Despite the fact that many states are awash with deer, two-thirds of all hunters in a given season don’t kill deer. What’s the matter with them?
Probably nothing. Hunting for whitetailed deer, especially during the autumn rut, often involves a strong element of luck. Many deer are bagged because the hunter was at the right place at the right time. Frequently, a hunter who does almost everything wrong still bags a deer, and sometimes a hunter who does everything right goes home without a deer.
But the fact remains that some hunters kill deer every season, some almost never do and some hunters have never bagged a deer. What’s the difference? Maybe attitude. A hunter’s attitude can make a huge difference in his or her hunting success.
Here is a list of tips that may be of benefit to hunters who are consistently among the deerless.
–Don’t try too hard. Many deer are bagged by hunters who sit in one spot all day, even all season, and barely move. A stand overlooking a well-used deer trail is worth days and days of hunting. Get comfortable, sit quietly, watch, listen, stay alert.
–Be antisocial. Deer hunting isn’t a social sport. Two people make five times the noise and disturbance in the woods as one. Many of those people who seldom or never bag deer are the ones who can’t wait to get back to the car, back to camp or back to the tavern.
–Be an optimist. The person who expects something good to happen the next minute is always ready, always alert. Many opportunities to bag deer are missed because hunters are surprised when deer come along.
–Don’t always take the first chance that comes along. There is no law against shooting at a running deer, but doing so is a dangerous hunting practice. There is no law against shooting at a deer that is in the distance, but there are many sporting and humane reasons for not doing so. Hunters often spoil what could be good chances to bag deer because they take bad chances.
–Ignore the weather. Deer pay little attention to it, good or bad. Only in extreme conditions, like a blizzard, do they alter their living patterns for weather. And then only briefly. Deer don’t go home when it rains. And windy weather is a tradeoff, offering both an advantage and disadvantage to the hunter and the deer.
–Ignore distractions. Another hunter walking by your stand doesn’t spoil anything. Stay put. A deer might be walking right behind him. Or, up ahead, a deer avoiding him might come your way. Deer deal with people in the woods all the time and are little affected by encounters.
–Don’t give up. Every minute you spend in the woods hunting increases your chances. Many deer are bagged in the middle of the day.