Deer Hunting Basics
The very first thing one should consider when hunting is safety. Before you even think about going into the woods, consider taking a hunters safety course from your local wildlife agency. And even if you are just scouting your hunting area, you should take some basics with you. ~A flashlight (be sure the batteries are fresh and the flashlight is in good working order) ~A compass, matches or lighter (These will come in very handy should you get lost in the forest. A good portable GPS system is handy too.) ~A good first-aid kit (It should include bandages, snake bite kit, turn-a-kit, antiseptic, etc)
Deer are usually more active around dawn and dusk and tend to sleep in the middle of the day and late at night. This is thought to enable the digestion process and be a defense against predators which are less active during these times. Venison do feed during mid-day sometimes, but this is a quirk that not likely to be repeated by that deer often.
Before hunting season begins, right after the bucks have rubbed the velvet from their antlers, scout the woods which you are going to hunt. Look for food sources and signs of deer such as tracks, bedding areas and funnels. A buck won't rub the larger tree and brush except during the rut. He will, however leave signs of himself by rubbing his antler velvet on smaller trees and bushes in the forest.
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Start scouting your hunting area in early to mid-summer. Be careful and disturb as little of the hunting grounds as possible. Try to make very little noise. Also try not to leave any human scent. Prepare for scouting the forest the same as you would for hunting in the same woods. Keep in mind though that over scouting can have a very bad effect on the wildlife, and push the game out of the hunting area, or make the animals nocturnal. Search for area where oak trees have a large number of acorns that will shed in the coming fall. Set your tree stands and blinds near these areas before the acorns ripen and the deer start feeding on them. Then leave the area alone until the hunt.
Venison has three goals in life, eat, sleep, and mate. Try to find hunting areas where the ground is covered in greens such as clover or rye grass and other tender plants. Look for trail routes, scrapes, and tracks around the surrounding areas.
Dear sleep in places where the brush and other cover is very thick. These areas are difficult to hunt because the cover limits ones vision, and the noise a hunter would make getting to his or her stand or blind would quickly alert deer to his or her presence.
The rut is the time when the deer mate. A buck is much more active a larger amount of time while he searches for mates. And his senses are dulled during the rut. This gives a hunter a slight advantage over the venison. A hunter is more likely to get a buck in his sights during the rut for the above reasons.
Click here to go to Deer Hunting Basics Part II - Scent Control
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