Most people aren’t born knowing how to effectively stalk deer. Instead, it is a skill that they have to learn over time by putting in a lot of hard work and practice.
More and more hunters are taking a waiting approach when it comes to hunting. Instead of actually going out and stalking the deer, they simply sit in their blinds and wait for the deer to walk by. Learning how to effectively stock deer, on the other hand, can make you a much more active participant in the hunting process. The following strategies will help you become a better hunter all around:
Familiarize Yourself With The Area
Early in the year, you should try to walk through the area where you are going to be hunting after the start of deer season. Pay attention to any areas where it looks like deer gather. They tend to come back to the same places over and over again. Mark any areas that look promising on a map or with a GPS device so that you can remember where to go once hunting season opens.
Pay particular attention to areas where fields back up against trees. These are some of the prime spots to find deer. Take note of the surrounding landscape, keeping your eyes peeled for any areas where deer are forced to walk through a narrow space. This can be a prime hunting location since the deer are limited in terms of where they can run.
If you are hunting in an area with a lot of hills, keep an eye out for game trails. Animals tend to look for the path of least resistance when traveling over hilly terrain. If you can spot some promising game trails, you are very likely to see deer traveling over them as they make their way through the hills.
Take Cautious Steps
Instead of loudly traipsing through the forest unaware of your surroundings, you should focus on walking as quietly as you possibly can. The best way to do this is by putting your heel down first and slowly rolling to your toe with each step. This helps minimize the sound of vegetation being crushed under your feet. As you move across the ground, be alert for any signs of game. Once you learn what to look for, you will start seeing signs of deer everywhere that you look.
Familiarize Yourself With How Deer Behave
If you want to be great at stalking deer, you need to know how they think and behave. Typically, they stay hidden during the day, finding shelter shortly after sunrise. In the evening, they come out just before the sun sets to begin feeding. In most cases, they will stay close to food sources such as fields. You may see increased activity during the morning hours in times of cooler weather or when a storm is moving in. Get some quality deer blinds – here are some of the best deer blinds for hunting.
Mask Your Smell
Deer often detect threats by using their incredible sense of smell. In fact, they rely so much on their sense of smell that they will often stay in one place when the wind is blowing since it blunts their ability to smell threats. To avoid detection, you need to do everything that you can to mask your scent. Avoid using any products that have fragrance in them. This includes avoiding the use of detergent when washing your clothes.
Get In Shape Before Hunting Season
Stalking deer can be physically challenging. This is particularly true if you are hunting in an area where there are a lot of changes in elevation. Consider implementing an exercise program well before hunting season begins. That way, you can be in good enough shape to stay on top of your prey once you are out in the field.