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Best deer hunting tips and tricks


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A lot of UJ'ers hunt deer and seem to do well at it.  Just wondering what everyone's favorite tip or trick is?  What makes you successful?   Sent control? Gear and gadgets?  I'm in a slump the last few years.  I get deer every year, but it seems to take a lot more time and effort than it used to.  Just hoping to pick up some new perspective that could turn the tide.

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Once I got into upland hunting I stopped deer hunting. Now that the dogs are gone I'm back into deer hunting somewhat and by no means an expert. The past several years I've realized:1) bucks in rut ca

My nephew killed a 10 point 250 pounder with a bow while smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. Of course it was peak rut. I can't judge that buck, back in the day I too was often attracted to women

I try to enter the woods smelling like absolutely nothing. In the last few decades there has been a lot of talk about scent control and an extraordinary amount of products  to help control scent. To m

My success rate went up dramatically after I bought property in Montana. Other than that I'm not very good at deer hunting. But I love doing it.

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I try to enter the woods smelling like absolutely nothing. In the last few decades there has been a lot of talk about scent control and an extraordinary amount of products  to help control scent. To me they all smell and if I can smell them deer can too !  Scent control has to be a life style not an afterthought with spraying ones self down with something out of a bottle after exiting the vehicle. My cloths are kept outside away from gas and other chemicals. I instructed my wife that under no circumstances would I put up with scented laundry soap, scented fabric softeners, perfumes, spray air fresheners, deodorants, etc in my house by anyone, if they don't like the rules they can live somewhere else. In my mind this scent control has to be done 24/7 365 or all is lost.

 

The only other thing I do religiously is look for natural funnel areas. They happen everywhere in nature, even out in the big woods. Being able to recognize these areas no matter how subtle increases you chances 10 fold.

 

 

Virgil

 

    

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Mid-Maine north, where you are doing well to even see 1/2 dozen deer the entire month of November.

 

#1, Get your ass in the woods as much as humanly possible. If that means scrambling after work to walk into a spot with 10 minutes of legal light, do it. The big boys have a switch that trips at a magic moment when dusk turns to dark. That can be the last whisper of legal light. Two of my biggest bucks are on the wall because I didn't get antsy or scared of the dark and stayed til the very end.

 

#2, Don't be obsessed with being in a tree when rifle hunting. I've shot the vast majority of my rifle deer while on the ground, not in a tree. 

 

#3, Get a simple can bleat call. Make doesn't matter, they all work. Blind call with 4 bleats every 15 minutes. Another of my biggest bucks grunted to the sound of a can bleat and I looked and caught him moving up a ridge to my right and took the one shot I had. He's on my wall. Spike horn bucks seem to come to the bleat readily and ive called them in several times but eventually let them walk. I've also bleated in several does within bow range and those ended up in my belly.

 

#4, Accept that success can lessen with the onset of age. When I was in my 20's through early 50's, I could go all day and never put a thought to where I might drop a buck. I'd get it out somehow and dragged my share solo. Now close to 60, I pause when choosing where to hunt on any particular day, and whether I can get a deer out without leaving it overnight for yotes to find.

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Samuel Hoggson

Decent bucks are most vulnerable when their suspicions are at an ebb, ie., peak rut.  Find the does.  Hunt where they hang during peak rut.  This is their living room, so take care not to alert them coming or going.  

 

Does are decoys - do not shoot your decoys unless you are merely meat hunting.    

 

Try not to use the same blind on consecutive days during peak rut.  Every third day is sensible.

 

Scent control, yeah.  But don't forget noise and motion control.  

 

If you are uncomfortable or cold you will not be able to hunt long, quiet, and motionless.  If you have a good spot stay there all day, if possible.  

 

Pay close attention to weather and wind currents.  Have some stand location options.  

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braddeer14c.jpg

2014 8 Pt, 180 lbs dressed on my hanging scale.

 

An example of not giving up, being out there because the strangest things can happen.

 

He walked right into an open field at 4:10 PM well before end of light looking for whatever was making the bleat and grunt calls. He strolled right towards me as I sat inside woods edge on the ground on a stool. Shot him straight on at around 30 yards before he stepped into my ground set up.

 

That day I forced myself to head to this spot to sit for an hour or so, because I was all packed up to head up to camp for an annual deer hunt in the morning.

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Samuel Hoggson

Pretty similar story.  Rut was late.  Got home from K&B, then had to work M-W as payback.  Thursday 19th all but two hours in the stand out back.  Noise, crashing all around.  Rut in full swing.  Saw couple of small guys plus partial views of this guy running girls.  He finally stepped out just before closing.  

 

Rob2015.jpg

 

165# dressed, the lesser of two I'd been watching.  The bigger guy got whacked right in front of my house by an SUV driven by a bird hunter.  He and the dog were OK, the SUV not so much.  

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To add to what others and myself have said.

 

If I'm stand hunting it's get my butt to the stand at least an hour before legal shooting light. And if I'm hunting that stand all day I will not get out of it until a least an hour after legal shooting time. Makes for a long day up a tree so I bring snacks with and strap myself in good so I can nap during the mid day.  Some have an inbred fear of the dark and a long walk conjures up thoughts of running into Bigfoot during a long walk to or from the stand. Because of this many are in their stands well after it being conducive in the morning and long before it's dark and then they wonder why they don't see more deer. A lot can be learned about the stand area even if it's to dark to shoot and many miss that education. 

 

 

Virgil

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7 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

Mid-Maine north, where you are doing well to even see 1/2 dozen deer the entire month of November.

 

#1, Get your ass in the woods as much as humanly possible. If that means scrambling after work to walk into a spot with 10 minutes of legal light, do it. The big boys have a switch that trips at a magic moment when dusk turns to dark. That can be the last whisper of legal light. Two of my biggest bucks are on the wall because I didn't get antsy or scared of the dark and stayed til the very end.

 

#2, Don't be obsessed with being in a tree when rifle hunting. I've shot the vast majority of my rifle deer while on the ground, not in a tree. 

 

#3, Get a simple can bleat call. Make doesn't matter, they all work. Blind call with 4 bleats every 15 minutes. Another of my biggest bucks grunted to the sound of a can bleat and I looked and caught him moving up a ridge to my right and took the one shot I had. He's on my wall. Spike horn bucks seem to come to the bleat readily and ive called them in several times but eventually let them walk. I've also bleated in several does within bow range and those ended up in my belly.

 

#4, Accept that success can lessen with the onset of age. When I was in my 20's through early 50's, I could go all day and never put a thought to where I might drop a buck. I'd get it out somehow and dragged my share solo. Now close to 60, I pause when choosing where to hunt on any particular day, and whether I can get a deer out without leaving it overnight for yotes to find.

 

All suggestions are excellent.  If you are paying close attention in this Downeast area, you will easily see ten or more per day.  My front yard, apple trees and field at the year-round home feeds two groups per day along with three distinct flocks of turkeys.  I leave the grass longer than my wife prefers to attract them.  There is a preponderance of does but we are coming up on the time of year when more bucks are in evidence.  If I were to drive the thirty miles to camp or back, I always see deer, sometimes moose and an occasional bear.  The area bordering the Musquash and Amazon is a deer and moose magnet.

 

Perk

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Got to thinking as I was zeroing in my 7mm-08 today. I guess my number 5 is "Don't overthink it."

 

I admit to having more time to spend hunting and make no apologies, since I've crafted my life and made significant financial sacrifices to do so. Thus I probably do have my ass in the woods more than the average deer hunter. For another guy with limited time, being strategic and watching moon phases, being highly conscious about scent, using all sorts of cover and attractant scents, not hunting an area unless the wind is exactly right, timing hunts for the expected peak rut, etc, will likely increase his or her chances at killing a deer, any deer. I generally wing it, and use my gut instinct a lot. I unconsciously break all the standard rules of deer hunting with a rifle (I think you do need to be a lot more careful with bow). Sure I watch the wind but it's not a deal breaker for me, I rarely use scents, I have started using trail cams but that's mostly for early bow hunting. So my advice is to have fun using whatever resources and info that's out there, but don't be afraid to just break some rules and see what happens.

 

 

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i buy a half gallon of fox urine to use as a cover scent from a trapping supply house & decant it into spray bottles I by from Home Depot. Way cheaper than the little bottles. I keep a bottle at each of my half dozen deer stands. I play the wind picking the stand I choose but have found the fox urine to give me an edge.

 

AND DON'T GET IT ON YOU.

 

I also hunt around a farm & park my vehicle near a manure pile. I rub the soles of my boots in an old patch of cow manure on the way to my stands.

 

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Can't put it much better than Brad did.

 

Spend as much time as possible on stand. When you are sick to death of sitting there, sit a while longer. Been a few bucks in Alton ME killed where one was shot at 830, so the fella heads out to get another hand for dragging and his buddy decides, heck, I'll sit his stand and wait (with the dead buck beneath it) only to kill another buck at about 1000 or 1100.

 

I don't buy into the scent gimmick stuff, just be where you are not upwind of where you expect them to come from.

 

Realize that much like pass shooting ducks, you have to be where they are or where they are wanting to go, or somewhere between those two points. Anywhere else isn't a good location.

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On 10/23/2016 at 11:18 AM, Brad Eden said:

#3, Get a simple can bleat call. Make doesn't matter, they all work. Blind call with 4 bleats every 15 minutes. Another of my biggest bucks grunted to the sound of a can bleat and I looked and caught him moving up a ridge to my right and took the one shot I had. He's on my wall. Spike horn bucks seem to come to the bleat readily and ive called them in several times but eventually let them walk. I've also bleated in several does within bow range and those ended up in my belly.

 

You know, I've never called in a deer.  Everyone says bleat calls work and i've never had luck, but I mostly only use them at about 5 minutes before legal shooting time ends, in case I can pull something in last minute.  So I think this season I am going to call like you said.  Is there any point in the season when they hurt more than help?  

 

How about grunting, anyone use grunts much?    I love talking to wildlife, birds, ducks, turkey, owls and even moose most recently.  Its kind of crazy that I haven't had a conversation with a deer yet.

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17 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

How about grunting, anyone use grunts much?    I love talking to wildlife, birds, ducks, turkey, owls and even moose most recently.  Its kind of crazy that I haven't had a conversation with a deer yet.

 

I called this guy in using a bleat and grunt. If I had to choose one call to carry it would be the bleat can.

 

 

IMG_2097.JPG

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