keeping the carcass free of debris while you haul it. Even if there’s a cart, you can still put the tarp over to protect it further.
Don’t forget your binoculars, calls and scents, range finder, compass, and more. Buy some extra ammo from Arnzen Arms or anywhere, too.
- Know Your Deer
First, know what you’re hunting. Deer have a lot of types and subtypes, but the most commonly hunted ones are the white-tailed deer, mule deer, caribou, and moose.
A white-tailed deer is the most common; it’s usually the deer depicted in the media. The mule deer has big mule ears, while a caribou is a reindeer. Moose is a deer, too, for your information.
That said, you have to know what deer type you’re hunting to know their appearance and behavior. Learn how you can better hunt them by studying them ahead of time.
- Scout the Hunting Block
If you have some time to spare before your hunting day, scout the area first. Look for vantage points and hot spots where animals cross.
Make use of available technology, as well. Google Earth, for instance, gives you a bird’s eye view of any property. You can access free satellite and topographic maps.
Using this, you’ll be able to find clearings on river flats and side creaks with slips on them. You can also use this to see the lay of the land. Identify any areas you would want to avoid.
You can also use game cameras to see what’s going on in the woods. This way, you don’t have to walk into it when you don’t have the time to scout the area in person.
Going yourself to find the best spots for hunting is still preferable, though. Come hunting day, you’ll walk out of the truck knowing where to go and which areas to avoid. It eliminates the guesswork, and you’ll start the day with much more confidence.
- Scout and Hunt at the Right Times
You have to go when the deer is most active and that’s at dawn and dusk. If your hunting location is close to you, before and after work are the ideal times for scouting.
Many hunters can get a kill during other times, but going at these times will further put the odds in your favor.
On the day of hunting, you may want to get to the area before dawn. This way, you’re already in your hunting blind, tree spot, or such before the deer begins to move.
You should consider sleeping there the night before. You can save your time and energy by not having to trek to the location in the wee hours of the morning. You’ll feel more refreshed as you’ll get a good sleep right before hunting.
If you’re going this route, make sure to bring the right camping supplies with you. We’ll get to that later.
At dusk is when deer often feels more confident to be out in the open. As such, many hunters are more productive during this time. It’s the second time of the day when you’re most likely to get a kill.
However, it may not be the most comfortable time for some. After all, it would be nightfall by the time you get a kill. You’ll be trekking back to the truck or cabin in the dark with your game.
If you’re a beginner, this doesn’t sound appealing, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. In time, though, you might get used to hunting enough to entertain the idea.
- Bring Camping Supplies
Some hunters set up camp to hunt for a couple of days or more. If you’re planning to do this, have a checklist of the essentials. There are three things you have to pay attention to – your hygiene, rest, and nutrition.
For your hygiene, bring stuff like scent-free toiletries, toilet paper, and such. A tent and a sleeping bag are a must for resting and some food and water for your nutrition. Remember to bring a first-aid kit, too, as anything can happen on a hunting trip.
You must have headlights, as well, to help you navigate in the dark. Make sure it lasts long so it doesn’t die out on you when you need it most.
It’s a good idea to pack some extra batteries, as well. Place it somewhere you can reach easily and even in the dark. Headlights have a habit of turning off in the most inopportune times.
- Have Enough Food and Water
Deer don’t become food until much much later, so ensure you have some food you can munch on while you’re hunting.
Choose items that are high in fat to keep your energy levels high. Jerky is a good choice, as well as salami and summer sausage.
Protein bars and energy bars are great to pack with you, too. For a tastier treat, choose Snickers.
Portable fruit is a popular choice for hunters, as well. A banana is an optimal choice, considering you can eat it in silence. Other portable fruits, like apples, are noisy to eat.
When camping out, you can bring freeze-dried meals, oatmeal packs, and even boxed mac and cheese.
Don’t forget to bring enough water to last you on your trip. Around 3 liters a day is standard for keeping your body in top shape. Although, you may need 5 liters for a hot or grueling day.
When camping, bring instant coffee with you.
Prepare With These Deer Hunting Tips for Beginners
We hope our deer hunting tips for beginners above can help you prepare yourself for your first hunting trips. As a last tip, though, don’t get encouraged if things don’t go as planned on your first try. Some things you have to learn yourself.
After learning the deer hunting basics, check out more tips on our other guides today.