The hunt is all about the experience. While out in the forest, clean, crisp air fills your lungs and clears your head. You can feel your heart beating in your chest, excited and exhilarated. It thuds louder than the songs of birds or the rustle of leaves. Your eyes focus on the prize at hand: the deer that will become your prey. It meanders nearby, unaware of your deadly precision and focus. However, if you aren't fully prepared, you might miss your shot, letting the deer get away and ruining your thrill. Make sure you are prepared on your next hunt by following these top five secrets to deer hunting.
1. Stay Upwind
Many hunters don't fully realize the power of a deer's nose. In fact, a deer's sense of smell is so strong, it can often detect odors even if you have fancy scent blocking equipment. Therefore, it's important to use the environment to your advantage. Make sure your scent is being blown away from the deer so he can't sense you coming ahead of time.
2. Startle Them With a Grunt
This sounds like a strange technique, but it actually works. If a deer is happily meandering through the woods and won't hold still long enough for you to take aim, simply try making a "brrt" sound with your mouth. Don't be too loud and never try to whistle, as this is not a natural sound and may scare them away. The subtle grunt will make them pause in curiosity long enough for you to get in a kill shot.
3. Vary Hunting Locations
While deer may not be the smartest of creatures, they are smart enough to realize when a certain area becomes dangerous. If you go to the same hunting stand every day, chances are the deer will start to avoid it. Always switch it up to keep the deer unaware of your habits. This will also keep them from getting anxious and jumpy.
4. Choose the Right Height
It is vitally important to adjust your hunting stand to the correct height, which varies depending on the terrain. For example, if you are in a hilly area, it is a bad idea to camp out on top of the hill, as the deer will see your silhouette from miles away. On the other hand, don't camp down in a valley because you won't be able to see over bushes or thickets. Additionally, bow hunters should be lower to the ground than gun hunters.
5. Use Decoys Correctly
Decoys are a great tool for confusing deer, but only when they are used in the right manner. Deer typically approach a decoy head-on, so it is important to place your decoy at a 45 degree angle away from you. Therefore, as the deer approaches the decoy, he will come right in front of you without seeing your hiding place.