If you’ve spent enough time in the whitetail woods, you know by now that there is no such thing as a “sure bet” technique, stand set-up, or secret to guarantee you a crack at a mature buck this year. A wise man once said we all make mistakes, but if you learn from those mistakes, they can be a positive in the long run. The following whitetail hunting screw-ups are classics repeated by countless deer hunters each fall.
Need a Flashlight
Believe it or not, there are deer hunters who are, literally, afraid of the dark. They won’t walk to their stands before first light, and they make sure they leave so they can get back to the truck before a light is needed.
Don’t Scout, Either Before or During, the Rut
You can’t shoot a mature buck if you don’t know where one is living. That takes scouting, which takes time, which none of us has enough of. Pre-season scouting should uncover big tracks, old buck rub lines and deer scrapes, bedding thickets, and travel routes between bedding areas and feeding areas. During the season, scouting on-the-go, then hunting over hot sign that day, is perhaps the best way of all to get a shot at a big deer.
If the old “Monster Stand” isn’t producing, perhaps it is time to get down and find a new spot where the action is hot right now.
Don’t Repair Equipment Before Heading Afield
The hunting season is no time to take the squeak out of your treestand, find out your flashlight batteries are dead, or wonder where your face mask is. The devil is in the details, as they say. Make sure you take care of them before opening day.
More is Always Better
If a little of this magic scent stuff is good, the whole bottle should really draw ‘em in from miles around. Fact is, a deer’s nose is so sensitive it can smell a drop or two of scent plenty far off. Too much scent will spook it, as sure as the sun rises in the east.
Don’t Practice Shooting
Well before the hunting season is the time to try out a new firearm, then carefully sight it in with the exact ammo you’ll be hunting with. When that trophy buck comes strolling past and the jitters take over, you don’t want to have to even think about whether or not the gun shoots true or not.
Don’t Set Your Treestand in a Concealed Area
Sure the leaves are off the trees now, but that’s the main reason you have to take care not to be sticking out like a sore thumb when on stand. Whenever possible, set up in small clusters of trees and off the skyline, so that it will be tough for a sharp-eyed doe to pick you off. If you think you know which way the bucks might be traveling from, then set your stand up behind the trunk so that it will give you additional cover. And you should also set your stands as high as is practical.
Deer Hunting Weather
Check the local Weather Channel reports every morning and evening during a hunt for weather changes that can affect how and where you hunt that day.
Carry proper hunting gear and that includes your Nightforce NXS Scope or any other scopes for that matter and an effective weapon to hunt the Whitetail down.