What are the best hunting tips?
Hunting season has started and you're excited to bag that trophy. Hunting is not like your usual walk in the forest. If you want that trophy, make a strategic plan for hunting.
Here are our Top 10 Pro-tips for a successful hunting trip:
Pro-tip #1: Cover your scent
Human odor are easily sensed by a game. Wash with a scent-free soap before every hunting trip and avoid contaminating your hunting clothes on the way to the field. Keep them sealed in a plastic container or bag. It helps to add leaves, dirt, and other ground debris from around your stand until you arrive at your hunting location. This helps your hunting clothing to adapt to the environment’s natural scents.
Pro-tip #2: Go extra slow.
When still-hunting, most of us don't move slowly enough or stay put long enough. Use your watch as a guide. Set the duration to stand still, such as five minutes. This way you'll be guided when to remain quiet for a period of time, longer if needed.
Pro-tip #3: Silence is crucial.
Cover the exposed metal edges and contact points of your gears with dark colored tape. This is to reduce the chances of any extra noises when setting up, climbing, or trekking.
If you are using a vehicle, be sure to disable the headlights and to shut the doors softly before you depart. Gas engines are often quieter than diesel if you have the option.
Pro-tip #4:Stop at the noise.
If you make an unusually loud noise, stop and stand there as long as you can if you suspect animals are close by. A deer might stand a long time and stare in your direction. If it doesn't see or smell you, it might go back to feeding or whatever else it was doing before it was disturbed.
Pro-tip #5: Be smart with your calling strategy.
If you call a buck and he picks up his head looking in your direction, DO NOT call again while his head is up and looking or walking your way. It is curiosity that leads them to follow the sound. Let them follow their curiosity right to you.
Pro-tip #6: Prioritize cover.
If you have a tree stand location that’s in a great spot but lacking that cover, uses big zip-ties, camo tape, or rope to attach leafy branches or fake Christmas tree limbs around your stand. If you can’t do that you’ll want to set your stand as high as possible, this helps avoid being in the line of sight of any deer.
When walking through brush stay low to keep from being seen, and when on the grassy plains or meadows a crawl may be necessary. Trees provide excellent cover when sneaking up on the game in a wooded area.
Pro-tip #7: Clear shooting lanes.
When you first get into your tree stand, practice taking up shooting positions for all the directions in which an animal might appear. After doing that, try to bend branches in the line of fire if you can reach them. Take up the position that requires the least amount of movement for you to turn in any direction.
If in a stand, be sure your safety strap is secure and allows free movement. When hunting from the trail be sure to observe where trails merge and depart. This is helpful not only while tracking but also when trying to recover wounded game.
Pro-tip #8: Be ready on your tree-stand 20 minutes earlier.
If you’re walking into your stand at or just before daylight, you’re moving through the property when most deer are on their feet too. Get in there and settled well before deer start filtering back through towards their bedding areas.
Pro-tip #9: Keep a Record.
Record every mature buck encounter you have, when it was, where he came from, where he went to, what the weather and wind were, etc. As you build out this data set, look for trends. Often times deer, single bull elk, or bears will frequent the same area. Herd elk, on the other hand, are much more transient and can cover a great amount of ground in a day.
Pro-tip #10: Plan for the shot before it happens.
Think through how you’ll move into position if a deer comes from the left, the right, or behind you. Practice pulling up your gun or drawing back your bow from different angles and make sure there is nothing obstructing that process.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Practice and go get that big buck, bull or bear!