Deer hunting is no joke, it’s an experience most hunters prepare themselves for years. This animal is fast, it’s big, and it’s not easy to catch. Deer have some great instincts that will make it quite hard for you to hunt them down. So it’s super important to know their movement, the way they behave, to know where exactly to shoot, and how to lure them into the trap.
But most importantly, you should know that it’s not the same if you engage yourself in this experience in the early season, during the rut, or in the late-season time. That’s why we wanted to provide you with bow hunting tips and tricks that can be helpful during each of these phases.
How to Bow Hunt?
You definitely want to be ready for this hunting season, especially if you are determined to capture a deer by yourself. In order to do that you need to embrace certain suggestions and deer hunting tips.
You should have it in your body, and your hands, the whole experience before you even go into a real hunt expedition. That means that you should go into the woods and practice body movement, the angle you are going to shoot, and the patience you will need to have.
Your equipment must be prepared such as hunting bows or crossbows, and bow hunting arrows ready for a shoot.
2. Learn Deer Anatomy
No matter what weapon you are planning to use during the hunt, you need to know where exactly you should aim and shoot.
Experienced bowhunters have several options, but beginners should try hitting the lung area of a deer’s body because it is large, hard to miss, and deadly. It is important not to let an animal suffer.
3. Lose the Scent
Deer have a great sense of smell, so it is crucial to make sure they don’t know you are close to them.
The experienced hunters suggest you start using scent control soap to wash yourself a week before hunting because it can make all the difference, and then put on activated carbon clothing. This is one of the most significant bow hunting tips.
4. Patience Is Everything
You need to learn how to stay calm but alert all the time. Deer hunting is a mind game, and your body has to stay really steady for long periods of time.
Sometimes it will take hours to get your eyes on the target, and it is essential to know how to stay put and move extremely discreetly.
5. Be Ready to Fail
There’s no guarantee your hunting day will end up with a victory, so it is very important to prepare yourself for failure. It may happen you don’t even see a deer, or if that even happens, you may be too far from the target or unable to have a clear shot. The idea is to embrace and enjoy the whole experience, no matter what.
Early Season Hunting Tips
There is no doubt that the early season is the best for hunting deer. That’s because they are very relaxed since they haven’t met too many humans up to that point, and they move a lot looking for the summertime food that’s on their disposal everywhere.
In this phase, three things are crucial – for you to have a good hunting plan, to keep the pressure on an animal minimal, and to target the right areas and routes.
1. Hunting Plan
Your hunting plan needs to be established a week or two before the official start of the season. That way, you will have everything in its place, and deer won’t be scared by humans walking around their habitat.
That will allow you to have them unprepared for what’s coming, and it will increase your chances of success. So control that urge of yours and don’t go to hunting spots too early. Let animals relax and get comfortable enough.
2. Minimal Pressure
It is clear that you want to get to know your prey better and to learn as much as you can about their behaviour and their movement. But it is crucial not to scare them away and make them run too early in the game. Bowhunting implies having close contact with an animal, but for starters, you should use cameras to get more information about deer.
Also, if you decide to take your position in a field and try having a good look at what’s going on, you need to make sure to use unscented cloth, or naturally scented hunting gear.
3. Target the Right Routes
If you wonder how to bow hunt deer, or more precisely, how to prepare for this endeavour, you should know that targeting deer routes will do half of the job. Deer like eating food with a high level of sugar, like nuts, fruit, acorn, etc.
If you establish sports where they usually eat, you will have a great advantage. Using cameras for this purpose is a great option, because that way, you will not scare them away, and you will also get to know where their sleeping place is.
Deer are sometimes predictable animals that will follow their routine and patterns, so targeting their routes will be a huge win for you.
Hunting During the Rut
Bowhunting deer during the rut isn’t something many hunters will look forward to. It is the phase when most of the gun hunters already created great pressure on deer, so they are pretty scared and in hiding. The chances of seeing and killing a deer at this stage are therefore pretty low. However, there are hunters who find this to be a challenge.
Only extremely experienced bow hunters will be able to score a kill at this point, which is then classified as the greatest accomplishment. Here are two deer hunting tips and tricks that could help you to end up like a winner after all.
Follow the Does
Even though most hunters won’t engage themselves in hunting does, the information where the girls are can be out of great importance because bucks will always be close by.
This is the time of the year when deer are only thinking about does, so if you find them, you will find bucks too. Certainly, locating does won’t be easy either. At this stage, having good instincts and knowing the land well are two most important things.
Now, if you were hunting the early season too, and not just during the rut, you will probably have more chances of knowing where the does are. In the early season, you had time to establish where they congregate and show up.
Rely on Ears
You wouldn’t believe how much information you can gather by simply using your ears and listening to what’s going on around you. If you focus on what are the noises in the hunting area, you may establish there’s a buck close by who is searching for does, or maybe two of them in the middle of the fight.
This thing can help you determine what your hunting plan should be. The first option is to find the perfect position, strike a pose, and simply wait for the deer to show up. But that may take several hours, and it can be quite boring.
Another option is to stalk the buck. However, since these tactics can be pretty difficult and exhausting, most bowhunters will go with the alternative, based on certain notes they made about sounds coming from the environment.
It would be best to come to the area in the early morning, listen to what’s going on with bucks, and then come back later during the day to score a kill. It may happen other gun hunters scare deer away in the meantime, but that’s always the risk at this stage.
Late Season Deer Hunting
The late-season is the time when experienced hunters can prove themselves to be great. Hunting in the late season brings in a great number of difficulties.
Deer are mostly well hidden since the previous period was very stressful for them, the weather is cold, and it is way less comfortable to stay out all that time, and you have to have some great skills and techniques regarding hunting.
You have to really know how deer behave at this point, and you must master the skill of remaining unnoticeable if you want to succeed. So the bow hunting deer tips are crucial now.
Follow the Food
When the weather starts becoming cold, there will be less food deer can find and consume. In the end, when the winter comes, it will totally disappear under the blanket of snow. This means bucks will move less, they will stay away from the wide-area that doesn’t have much to offer them and focus on a zone that’s filled with something to eat.
Your only chance to find deer at this phase is to know where the food is. Look for the field full of crops and wait for them to show up, you won’t miss them for sure. Also, the good thing is it will be easier to follow their activities and their movement with snow on the ground.
The previous two hunting phases spooked and traumatized deer tremendously, so they are now, in a late hunting season, super careful and cautious. They will only move through an established route, and if they notice even the slightest changes, there’s a possibility they will run away for good. That’s why it is essential you don’t scare them with your presence.
In order to determine what their usual behavior is, you should use cameras. And if or when the time for bow hunting comes, make sure not to spread your scent. Use scent-free clothing, and camouflage well.
As we previously mentioned, deer hunting is a serious thing that demands a lot of preparation, patience, and a great amount of knowledge. You need to get to know the animal you are pursuing in every possible aspect, but also, you need to know all the tips and tricks that could help you end the hunting season with a win.
In the end, bear in mind that it’s not the same if you engage in hunting in the early, late season, or during the rut. Each phase has its own rules, and it is crucial to prepare yourself well for the exact stage.