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So You Think You Can Hunt?

Top 5 things to do to be successful this deer season.


Autumn brings some fun things with it: apple picking, pumpkin carving, football, and sweet treats. However, for some, the best thing it brings is whitetail deer hunting. It brings the opportunity to outsmart an animal that has learned over hundreds of years, how not to be seen. It brings the satisfaction of being able to provide for yourself, and it also brings the enjoyment of being outdoors and appreciating the art of the hunt. To do this successfully, you need to make sure you’re playing your strengths. Here are my top 5 things to do to be successful this deer season.

1. Create a hunting plan, and stick to it!

Many hunters make the mistake of not taking a proper amount of time to plan their hunt. Try answering these questions:

  • What type of hunting strategy are you going to implement? (treestand, deer blind, still hunting)
  • What equipment do you need to bring? (rifle, bow, food)
  • How long will you be hunting?
  • What is the weather most likely going to do?
  • Which way will the deer be coming from?

Answering these questions will enable you to begin coming up with a plan that allows you to be in the best spot, at the best time, in order to see more deer. Once you have a plan, stick to it. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

2. Be cautious of your scent, but not overly cautious.

We’ve all heard that you need to douse yourself with scent killer before heading out, and as soon as you get to your stand. While it is true you should be cautious of how much scent you are putting off, most deer are used to smelling people. Now that doesn’t mean they enjoy it or are comforted by it, but it does leave some leeway to not have to go buy the expensive bottle of scent killer. Simply store your hunting clothes in a bag with leaves for a week or so before you go hunting, and make sure you are using unscented deodorant on your hunt, and the deer should be none wiser to your presence.

3. Practice, practice, practice.

Deer hunting is a game of patience, concentration, and fundamentals. If the only time you practice your shooting, patience, or concentration is the one time a year you go hunting, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Our skills dull over time, especially if we don’t practice them. Don’t only practice your shooting though, practice sitting still for a long period of time, and trying to concentrate on one thing. This will make the often long hours of sitting in a stand easier. If you’re looking for a good rifle range to check your accuracy, or sight in a new scope, I recommend Atterbury Shooting Complex in Edinburgh, Indiana. They have a good 100-yard range and great safety procedures. I’ll be there later this month!

4. Always be learning.

The hunter who thinks he knows everything there is to know about hunting is the one who has lost the joy of hunting. There is always something we can be learning in this sport. Whether it has to do with a new technique, technology, or behavior of a type of animal, learning about the sport helps bring new enjoyment, as well as help spread the popularity of the sport. Plus, the more knowledge you gain, the better hunter you’ll become.

5. Be safe!

Risk management is the name of the game. Whether you get a deer or not this season won’t matter if you get hurt. The best way to be a good hunter, and to enjoy the hunt more is making sure you stay safe. So, make sure you tell people where you are going, and how long you’ll be gone. Wear the proper safety equipment, such as a harness for tree stands, hunter orange so others can see you, and proper clothes for the weather. 

Whether this is your first hunt or your 100th, know your abilities and hunt ethically. If you own a piece of hunting land and are not sure you have the proper coverages if someone is injured on it, give me a call at 317-253-1155!