Hunting for deer is a subtle skill that must be mastered. Do not think you can walk into a hunting ground with a long-range rifle and start shooting up deer. You are most likely not going to make any kills. So, how does one hunt successfully for a deer? The answer is simple—preparation, location, and scouting.
Deers are very skittish animals, and any little mistake in your planning and movement can ruin the hunt for the day. We’ve asked several experienced hunters, and they’ve all given us tips on how they make their kills. Do you want to find out? Read on.
- Understanding the regulations and laws in your area
When you prepare to hunt a deer, you must understand the regulations and laws that govern an area. Different states have different laws for deer hunting, and if you do not get acquainted with them, you may find yourself standing before a judge.
Remember the gun regulations in your state. Although a rifle is not required to go deer hunting, it is the most common method. Ask the police department closest to you. Follow the instructions to the letter to obtain a handgun. Consider bow hunting if you cannot use a firearm due to legal or medical restrictions. Hunting with a bow is just as thrilling as a long-range scope gun. Apply for the appropriate permit after determining whether you want to hunt with a gun or bow.
- Selecting The Right Location
Now that you understand the law of the area you wish to hunt in, the next thing is to select the right location for hunting. More than any other part of the hunting process, the top hunters spend the most time considering where they will hunt. Finding and acquiring access to suitable hunting places is more than just a pastime for them; it’s a business.
Throughout the year, they research maps, scout potential hunting areas, and call the landowners and government organizations overseeing public lands. Every sensible hunter asks the same question; Where will I be during hunting season?
Public and private lands each have advantages and disadvantages. One of the best things about hunting on public land is that you’re using your citizenship rights to gain access to those places and take advantage of the renewable wild game riches that belong to the government.
- Scouting The Area To Know Where The Deer Habits
You must know where to look when searching for a deer. The truth is that big deers are very smart. They avoid interacting with people and go to great lengths to keep themselves far from potentially hazardous situations. Big games have gotten this wisdom, thanks to aging. Shooting a younger mature deer will probably result in greater food for the table. To get the best deer, you need to pick the areas that are the densest and least friendly for transit by man.
The deer may roam in areas where people do not go. Look for a route and build up a stand anywhere, even dense cedar thickets and old swampland. Larger bucks typically mate and rest in forested areas at higher elevations. They are farthest away from potential hazards like humans.
Additionally, huge bucks are more inclined to hide out in thick creek bottoms. These locations enable them to relax and hydrate in a remote locations.
- Pick The Right Weapon
The right weapon you choose depends on how you want to hunt. If you are going to be shooting from long range, then you need a rifle that has a hunting scope. If you shoot a deer with the wrong gun, you may see your hunting license revoked.
- Properly Setting Up Your Hunting Spot
The next phase in establishing a new hunting property is to put some stands in place following the determination of deer populations and develop a strategy to draw, feed, and maintain deer in your hunting area.
The number of stand alternatives available to hunters is enormous and expanding yearly, ranging from a straightforward fabric style blind to a hard-sided box blind. You’ll need extras to assist you to conduct a successful stand hunt after setting up the ideal stand. The second item on this list is to have the gear required for a successful hunt from the beginning in the woods to the end in the freezer. This also includes one or two hunting knives.
- Using Calls or Scents To Attract Deer
Experienced hunters will employ various strategies to lure the deer to where they are waiting. You can choose from a variety of options to lure deer. Use deer calls if you can. Deer calls can be created manually with your voice or artificially with a “doe in estrus” can. To mimic the estrus bleat sequence, quickly fold your wrist and tilt the container.
Alternatively, you can use the odor of estrus. Use a doe estrus spray or carry a rag covered in doe estrus urine with you when you go hunting. The buck may occasionally follow the scent of the doe right to you.
- Tracking The Deer
Game tracks, scrapes, and rubs are indications that deer frequently visit a specific location. Make sure to hunt close to warning flags.
Scrapes are holes that bucks excavated out of the ground during the rutting season. Scrapes are a more reliable indicator of ideal hunting areas the earlier in the hunting season you find them.
Abrasions caused by rutting bucks scraping their antlers against trees are known as rubs. Typically, a decent indicator of the buck’s size is the size of the rub.
- Taking The Shot
Your buck will likely pass directly in front of you if you’ve covered your scent, made the right calls, and released the necessary pheromones. Be tolerant. When your deer comes within 20 or 30 yards, killing it with a single shot is much simpler (18.3 or 27.4 m). Avoid shooting a deer from a distance because you can miss hitting it in the vitals, scare off the rest of the herd, and just wound it.
As soon as you have the opportunity, stand up. Try to stand up as the deer approaches, but before he gets near enough. Aim for the head, neck, or upper shoulder. Place your shot 6 inches up from the torso, directly behind the front leg. If struck correctly, this shot will pass through the deer’s vital organs and cause a merciful death.
Best Time To Hunt
There are many times to hunt a deer, but I will highlight a few.
- Minor Weather Events
Deer will relocate due to other weather conditions, such as storms and pop-up showers. These modest weather occurrences tend to have an even greater impact on deer if they take place during the first or last few hours of daylight.
- Early Morning and Late Afternoon
It doesn’t matter the weather, deer move best in the early morning and late afternoon. Naturally, deers are prone to move during those times of the day.
Guns and Optics For Hunting a Deer
There are many guns and optics to use if you go deer hunting. Below are a few of them.
- Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56
- Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42
- Maven CRS.1 3-12×40
- NightForce Optics SHV 5-20X56
- Athlon Ares BTR Gen2 4.5-27×50
Some good deer-hunting guns include;
- Winchester XPR
- Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint
- Kimber Hunting
- Savage 110 Ultralite Camo
- Savage 110 Classic
- Mossberg Patriot Walnut
How To Sight a Hunting Scope
To sight your hunting scope, follow the steps below.
- First step
Before you start sighting in your scope, you should first make one final check of the mounting. To the appropriate torque and tightness levels, rings must be torqued. First and foremost, safety, so make sure your eye relief is adjusted properly to prevent getting hit by the optic during recoil.
- Second Step
Boresight a new scope for a while before shooting a gun. It would be beneficial if you began clearing the rifle while learning to use a bore sight. The gun must be empty before you start, and the barrel needs to be clear.
Once you are confident that the weapon is empty and unloaded, the bolt or magazine must be removed. While mounting the weapon in a secure location and carrying on with the cleaning procedure, the barrel will be pointed downrange.
- Third Step
You need to concentrate on the reticle for this stage. After tightening it, it would assist if you focused the reticle, or crosshair, on sight. It would help if you practiced focusing your eyes on the crosshairs when using the scope.
The sky is the ideal background for focusing the reticle because it is stable. Then, turn your head to look at a far-off cloud or tree after aiming your scope at the sky. Lastly, turn your attention back to the long-range telescope.
- Fourth Step
Your MOA has to be set. The minute hand on a 360-degree clock is known as a moa, or minute of angle. A reference of 1/60 of a degree every minute allows for precise shooting angles. There are various phases involved in making corrections and setting your zero. It might be the simplest to complete at an outdoor long-range shooting range because you’ll need targets set up at ranges longer than 50 yards.
Hunting a deer is a nice pastime, but it has to be done right. If you do not hunt a deer properly, you may end up gravely wounding a poor, suffering animal. Also, if you don’t use the right weapons to shoot a deer, there is a high chance that your license will be revoked. This is why you should practice everything you’ve learned in this guide.
Travis Mike is a firearm enthusiast and author passionate about all things guns. With 10 years of experience in the industry, Travis Mike has gained a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He is skilled in gunsmithing and tactical training. In addition to professional experience, Travis Mike is an avid hunter and shooter, regularly participating in local shooting ranges and hunting trips.