Deer Hunting 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Deer Hunting 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Even ten thousand years ago, deer hunting was prevalent. People do this activity either for meat or sports. For some people, deer are their main source of protein, especially if they don't want commercially raised meat. In contrast, some people enjoy hunting as a sport. In fact, there is a hunting deer season in several cities.

But did you know that this practice can be beneficial for the environment and deer population? Since there are not enough predators for deer in some cities, the people decided to take action and prevent an unhealthy deer population. Through this controlled hunting deer season, they can maintain the right number of deer and restore the ecosystem's balance.

Hunting can be the most humane initiative to benefit the communities. Mostly, study the state regulations before engaging in this type of activity. But before you start your deer stalking journey, keep on reading to learn the basics and top hunting techniques. 


Deer Hunting


Deer Hunting: The Most Famous Type of Hunting

Deer hunting is considered the most famous type of hunting the world. We’re here to break that negative connotation on deer hunting. Listed below are some of the top benefits of this type of hunting. 


Deer Hunting is Safe

Compared to other hunting types, deer hunting is one of the safest. Most areas require classes before they allow their residents to purchase a hunting license. These education laws reduced the number of accidents in deer hunting. 


Deer Hunting Allow No Waste

Some people might only see deer hunting as a process to put food on their table. Their proteins are definitely a good replacement for pork, chicken, or beef. However, keep in mind that aside from this, its other parts are not put to waste as well. For instance, their antlers are known for being a useful tool. At the same time, their skins are also perfect for creating blankets or clothing. 


Deer Hunting Helps Controls Wildlife Population

Some people might see deer ascute and innocent.But do you know that they are known to be savage and have the ability to cause damage in just a short amount of time. In fact, studies have proven that these animals are capable of eating more than 700 kinds of plant species. These damages may sum to several thousand dollars in total. With this, some communities promote controlled deer hunting to ensure that the local wildlife population is preserved. 


Top Techniques of Deer Hunting

Stand Hunting Technique

How to hunt deer?If you are not a fan of sitting around the woods for long periods, this may be the ideal deer hunting method for you. 

This tactic is the most commonly used option for beginners. Whether you are using a bow or rifle to hunt from a treestand yield, you can have a high chance to catch a deer. As a hunter, you need to find a spot where the deer cannot see you. Most likely, you need to place your treestand on an elevated location to view the deer even from afar. Plus, they won’t detect your presence easily. Choose a tree that is wide enough to cover you but with branches that stick out. Using a bare tree will make you visible to any deer that come passing by. 

Deer hunters, especially whitetail hunters, use permanent and portable treestands to ambush deer as they travel, feed, and interact. Huntsmans use lures, scents, tricks, and calls to bring whitetails into their hunting range. This method will be easy with deer hunting rifles, but make sure to check your state regulations.

It would help if you also considered the sunlight since, like humans, deer cannot directly look at the sun. Moreover, choose a tree that is highly accessible, which you can climb during the hunting season. Nothing beats practice. Familiarize yourself with the environment, the entrance, and exits.


Set Up a Ground Blind

Another prevalent hunting technique is ground blind hunting. Ground blinds are the most commonly used deer hunting method throughout all regions, especially deer hunting in Florida. These are of great use in areas where options to use tree stands are limited. 

If you are not a fan of tree stands and find them hassle to use, this is a better method for hunting deer. But, ground blinds are effective for concealment, especially for those who like to move around a lot.

In this blind, you can set up your equipment and hide for a while. You should place the blind in advance and position it to blend well with the environment because deer will notice the sudden change of environment. Allow the deer to get used to the ground blind, so they won’t avoid it. You should also keep it dark inside and let one window open to view the deer quickly.

From there, you can shoot your target or set up an ambush destination. For instance, you can place it where the deer have few options to exit and run. Ensure your success by following the tips mentioned. Also, there are different blinds you can utilize depending on your skills and situation. When the blind is bigger, it can be more comfortable since you have a huge space to move.


Use of Decoys

You can lure the deer by baiting them with scent or food to attract them to come near you. However, baiting has been an issue because of its legalities, although most countries allow this hunting strategy. Some of the most common baits to lure deer are corns, acorns, vegetables, and apples.

Be wise in placing the decoys or food. Know where these deer hang out around the area. Keep in mind that baiting is a responsibility. Do your research to ensure whether baiting is allowed in that area, the types and amount of bait that are permitted, and how close you can hunt the deer.


Still Hunting

A method that dates back to the earliest hunting methods, still hunting is one of the most common deer hunting techniques.

For expert hunters, still-hunting can be easy. This method of hunting has been prevalent ever since. Instead of waiting and sitting around the area, you need to roam and listen to the deer’s movement. Make sure to move slowly and avoid creating noise. This way, when you bump with a deer, you will have an opportunity to shoot the target.

In this deer hunting season, still hunting requires skill and time. Unlike other techniques where you need to strategize your position, still hunting means you need to sneak to their habitat unexpectedly to spot the deer before it spots you. Doing this can be tricky, so make sure to practice and familiarize yourself with the location. Take note that there is a time limit in hunting a deer. 

At the same time, still-hunt is a skill that takes time to develop and cannot be mastered by anyone overnight. You first have to learn whitetail behavior and body language to know when to move and when not.


Call Hunting

In this strategy, you need to replicate the deer’s sound. You can mimic four sounds, which are grunt, bleat, rattle, and snort wheeze. Ensure you are ready once you have created the noise because deer can unexpectedly come into your location. Prepare your shooting equipment, such as a gun or bow. 

To prevent driving away deer, start your noise softly. Along the way, build up the sound to attract them. Moreover, you should not depend on one deer call. Try mixing it up depending on the deer hunting season and situation. When the deer is already within your sight, stop the deer call. Excessive calling can signal them that something is wrong in that location.


Spotlighting Hunting

Spotlighting is the use of light to blind the deer. From there, you can shoot them right away. This hunting technique is an issue, and in some countries, it is treated as illegal. Make sure to know the laws in hunting because countries allow spotlighting in specific seasons and times of the day. 

In using this technique, you need to be cautious and learn the travel directions of the deer. You can catch a deer when you do your research. Moreover, be considerate with the neighborhood since you can also shine them.


Compared with other techniques shared in this know-hows of deer hunting, the bump-and-dump method is in a tricky category.

This tactic only works efficiently in certain situations, which means it has a 50-50 chance of success. It is up to the deer hunter if this is the technique they will use while hunting.

You can use this method when you are not sure if you will spot the deer freely moving across the woods during daylight. The bump-and-dump is a technique done by bumping the buck from its bed during the day. Once you are sure where its exact location is, creep near the area at an earlier time. Once it comes back to its bed, you can now hunt your game.

Keep in mind that this technique sometimes works and sometimes does not, and it is best if you try other methods first like the ones listed next.

Dog Hunting 

Deer hunting with dogs is another case-to-case basis deer hunting method. Some hunters grow to love it, while some sooner or later find themselves hating it. 

But regardless of what hunting principles you may have, it is a known fact that this is effective for bringing home the deer at the end of the hunt. If this is legal in your state and you have no problems trying out this method, deer hunting with dogs is one of the proven and tested ways of hunting deer.

Deer Drives

Another deer hunting technique is deer drives, which is as controversial as deer hunting with dogs. Nonetheless, it is an effective method of hunting deer, and millions of deer hunters have used it.

In using deer drives, the first step to the key is to learn how to use it. There are different varieties of deer drives you can do, to name a few: hard pushes, wind pushes, and soft pushes.

In some states like Pennsylvania, they conduct deer drives by groups. One group sneaks to guard likely deer escape routes with deer hunting rifles, while the other drivers walk through targeted cover to push deer by the standers.


Knowing how to use each type of deer drive correctly is one factor of a successful hunt. Even experienced hunters make mistakes while using this method, but it contributes to your hunting experience.

Deer drives can be dangerous on some occasions, and keep a mental note that safety is the topmost priority when doing deer drives.


Stalking is a hunter crowd-favorite tactic in western states like Colorado or Idaho. If you are lucky and find a bedded or a casually feeding deer and you think you can get within hunting range, try stalking the deer. 

Another helpful tip is if there has been recent snow in the area, you can also use the tracking method. Using fresh snow tracks is to your advantage by making deer tracks very easy to spot and follow.  

However, in both cases, do not forget to be very slow as you don’t know when it will come into view. To be sure, spend some time mastering this skill to ensure success.

When is the Best Time to Hunt Deer?

Many hunters prefer deer hunting in Florida from January to February. Some of the very best whitetail deer are collected here during deer hunting season.

The best time to hunt deer during deer hunting season is between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning, as proven and tested by deer hunters. 

Must-Carry Tools for Deer Hunting

Just like all other sports, your deer hunting experience can be maximized only by bringing appropriate tools and paraphernalia. You should not go on a hunting trip empty-handed because chances are that you will be going home empty-handed as well. 

However, you have to be careful about the choice of items that you will bring. A heavy bag is no different than an empty bag. Both are guaranteed to make your trip less fruitful and enjoyable. That is why you should carefully plan the tools that you will carry around. 

If you are in the process of planning for your next hunting trip, here are some must-carry deer hunting accessories.  


Hunting Knife and Branch Clippers

A sharp edge is a versatile companion during outdoor recreational activities. A hunting knife can assist you in a wide variety of tasks - cutting rope, setting up traps, and even splitting the game for the lucky ones. Branch clippers are also helpful in trimming shrubs and branches to clear your view of your target.


Deer Hunting Rifles

Most hunters use deer hunting rifles to put an end to their targets. As your most important weapon, you have to ensure that your deer hunting rifles are functioning well. Also, check for ammunition and rounds from time to time. 



Our human eyesight is limited, and this is a disadvantage in hunting. The deer are sensitive to threats and they always maintain distance from the hunters. With a trustworthy pair of binoculars, however, this constraint becomes eliminated. Binoculars are essential deer hunting accessories since they help hunters locate the targets and survey the terrain more clearly. 


Safety Harness

Experienced deer hunters use elevation as leverage against the targets. One way to do this is by climbing trees, which may sound like a simple task but is dangerous and risky. In case you are planning to climb trees, make sure you carry a safety harness with you. Asking someone to teach you how to use the harness is also a priority. 


Electric Hunting Bike

The area of your hunting ground depends on your location, but you can always be sure that you would spend so much legwork going from one point to another. Why not bring with you an electric hunting bike? This portable vehicle moves you around more quickly compared to going on foot. It also conserves your energy for more important tasks such as setting traps and chasing deer. 



A handheld device like the rangefinder can improve your hunting accuracy. It helps estimate the distance of your target so you can shoot it with laser precision. What’s more, it works for both stationary and moving targets, making it more versatile. 


Scent-Control Jacket

Deer are familiar with the scent of their kind. And consequently, they are also aware of the smell emitted by other species, including humans. A scent-control jacket is a piece of clothing that helps mask your smell so it cannot alarm the deer of your presence. 


Tips on Deer Hunting

Tools are not everything. Regardless of the caliber of your hunting firearms or the quality of your gear, they would not make you a good hunter right away. Deer hunting can be considered a sport, and as such, it goes without saying that one requirement to be good at it is your raw skill.

How can you develop your skills in hunting? Well, learning from books and videos can introduce you to some concepts, but you also have to do the actual hunting. 

Here are some tips to get you started in your deer hunting journey. Remember that while understanding these tips is essential, the best way to translate them into skills is to apply them during a real deer hunting trip.


Tricking the Deer

Though deer are naturally smart, they are not immune to tricks and traps. For instance, one of the tricks that always get them is the use of decoys. Models that look like animals, especially those that smell like animals too, pique deer’s attention and could lure them near you. They can also be tricked using sounds such as bleating calls and rattling. 


Practice Tree Climbing

Whether you like it or not, tree climbing is an essential part of deer hunting. That is why you need to overcome your fear of heights and start enhancing your tree-climbing skills. Focus on speed and accuracy. You should be able to climb a tree quickly without falling. 


Scout the Hunting Area

Before your hunting trip, take a quick tour around the hunting area to familiarize yourself with the terrain. If you are lucky, you would even see spots where deer gather and mark that area ahead of time. However, you can also do this using mapping tools like Google Earth or through a drone.


Know how to Read the Wind

The wind can be your friend or your foe in deer hunting. Depending on where you are located relative to your target, the direction of the wind can waft your odor toward the deer, thereby alarming them of your presence. That is how important it is to estimate the direction of the wind. 


Attract Deer with Odor

Deer gravitate to scents of their kind, and you can use this to your advantage. There are animal scents that are sold commercially. Try to get a hold of some of these scents and see for yourself if they are effective in attracting deer. 


Timing is Everything

Carefully time your hunting trip! The best time to do your hunting is during sunrise and sunset. At sunrise, the deer will be going to the area where they feed, and at sunset, they would go to the area where they sleep. These predictable behaviors will help you track and locate them easily. 


Ready, Set, Hunt!

If we try to look at it, deer hunting can be a very challenging endeavor. It requires physical skills and also a monetary investment as well because hunting gear can be a bit pricey. But this difficulty and uncertainty are also what makes hunting a rewarding experience. 

What matters most is not just what you bring home. The experience and fulfillment of hunting are prizes in and of themselves already. 

This article has taught you the basic methods of deer hunting and gave you some of the important tools that you should bring during your next hunting trip. You also learned practical tips to help you improve your skills in deer hunting. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your hunting bags and gather the materials that you need for hunting. The first step to becoming a seasoned hunter is to start doing it. And once you have started, for sure, there is no going back.

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