Anticipation, nerves, and lack of sleep hinder even the most experienced deer hunter from properly preparing for the big opening day of any season; but no fear, Guns.com has your back. We’ve gathered some of our best tips to help you prep ahead of time to ensure a successful deer hunt.
1. Know When and Where You’re Going!
I know, I know. Dates for deer season should be simple enough; however, they can change yearly depending on the area. Double-check with wildlife services to ensure you know when buck and doe are in season. Additionally, resources like topographical maps are a great place to find adequate areas like spurs or directional valleys that funnel to tighter areas that might garner greater success. It’s imperative to have a good understanding of the area in which you’re hunting so you can not only bag deer but also hike in and out with ease.
2. Know the Rules
No matter where you hunt, be sure to understand and follow the rules and regulations that govern that area, so you don’t run into trouble. For instance, in Pennsylvania where I live, we deal with Chronic Wasting Disease and, as such, certain CDW areas possess specific rules. Knowing this ahead of time will save hunters from a ticket, criminal record, loss of license or firearms. Contact your local Wildlife Resource Agency for the most up to date information on regulations, permits, and the like.
3. What are you carrying?
What should you carry with you? While it’s specific to each hunter; I prefer basics like a small roll of toilet paper, light snacks, and drinking water, dragging rope, knife, extra undershirt and knit cap, pair of heavy gloves, small first aid kit and scent blocker. This is in addition to rifle, ammo, range finder and binoculars. Small comforts are often the difference between a short uncomfortable hunt or a long day with success. If you use tree stands, be sure to have your safety harness on hand as well.
4. Can you hit it?
Truth is, most hunters will only shoot their bows, rifles, shotguns or pistols to sight in for hunting season before stowing them until the start of the season. Practice makes perfect though and nothing’s worse than missing that perfect buck or doe because you’re out of practice. As hunters, we need to practice our craft year-round. Animals we hunt deserve our best shot every time.
5. Communicate your position
What we do for a past time can be a brutal proposition. For those that hunt, there are many dangers to consider so it’s important to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you are without a cell phone or you know the signal is sketchy, give a friend a time you plan to return and have a plan in place in case something goes awry.
If you’re hunting in a hunting party, coordinate and communicate your stand to all other attendees and make sure you know their locations as well. Accidental shootings are an unfortunate yet preventable occurrence. Be responsible and safe anytime you head out for a hunt.
If you haven’t picked up a rifle for hunting season yet or your own the prowl for a new one, make sure to check out Guns.com’s inventory of new and used rifles.