You might just be getting started with deer hunting or lucky enough to have had some experience in the same for some years. Either way, knowing some important shotgun deer hunting tips would help.

So, before we get started, I think it’s better to consider the fact that deer, like most animals in the wild have the advantage of better senses than us. This being the case, we’re only left with our intellect to level out the playing field.

This means that even with the best and most accurate weapons, it is, at the end of the day quite difficult for you to walk home with the game if you’re not keen on the fact that deer hunting is more of a mind game rather than physical prowess.

Because of this, we’ll let you in on a little secret of ours-tips on how to make you the best deer hunter you can be.

Deer hunting tips

1. Observe utmost silence

One of the most common mistakes that most hunters do while deer hunting is getting too impatient and going way too fast than they have to be or at the wrong time.

Now, whether you are stalking the deer or sitting in your stand to wait for the best shot, one of the most important deer hunting tips you should observe is remaining as silent as possible. While in the tree stand, for instance, strive to cover up as many of the metal surfaces as possible just to be safe.

Now, whereas is it easy for you to be aware of what is around you while in a stand and to avoid doing anything that’s noisy, the same cannot be said for mobile hunting.

While moving, even the slight crack of a branch you step on can easily be picked up by deer that are far away and as such, you want to land each step as smoothly as possible.

2. Odors are not your friend

How you are out in the hunting grounds is as good as your preparation for when the hunting day comes. Now, as we already mentioned, deer have way better senses than we do. So, not only should you be keen on not being heard but at the same time, do everything you can to keep your scent as masked as possible.

So, how can you really be able to achieve this?

Well, it’s not that easy. First, avoid showering with scented soaps and instead use odorless ones. Now, this is just but a tip of the iceberg. You should also refrain from certain habits such as smoking since anything that’s got a foreign smell will raise the deer’s guard up.

I’d also recommend that you put on your hunting clothes once you get to the hunting ground since doing so prior to this may result in them picking up some scent.

speaking of hunting clothes, strive to get ones that are not only comfortable but also have an anti-microbial treatment. Since you are bound to sweat during any hunt, the anti-microbial treatment will eliminate the bad odor resulting from this.

3. Strive to have the best stand set up

Possibly one of the best deer hunting tips for early season, setting up your stand right is something that should not be overlooked.

Just as much as a foreign scent will drive away the deer, the same goes for anything foreign they see. Now, one of the most ignored deer hunting tips for beginners is setting up the stand during the hunting season.

What you should do instead is set up the stand a few weeks prior to the beginning of the early deer hunting season. Think about it, wouldn’t it be much easier for the deer to get used to the stand being there and actually go about their business when there is no human movement around it.

Other than erecting it early, it’s also important to mask its presence as much as possible. You could either set it as high up as possible or alternatively, have it at ground level and covered with tree branches so that it blends to the surrounding.

4. Always make the best calls.

Well, if you have to make some noise, then at least make it worth something, right? Calling out to the deer is not just about making any calls at any time.

The most basic thing you could do, for instance, is not going too far with your grunt tube when the hunting is heated up and, in the sections, where there are not any bucks present. Also, if you happen to spot a mature buck, then make a call, don’t make another once it looks in your direction. Instead, wait it out and let him come to you and just when he is close enough, go ahead and take your shot.

5. Know how to best utilize the weather

Yet another thing you ought to be keen on is making the most out of any hunting situation which, in this case, is the weather.

Unlike what you may be thinking, the bad weather days may just be the best days to go out on a hunt. Let me explain why…

Take a rainy day, for instance, your footsteps will be masked and the same goes for your scent hence making it much easier for you to move through the woods. For the windy days, you really won’t have to sit in your stand since you could use this to your advantage by heading towards the deer with the wind blowing in the opposite direction so you are. Also, from my years of experience, I’ve come to realize that bad weather increases bad weather quite a lot.

6. Dress light while on the move

One common mistake that most newbie hunters do is dressing the wrong way when out of their blinds. Well, while in the blind, it’s okay to dress heavy in order to keep warm but the same cannot be said for when you are on the move.

Regardless of how slow you are moving; your body should generate some heat and keep you warm enough with light clothes on. If insulated, on the other hand, you’ll get sweaty then cold and you know what discomfort means, you may end up compromising on stealth in an effort to keep comfortable.

So, besides the clothes, you should also carry only essential items such as your weapon, survival kit, shells etc.

Regarding the storage space, I’d recommend that you carry a fanny pack instead of a backpack which is bulkier and may weigh you down.

7. The early bird catches the worm

One of the oldest morning deer hunting tips is the earlier you get to the hunting grounds, the better your odds are. As such, you should get to your tree-stand about 30 minutes earlier. The thing is, as you walk towards your blind or tree stand before the sun rises, this is also the time when the deer are active.

If you are early to the stand, it would also be much easier for you to know of the deer bedding areas as compared to getting there late. Other than this, you should also get some fresh deer tracks which would then make it easy for you to hunt them down and get home early enough.

Well, getting early to the tree stand should allow you to take your time to get everything together for the day.

8. Try to keep a record of every buck you come across

Well, when it comes to this, attention should be paid to mostly the mature buck encounters. This involves, the movement pattern (where it came from and where it’s heading), the weather when you saw it, did it have other deer accompanying it and so forth.

By tracking the deer trends each day, it will be much easier for you to track their movement in the future. Other than just tracking their movement as you’re out in the field, it would also be wise to set up cameras since it’s impossible to stay out in your blind for a whole 24 hours.

9. Off-season effort is just as important

If you’re really serious about getting results, being active during the off-season is bound to yield amazing results.

The much you can do in this time is looking at the bedding areas for the doe and buck not by guessing but by tracking the deer down and figuring out exactly where they’re at.

The importance of knowing the bedding areas is that deer activity basically revolves around these areas and upon finding them, go ahead and mark them on your map. Upon marking the areas on your map, you should also know where to look throughout the hunting season.

Hunting in between the buck bedding areas and the food source in mid-late October, for instance, should yield good results. Alternatively, you could also stick to the doe bedding areas in which case it would be wise to dwell on the downwind side and wait for the buck.

10.  Shotgun deer hunting tips

Suitable for whether or not you are hunting in a blind, I’d recommend that you always have the muzzle of your gun up. Here’s why:

The last thing you want would be to spook away a potential killer and as it turns out, simply unslinging your rifle from your shoulder is enough to scare away the der. By holding your rifle up however, it should be easier for you to take a clean shot.

Still, on taking the shots, I’d also recommend that you brace yourself for some really difficult shots. Whereas you may excel quite well in target shooting, deer hunting is difficult in a whole another level. This involves possibly shooting at a moving target and there might be no stands involved since you will be shooting free hand and have to look through obstructions in most cases.

11.  Always have your guard up

As much as you may be having the best weapon and other hunting gear, don’t overlook the importance of being alert and paying attention to every detail that’s around you.

If you are on the move, even though being completely silent is virtually impossible, try to be as silent and steady as you can while at the same time keeping your head up for any deer activity around you. It won’t come as a surprise that a deer may dash past you.

You should also be keen on avoiding any quick or sudden movements- whether you are reaching out for something in your pockets, drawing your weapon or raising your binoculars, keep it slow and steady.

12.  Practice makes perfect

The last thing you want is trying to figure out how something works when the hunting day comes and the only way to avoid this would be trying out every hunting equipment you’ll be using in your hunt. Test your weapon and do some target shooting for some time.

You should also practice some target shooting from different positions and at different angles to ensure that you don’t encounter any obstructions when it comes to real hunting.

Still, on that note, I’d also recommend that you set a clear path of how you’ll be exciting and going to your hunting property and in this case make it a point not to interfere with the vegetation where deer reside at. Interfering with their natural habitat will result in them changing their movement patterns.

13.  Always observe the perfect timing

There’s always a peak to every deer hunting season and as such, you should have a favorite stand set up. One of the most common mistakes most people do when starting off with deer hunting is dwelling to good stands in a bad hunting day.

Once you are fully aware of the deer pattern and the peak of the season, sneak into the stand on a day when the weather is good and make your first hunt in it then.  At this time, the deer will definitely be used to it and the chances of them detecting any human presence around are minimal.

14.  Late hunting season

As the hunting season comes to an end, it may seem that all hope is lost but that’s not really the case with deer hunting.

In this time, a buck that had switched territories closer to the does in the rut will want to get back to the territory it was previously used to and it is in this time that you’ll wantto strike since their guard is down.

Also, due to the hunting pressure building up throughout the season, a buck will want to get back to its original beds and in this case, I’d recommend that you set up a stand between the beddings and the buck’s food source to easily ambush them.

15.  Lure them in as much as possible

From the beginning of the hunting season all the way to the peak of the rut,don’t hold back on everything you can do to strike a catch. At the same time, however, don’t overdo it.

Make the necessary grunts, rattles, bleats or snort-wheezes when appropriate and in addition to this, don’t overlook the significance of using scent bombs. Now, regarding the use of scent bombs to lure in deer, you should use this with regard to the deer movement patterns and if you don’t yield any results, get to 250yards from where you were and repeat the same.

At the end of the day, you’ll want to lure in the aggressive buck that poses as an easy target.

16.  Observe utmost concealment

Probably one of the oldest deer hunting tips in the book, it goes without saying that masking your presence as much as possible during a hunt should come as a priority and this involves making your scent undetectable and more so, camouflaging into the surroundings.

With the proper tree stand blind, you should be able to stay completely hidden and if you prefer still hunting instead, ensure you have the proper clothes and spray yourself with an odor eliminator.

17.  Keep moisture away from your rifle

Whereas hunting in the rain gives you an advantage, you should be keen on keeping moisture away from your rifle. Keep the barrel end covered up with electrical tape and when the time comes to take your shot, shoot through it and harvest your buck.

Frequently asked deer hunting questions

In addition to the deer hunting tips for beginners mentioned above, here are some frequently asked questions you should pay heed to.

When should you best go deer hunting?

The best time to hunt deer is early before and after dawn and in the evening before and after dusk

What attracts deer the most?

Deer will mostly go for nutritious foods such as corn and acorns, sugary foods such as sugar beets and apples or rare attractants such as salt

What is the best way to lure in a buck?

Bucks are attracted by a number of scents such as pheromones, urine, and appetizing foods and that can be found in hunting stores.

Is Camo gear necessary when deer hunting?

Deer’s vision can differentiate blue from red but not green/orange from red and as such, the only colors you should stay away from is blue and stick to the other three without necessarily blending into the surrounding.

Are deer active during the day?

Whitetails could move around between 10:30 and 12:30 but it would be wise to keep your head up till 13:00 so that you don’t miss out on anything.

What time of year is deer most active?

This is normally during the breeding season which is mostly from October all the way to the beginning of January. During summer feeding, deer can be found from July to September when food is plentiful.

Final verdict.

We’ve covered pretty much all deer hunting tips for early season and late season and starting out this year should be quite simple. Think of deer hunting as a game of intellect rather than a physically intensive sport and you’re sure to strike a buck this year.

All in all, happy hunting and all the best.