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Author Topic: New deer hunter advice  (Read 2081 times)

Offline ZagHunter

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New deer hunter advice
« on: June 20, 2017, 03:22:38 PM »
I'm a rather new hunter.  I've turkey hunted for a number of years, but have never gotten into deer hunting.  I went a few times with my grandpa probably 15-20 years ago as a kid but found it tough to get into with football and school going on.  Now that I'm done with school and am working I'd like to get more into the sport.

My question is when you first got into deer hunting, what are some things you did to learn more about it and become a better hunter?  Are there any books, seminars, instructional DVDs, etc. that people found helpful?  Obviously I understand there is no substitute for experience, but is there anything I can be doing now to make myself a better hunter?

Finally, any tips from more experienced hunters that they wish they knew when they were first starting out?

If this has been discussed already in another thread, please feel free to point me in that direction.  Any advice is appreciated though.  Thanks.

Online h20hunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 03:24:43 PM »
When on foot...go slow,  then go even slower.
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Offline cooltimber

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 03:27:23 PM »
stop look listen--repeat
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Offline Rainier10

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 03:39:01 PM »
The whole move slow thing and then move even slower is true.  Definitely move, look, move, look.

You have lots of time to make a good shot.  Make sure it is a good shot.  Once you shoot it is normally chaos after that.  I didn't learn how much time you actually have until I started hunting with my kids.  The amount of time that a deer stands there while I am trying to get them ready to shoot is unbelievable.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline fish vacuum

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 03:54:57 PM »
Be patient. Getting to the next spot should never be a priority. There was a time when I thought hiking the next ridge was always the best idea. Staying put was lazy right? I felt like the option that took the most effort would be the most productive option. Now I've learned that it's not only ok, but wise, to stay put longer.
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Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 04:05:44 PM »
Depends on where your hunting and what deer your after.

Offline ZagHunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 04:23:24 PM »
Thanks everyone. This is helpful.

Fishngamereaper, I plan on hunting either GMU 124 or 121 for whitetails.

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 04:41:18 PM »
Spend as much time as you can in the woods between now and season that you can. You will learn lots by just being out there and then implement everything said  above during season. Good luck.

Offline Cab

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 05:03:15 PM »
couple tips that I learned over the years:

1. if its before the rut, come mid day expect deer to be bedded down. This is a good time for you to make a new game plan, go to a new spot and figure out your evening hunt.
2. Acorns,Acrons,Acrons deer LOVE White oak acorns and this can be a great way to narrow down hunting spots. Is there a lot of acorn trees in this area or just 1? look for areas with a fair about of acorn trees all dropping.
3. bedding is HUGE, deer like elk like to bed down on hillsides 1/2-3/4 of the way up to the top this way they can use the thermal currents(day warms up, heat rises and so does scent) to smell whats below them. knowing this start your predicting where you think the deer are going to go. If its 7-9 in the morning I know that deer are starting to stage towards their bedding area.
4. treestands will completely change things for you. Hang ons are nice but I honestly pick my climber everytime. I have a summit viper and man is that a comfortable stand. Deer don't have any predators from above(other then humans so seasoned deer might look up if they've been shot at that year) so being 15-20ft above them makes a very big difference. its not a must but helps.
5. if you spook deer watch where they go! they are running to a place they deem "safe" this can tell you maybe where a bedding area is or where they like to hang out.
6.glassing areas before season starts if you can(fields or open country) at the start of the day or end of day and this may give you some useful intel where to start hunting.
7. if you see a deer stamp its foot and "blow"(often a doe) DO NOT MOVE. DO NOT TRY TO TAKE A SHOT. That means they know something isn't kosher. they will even do a fake where they lower they're heads to "feed" but then jerk it back up. this is a test, they are seeing if you are going to move. be patient if you can wait till the deers head goes behind a tree before drawing or aiming.
8. Deer don't see color all that well, what they do see well is movement!
9.So what deer lack in sight they make up for 10 fold with their nose. dont get caught up in the whole "scent control" bs just know your wind direction. know where your odor is going and make sure you maximize the area where the wind is coming from.
10. Once you have your first deer in sight the best thing you can do is breath, relax, stay focused and most of all PICK A SPOT!! Do look at the head gear don't look at the whole deer, just follow that front leg up to about center just above where their leg meets the body and focus on hitting that spot. I can't tell you how many deer I have missed that were "easy shots" because I didn't focus.
11. get ready for one of the most frustrating yet funnest addictions there is! Work hard, have fun and dont worry about score or anything. Just enjoy it all.

I could do this all day so feel free to hit me up with a PM if you have any questions I would be more then happy to help the best I can. If you want a great source pick up Steven rinellas book " The Complete Guide To Hunting,Butchering and cooking wild game vol.1"  that will have everything you will need to know and it cost less then $20
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 06:18:20 PM by Cab »

Offline ZagHunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 07:55:16 AM »
Thanks everyone!  All very helpful.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 08:19:24 AM »
My experience with whiteys comes from NH and ME, but I think it applies with NW whiteys, too. They're very patternable and also very curious. If you spook one and he just ambles away (as opposed to crashing out and bounding off at a high rate of speed), there's a good chance he'll come back. If you have trail cams and can see their activity, you can go to the same places and ambush them, especially with tree stands. Check your backtrail frequently. More than once, larger bucks have hidden themselves as I've walked by and then crossed the path I just cut, sometimes on their elbows. Rutting whiteys aren't very bright but the does will be. As said before, if they blow at you or see you, freeze and wait. They have a short attention span.
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Offline Stein

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 08:29:55 AM »
The only advice I have is that forky deer that feed on agriculture fields are sure tasty.

Offline Curly

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 09:08:56 AM »
Best advice I can give is for the new guy to start hunting in other states.  There are other states where you can go hunt antlerless deer for a very reasonable price and you will gain valuable experience by getting a few deer under your belt. 
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Offline Rob

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2017, 10:54:20 AM »
Avoid walking on trails or logging roads when possible. Instead walk to the side of them, off trail.  It is amazing how many animals will be 40 yards or less off to the side of a major trail or road and let people walk right by them.
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Offline TL23

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 11:02:55 AM »
Be Patient!

Offline OutHouse

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2017, 11:58:11 AM »
If you will be still hunting, don't take more than three steps without stopping and assessing the new scenery. Agree with all comments on how to move. Even in thicker timber use your binoculars. Can't say how many times that has helped me locate an animal that I otherwise might have scared off.

Since you'll be hunting whites, be prepared for them to communicate with each other to alert others of your presence. And if you kick out a buck that runs away, STOP right where you are and find a place in the near vicinity to set up and wait. White tails, unless completely spooked out of their wits, will become curious as to what it was that spooked them. This often times leads them to circle back toward your location to check you out. One time a few years ago, I scared the same buck three times and each time he returned to check me out. He even got so close the last time to offer a shot opportunity (archery) but I blew it a fourth time!

Lastly, you will make a lot of mistakes and that's fine. I  have drawn my bow many, many times on animals only to scare them off during the draw or from movement or sound.

Offline OltHunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 01:07:11 PM »
If at all possible, try to find an experienced hunter to take you hunting or scouting that has similar or better ethics than you do.

If you have Netflix, binge Meateater and check their videos out on YouTube.  There are lots of good videos on hunting, tactics, butchering, field dressing, and cooking that most other shows on TV do not focus on.

Rinella's book, The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game, is another great resource if you are looking for a good read as a beginner.

Get a good pair of boots and rain gear if you can afford it.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 01:47:52 PM »
If you live near Kirkland OltHunter will be glad to teach you the ropes

Offline Smoke

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 02:52:33 PM »
best advice is get into their home without them knowing you are there....  slow... minimum movement.. slower... scent control... wind direction.. slower... wind.. slower...  then after all that... remember the deer don't read the same books we do... just cause the book says the deer will do something, or be someplace... expect the opposite...

Offline Jimmy33

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2017, 03:39:02 PM »
Learn how to shoot your weapon of choice well...


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Offline ZagHunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2017, 09:13:57 AM »
Thanks guys. Really appreciate it.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2017, 09:15:56 AM »
Learn how to shoot your weapon of choice well...


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Offline dmoua

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2017, 10:36:44 AM »
Buy an IEP pass and sit on the many clear cuts. Plenty of deer in 124.
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Offline Rainier10

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2017, 10:43:09 AM »
Starting off in a target rich environment is key.  The learning curve is steep so you want to give yourself the most opportunities that you can.  After you become a little more skilled you can then worry about being in an area with more "trophy" potential.  And even in a target rich environment you never know when that buck of a lifetime might slip up and walk out in front of you.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline Bob33

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2017, 10:48:11 AM »
Hunt where the deer are. If you don't, nothing else matters.

That's not meant to be snide; I know hunters who hunt the same spots year after year and never kill anything because the area doesn't hold much game.

You've got time to scout and secure good places to hunt.

Good luck.

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Offline Cab

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2017, 08:34:18 AM »
Hunt where the deer are. If you don't, nothing else matters.

That's not meant to be snide; I know hunters who hunt the same spots year after year and never kill anything because the area doesn't hold much game.

You've got time to scout and secure good places to hunt.

Good luck.

100% it seems simple but I have buddies that will hunt the same spot over and over because "one time" they had luck or saw a good buck. dont be lazy, burn that boot leather!

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2017, 08:53:28 AM »
Hunt on Halloween Day dawn to dusk.   You will see a buck.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2017, 09:00:29 AM »
I'm scouting a whole new area this year because the old area is burned out - no forage. Call your local WDFW regional office and ask to speak with either a bio or an LE for suggestions on where to hunt.
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2017, 09:03:44 AM »
Pianoman where you hunting at as this new hunter can just hunt there or go with you.

Offline Huntingtony

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2017, 03:03:35 AM »
I didnt really start getting deer until I was about 18, I started when I was 14, but never had anyone to teach me either, I was always hunting alone. I think after 3 years I realized I was just walking through the woods lol. After that, I decided that it was just as important for me to take something away and be a better hunter, as it was for me to find a deer. That being said, now I get one every year, and I think there's a few key things that help me there. Look at your terrain, if its desert, thats easy, focus on food, water, and some cover. Cover being trees, cliffs ect. Deer will always want to put their back to a spot where things can't approach, or won't see them from behind. Find those things, and there will be deer! If there is food and water everywhere, say a forest with openings and creeks, its a bit trickier and you will have to start by finding trails, and an approach might be to catch them when they are going to or from bed or water. I like to hunt the clearings of these types of areas, not the clearing itself per say, but look about 20 feet into the woods on any clearcut, burn, or meadow and you will likely find a trail of some sort! If you cant find a good stake out there, you may hunt the meadow or cut, because for whatever reason, a deer doesn't want to prance right across the opening, but they WILL cut the corners! Imagine a triangle, but they aren't wanting to walk all the way to the tip. Glassing is huge! More than half my deer ive found by finding an area where I can see as much land as possible, and studying it for an hour or more, they are very hard to pick out sometimes, and they seem to pop out of nowhere! One thing I've picked up in the last few years is a gut feeling. The patience thing was easy for me to get hung up on. "Just wait, be patient, your buck is going to pop out any moment tony" . Ive wasted so much time on that! But all the time I would have the gut feeling (brewed by lack of sign, sign I knew wasn't fresh but gave me hope) that I wasn't where I needed to be. Now, I'm not saying dont give those areas a chance, but if you get that feeling, you're probably right! Back to your feet and onto my last point, dont be lazy, we in Washington have to use our boots and earn our deer! I hope this helps ya, I'm still learning

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2017, 08:36:10 AM »
If at all possible, try to find an experienced hunter to take you hunting or scouting that has similar or better ethics than you do.

If you have Netflix, binge Meateater and check their videos out on YouTube.  There are lots of good videos on hunting, tactics, butchering, field dressing, and cooking that most other shows on TV do not focus on.

Rinella's book, The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game, is another great resource if you are looking for a good read as a beginner.

Get a good pair of boots and rain gear if you can afford it.
+1 for this.  Also check out Randy Newberg's videos on YouTube. 

I just bought Rinelle's complete guide and have been pouring over it.  It's a fantastic resource and at $21 delivered you can't get a better education:cost ratio. 

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: New deer hunter advice
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2017, 08:51:35 AM »
Pianoman where you hunting at as this new hunter can just hunt there or go with you.

He says he's hunting the NE part, while we are going to be hunting in the SW.  :dunno:
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