Before I give away my top 10 deer hunting secrets, let's talk a minute about No. 4 in a little bit of detail.
Years ago I remember reading an article the night before deer season. In it the author said that if we cross paths with a deer that was obviously on a mission to go somewhere to not chase it. Stop and see if it doesn't come back. It was likely heading to a feeding or a bedding spot.
|If you're hunting out west, glass! It's amazing how much you will see when you use binoculars.|
The next morning I was deer hunting in Nebraska. I started out on one end of the ranch and was walking brush between a slough and the Loup River. Suddenly a deer spooked. I was close to the end of the property and suddenly I thought of the article that I'd read the night before. "Hmmm, I think I'll check out his theory," I thought to myself. I didn't have anything to lose. It had just snowed that night about 6-8 inches and should help me see any movement.
I sat down and it wasn't 15 minutes and here came a buck slipping through the brush.
OK, this method won't work in every situation but under certain circumstances it will. So here's my theory on hunting. Every trick that you have up your sleeve will help your success rate. Let's say it only works one time every 10 years? So what? That increases your success rate by 10 percent. What if you get two or maybe three tricks like this that only work every 10 years? Suddenly you go from being 60 percent successful to being 90 percent. See what I mean?
Here's the problem that I see most outdoorsmen do whether they're fishing or hunting. One year, under one certain set of circumstances they're successful and they try that method exclusively every year for the rest of their lives. Don't do that. Realize that this method only works under certain special circumstances and only use it when those circumstances permit.
Some years weird things happen, so take advantage of them and learn your own tricks, but don't count on having the same amount of success every year. Here's an example of what I mean by that statement:
One year I seined some minnows for a walleye fishing trip with buddies Phil and Cindy Wicke and my wife Katy. The walleye were really hitting and we were soon running low on minnows so I started using some of the tadpoles that had seined. Whoa! I could hardly hit the bottom before I had a hit. Pretty soon everyone wanted tadpoles. I'd never heard of that before, but it worked. So that's what I mean by sometimes weird things work.
So now let's move on into the top 10 tips:
- Always carry good binoculars; spend a good bit of time glassing.
- Wear more clothes than you need; it will make you walk slower because you're hot. Most people walk too fast.
- If you're not out in the woods, you're not going to get a deer. Simple but true.
- If you spook a deer that is obviously going somewhere, don't chase it. Hold tight and wait. If it was going to water or food it may show back up.
- The less time your co-worker has hunted...the bigger his rack will be.
- Be out at daylight and dusk no matter what. That's when they move. Deer don't set up late around a campfire telling stories.
- Look in unlikely places where no one else would think to hunt (not the zoo).
- The moment you start writing an outdoor articles is the minute that you quit killing anything.
- Sorry, there's not a No. 10. I've got to save a trick for myself!