Regardless of your hunting level, there are numerous reasons to learn deer hunting. Some people might do it to enhance their skills and optimize hunting. While others are probably beginners and want to learn how to start deer hunting. Remember, getting started with hunting isn’t a piece of cake. It is a commitment that requires patience, loads of practice, appropriate gears, and above all, lots of leg work.
The foremost reason why people opt for deer hunting and love it so much is its healthy meat. These game animals have quite interesting living patterns which hunters find adventurous to learn and go after.
Though it is a bit challenging to learn how to start deer hunting, it isn’t impossible. There are certain factors that one must carefully understand. These include hunter education, hunting signs, right gears, suits, etc. That is why, with the help of studies and data, we have put up a detailed guide on how to hunt successfully.
Deer Hunting Guide – How To Start Deer Hunting?
Regardless of your age, never fret about learning how to start deer hunting. It is among the most enjoyable adventures and is done by a massive number of people. Since it isn’t a very straightforward process, you must understand a couple of things before venturing out into the woods.
Once you get all the important factors, do’s and don’ts and the right time to hunt, get your gears ready and officially enter the world of deer hunting. No matter how much you practice or get your hands on the right stuff if you lack a hunting license, the game is over.
In most parts of the world, hunting without a valid license is considered illegal. Doing so could lead to some serious consequences. You can get yourself a hunting license from any retail shop that sells hunting and fishing gear.
Can You Hunt Female Deer?
Hunting a doe (female deer) can impact the overall deer population. However, to do so, you must have an antlerless deer hunting tag. An antlerless deer could be any deer including a buck that has shed its antler or a doe. But, you cannot hunt down a fawn who is also antlerless. An easy way to spot a baby deer is by its spotted skin or antlers measuring less than 5 inches in length.
Why Is Hunter Education Important?
Simply put, the hunter education program is brought together for all the future hunters and trappers. This program is not specified for deer but every kind of hunting. It is important to get a hunter education certificate for getting yourself a hunter or trapper license.
People who are 18 years or older and planning to become a hunter must get this qualification. In this program, they are taught the basics of hunting. The course covers how to be responsible, safe, and ethical during hunting. It also trains the participants in ethical shot placement and the safe handling of firearms.
You can also find courses for bow hunting and waterfowl hunting under this education. By the end of this program, every participant receives a certificate of qualification which makes them eligible for a license.
Deer Hunting Tips For Beginners
As a newbie, you must know the right strategies that worked for other beginner hunters. Learning how to get into deer hunting will save you from the errors and repetitive trials. It will help you get a productive start on your adventure.
Following are some tried and tested tips that all beginners must incorporate for a successful deer hunt.
- Go Well Prepared
It is no surprise that you’d be extremely overwhelmed on your first day of hunting. But, ensure that your excitement doesn’t make you forget stuff at home. Before you head out, double-check everything including your hunting and safety gears, weapons, license and tags, emergency supplies, and more.
Here is a detailed checklist of the best hunting gears for beginners that you must not forget.
- Get Yourself A Mentor & Hunting Buddy
Anyone in your social circle with great experience in deer hunting could be your mentor, especially for your first hunt. You can also learn a lot about hunting through relevant videos on the internet. Secondly, get yourself a hunting buddy who would lift you and is as motivated as you. This makes the journey even better as you two push each other to the maximum potential and get the best results.
- Dress Appropriately
Deer hunting is all about hiding in the best possible ways so that you don’t spook your target. For that, dressing appropriately is a must. Make sure to use blaze orange as a primary color for your hunting suit, vest, backpack, or anything. Deers are unable to see this color, instead, they see it as gray.
Also, keep in mind the weather conditions. If it is cold, wear a warm hunting suit or layer yourself up. Hunting boots and preferably waterproof ones are highly recommended. It is also wise to cover your hands with camo gloves.
- Get Rid Of Your Smell
Wearing layers won’t make you odorless unless you wear specially designed suits for it or use cover scents. Showering and washing all your gears won’t help and if a deer senses your scent, it would bounce back to another county in no time. This is probably the most crucial aspect when it comes to learning about how to start deer hunting.
There is a diverse range of detergents, sprays, and soaps designed exclusively for deer hunters. These products remove your scent by masking it up with a neutral or earthy fragrance which doesn’t scare the deer.
Most hunters like me uses various accessories even gor glassing gear and rangefinders, e.g. best rangefinder lanyard tether. These should also be sprayed to make them scent free.
- Choose The Right Spot For Your Stand
Deer stands are incredibly safe and efficient for all the hunters who plan to spend a good couple of hours unless they are placed in the wrong spots. Ridges serve as the best spots for tree stands by providing you with a wider view of the entire area.
Deers usually pave their way into the field from corners so, choosing trees in these areas works well too. At these corners, deers will find food for themselves which gives you a better opportunity to bag a couple of bucks. Bed-to-feed paths used by deers are also a great spot to place your stand as they regularly use the route.
It is suggested to practice going in and out of your stand once you’ve set it up. This will enable you to slip in and out of your stand without making creaks. Moreover, you will also be less likely to trip while using your stand in the dark.
Several hunters use stands on private lands for which an official permission from the landowner is required. Whether you plan on using a tree stand on private or public land, it is suggested to opt for compact and mobile deer stands.
- Don’t Overlook The Wind Factor
Wind direction and speed can impact your overall hunting experience since deer are likely to alter their movement patterns. Carry wind detector tools or use a mobile app with you to determine where the wind is blowing from.
Bucks are likely to move towards the area with warm rising air as they start cruising in the morning. So, check the weather apps and keep an eye on the wind forecast. This will clue you about possible deer routes so you can hide accordingly.
- Learn Deer Language
Deer communicate with each other using various sounds. Hunters use these sounds at the right time to trick the deers and draw them nearer. Different sounds are used in different seasons indicating the presence of other deer in the area.
Also, to hunt successfully, you need to monitor deer movement in an area and plan a route towards it without spooking bucks and does. One way that I found successful is to use best 1000 yards rangefinder to spot and track game animal movement for more than 1000 yards.
- Go Slow And Safe
Amateurs make tons of mistakes during their first trip to hunt and rushing things up is most common. Hunting requires patience over everything else therefore, always go slow as it will keep you safe. Drawing bucks takes time but if you have a strategic hunting plan and leave early in the morning, you are likely to find success quicker than others.
How To Get Started Bowhunting?
Bowhunting is as fascinating as gun hunting. If you are interested in learning how to start deer hunting with a bow, you must understand the following things:
- Enroll yourself in the Hunter Education program.
- Get a hunting license.
- Take lessons for archery and practice your shots.
- Invest in the right gears.
- Understand the rules and regulations.
- Find the right place for bowhunting.
- Scout the land.
- Place your treestand at least 12 to 20 yds. away from the target.
What Do You Need For Deer Hunting With Bow?
Below are what should every prepared hunter carry for bow hunting:
- Bows and arrows with all of their accessories
- Camouflage suit and backpack
- Rubber boots
- Rangefinder (the best crossbow rangefinders are suitable.)
- Maps, GPS, compass, and wind detectors
- Flashlight with extra pair of batteries
- First aid emergency kit
- Field dressing kit
How To Skin And Gut A Deer Step By Step With Pictures
Skinning, gutting, or field dressing the deer is a process of removing its internal organs and intestines. Hunters usually do it right after they harvest a buck. This reduces the overall body weight of the animal, making it easy to carry. As someone who is just learning about how to start deer hunting, following these guidelines is a must.
To do so, you must have sharp and robust knives, latex gloves, and a gut hook. Once you have everything assembled, here is how to field dress a deer for the first time:
- Cut The Coring Ring
Put the deer on its side back and locate the coring ring present around the anus. Make a cut a few inches deep into the flesh. Slice all the associated membranes and follow the coring cuts once more to release the final inches of the colon. Slide your knife farther into the pelvic canal. Avoid putting a hole in the colon because its elements may contaminate the meat.
- Position The Deer Belly Up
Find a slope nearby and drag the buck towards it. Now position the animal with its belly facing upside. To keep its carcass in position, ask your hunting buddy to hold the hind legs of the deer and spread them apart.
If you are all by yourself, secure the body by using wood pieces or large rocks under the animal’s ribcage. Things would become much more convenient if you tie each hind leg of the deer with a tree.
- Start Cutting The Skin
Make the first incision in the deer’s skin, around 1-inch deep between the rear legs where you see a V shape formed. You can find this V shape right above the testicle in the buck’s body. Whereas in does, it is present beneath the milk sac. If you are field dressing a buck, remove its genitalia as well.
After you have made the first cut, grab the gut hook and cut the skin all the way up along the midline. Make sure you hold the gut hook upright so it doesn’t damage other organs.
- Cut The Diaphragm And Windpipe
Be very cautious while cutting the diaphragm since it is a delicate membrane, dividing the chest and abdomen. Make sure to cut it open wide and away so that you get easy access to the chest organs. Start cutting the diaphragm from the walls of the chest cavity and slice it through the spine for easy separation.
Once done, you will be able to reach organs deeper in the cavity. From there, firmly hold the windpipe, pull it in your direction and cleave it off. This will release all of the entrails.
- Withdraw The Entrails
Innards including the stomach, intestines, bladder, heart, lungs, and liver will all be easily removed after cutting the windpipe. Do this by pulling the remaining part of the windpipe will all your force.
In case you encounter trouble withdrawing these organs, slice any tissue which keeps them attached to the body. You can also use the cut made around the colon to pull out the entrails from there.
- Drain Out The Blood
Now that you have done the main work, turn the carcass upside down so that all the blood drains out. That’s all about it! You have successfully gutted your trophy buck.
What Group Sets Hunting Regulation In Most States
In most states, Wildlife Management Agency is responsible for establishing the hunting rules and regulations. These organizations hear what the local people have to suggest or complain by arranging frequent public meetings.
The legal shooting time for deer in a majority of states starts an hour before sunrise and lasts for one-hour post sunset. People when learning how to start deer hunting sometimes overlook the legal hunting hours which can put them in serious trouble.
Watching videos or reading articles about how to start deer hunting won’t help unless you start practicing. While you can understand the do’s and don’ts, tips, and tricks, if you don’t perform it yourself, nothing would work. Hunting requires skills and expertise that you can develop only by practically implementing.
Get your hands on the right equipment, practice shooting/archery, and follow all the aforementioned guidelines. If you do everything correctly, nothing can come in your way to success in deer hunting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
People have been hunting deer for thousands of years now. They generally do it for the sake of fun sport activity and healthy meat.
In the US, the age requirements vary for different states. 7 states have allowed solo hunting for everyone regardless of their age whereas others have some requirements. Check the state-wise age requirement for solo hunting.
The top hunting destinations around the world include South Africa, Canada, Namibia, Belarus, Alaska, Mozambique, Australia, South Dakota, and more.