Deer hunting is an addictive sport and it’s appealing to both men and women alike. It’s one of the only sports that are also deeply ingrained in the American culture: in its language, its myth, and its language. The name of the meat of the deer – venison – comes from the name of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, which is where, words, such as venerate, venery, and venial come from.
At some point in a person’s life, they decide to try deer hunting, whether it’s because they tried a venison dinner at a friend’s house or they are friends with someone who enjoys deer hunting and wants to find out what it’s all about. Regardless of why they decide to try their hand at hunting, there are some basic things that everyone should know. Hopefully, you find the deer hunting tips we present here helpful.
This article is meant to cover some of the basic essentials that every deer hunter should know about deer hunting. Once you have read this, you may want to speak to other, more experienced hunters and hopefully, you’ll be able to tell whether or not the person you are speaking to is educated enough to really help you. Plus, you should be able to tell whether or not the person you speak with is someone you are going to want to hunt with, and whether or not you should even be hunting yourself.
What Everyone Must Know About DEER MEAT
Deer meat is not a low-cost solution to your empty freezer. In fact, going out and hunting simply to get a deer for the meat is something that was done back in the days of the pilgrims and Indians when other meat sources were scarce. Nowadays, it’s actually cheaper and more cost effective to go purchase a side of beef and butcher it yourself.
Deer are elusive creatures and even the most experienced deer hunter does not bag a tasty buck every deer season. It also takes a lot of time and effort to scout out a good place to hunt where you will have the most success in getting a deer. If you are looking for cheap meat then you probably also have a full-time job you can ill afford to take time off from to scout out the perfect hunting spot. Venison is not a cheap alternative.
Venison is, however, very delicious and healthful, low in fat and with its own distinct flavor. That’s assuming it has been properly dressed after being taken. Bagging your deer for consumption adds a flavor of its own to the meat and that alone should be one of the reasons why you get up in the morning to go hunting. The flavor of wild venison cannot be duplicated by ranch-raised deer, but no matter what, deer meat is some of the best meat to be naturally found across the United States.
If you’re not going to take the meat and you only want the deer for the prize rack of its antlers, then you have no business being out in the woods in the first place. Save your money on hunting equipment and simply stay home.
Places for the Perfect Deer Hunting
You can read a million magazines on deer hunting and digest a bunch of deer hunting tips about where to hunt and how to go about doing it, but unless you live out in the country, you’ll have to take some time out of your busy schedule to go scout out your own location. You’ll need to take some walks through the woods and look for deer signs of deer in the area. These signs can include deer droppings, deer trails, scrapes and rubs, and other indications that the buck is in the rut and ready to service his friendly does. The more signs you see the more active the area is.
If you live in the city, contact your friends who live in the country and see what kind of areas they can suggest for you to hunt in. Check all of the lands they suggest to see if there are active bucks around and if there is, and you like the area for hunting, then you need to secure permission from the landowner to hunt on their property. Always ask for permission in writing and when you get it, make sure you carry it with your hunting license. You may wish to offer a portion of the deer you take to the landowner as a thank you for allowing you to hunt on their land.
If you have problems securing permission to hunt on private land, here’s another hunting tip for you: look into hunting on public lands. You can take a really nice deer from one these public sites and you can begin researching your options by contacting your local Wildlife Resources Commission or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Let the person you speak to know that you are new to the hunting community and are looking for assistance in finding public areas to hunt in.
These professionals will help you narrow down your choices to two areas. Here are some other deer hunting tips:
You should choose two areas to hunt as a minimum simply because you will want to move between the two.
The next step would be to visit a hunting and camping shop and purchase topographic quadrangle and terrain maps for the area you want to hunt in.
Use the rest of the year and your new maps to scout out the areas that you want to hunt in.
When hunting season opens, make sure you wear the required blaze orange so that other hunters see you.
Note all of the deer signs that are present as you make your way to your hunting site.
After a few months of this, you’ll enter the woods that you chose to hunt being well prepared and ready to take your deer.
Choosing the Right Weapon – Strategies For Beginners
If you are still trying to determine your hunting weapon of choice when hunting season comes in, wait until next year to grey-furred take to the fields. You want to make sure that you are both familiar and proficient with the weapon you choose and the safety requirements that surround it. By doing this, you’ll be assuring yourself both an ethical and safe hunt. The deer will be there next year and it’s highly advised to give yourself time to practice with your weapon and develop some measure of accuracy.
If you choose to use a rifle, they should remain somewhere between a .243 caliber and larger. Bows should have at least a 45-pound pull. Some hunters enjoy using black powder weapons and they should be .45 caliber and higher. Shotguns should be a specialized 12 gauge ‘slug’ gun with a rifled barrel and modem ‘sabot’ type slugs. This type of shotgun will give you a better range and accuracy, although a 20 gauge or larger will work just as well.
Make sure you practice shooting for a variety of different positions. You will not always be aiming at your deer straight on. Sight in from a bench that could pose as a fallen log, shoot seated, prone, leaning against a tree – basically in any position that you may find yourself in when in the field. The same goes for practicing with a bow. And if you can safely practice from off the ground – like from your garage roof – try that too to simulate shooting downward from a tree stand.
Some more deer hunting tips are to never shoot at game that is outside the range of your weapon and the furthest you have shot it during practice within a 6″ target. That means bow hunters will shoot at about 30 yards or less, black powder from 60 to 80 yards, shotgun slugs from 60 yards or less, and rifles from 100 yards or less for ladies, and 150 yards or less for men. Granted, these numbers are conservative, but if you have shot further than this in practice, then, by all means, shoot within your comfort range.
Into the Woods You Go
1. Once you have located the perfect place to hunt and you have practiced with your weapon and are now proficient using it, it’s time to head out to the woods. Assuming that you are hunting white-tailed deer, you are going to want to get into the woods early enough to get to your spot and set-up.
2. Don’t forget to wear your orange, this is a safety measure so that other hunters can see you from a distance and don’t shot at you.
3. Once you have set-up and climbed into your tree stand or climbed into your ground blind, the best thing for you to do is to sit down and don’t move. Deer do see so the stiller you sit the better off you will be. Wait. Just sit and wait. Do not make any fast movements, not even if you are swatting at an annoying fly. If you’ve brought a book along with you, turn your pages slowly and as quietly as possible so that the deer don’t hear or see you.
The Truth About Camouflage
This is really the basis of deer hunting. There is a lot of sitting and waiting involved. Of course, you can make yourself even more invisible by wearing special camouflage clothing and makeup on your face and hands that help you appear invisible to the deer. You camouflage can be in blaze orange and while you may not blend into the woods to another hunter, you will definitely blend into your surroundings the seer. Deer are color blind so they will not see you sitting there as long as you are still. Camouflage is especially handy for the bow hunters who want to get in close to the deer for the best kill.
The Best Way To Hide Your Scent
You can also hide your scent thanks to the many different scents covering products that are available on the market. There are two types. The cover-up products hide your scent. The attractant covers your scent but also sends out an odor that brings in the deer. It does help if you start out clean when you head into the woods. It’s best to make sure your clothing is washed in baking soda and then packed in a plastic bag with a piece of the foliage or greenery that you found around your hunting site. When you get ready to go out, take a shower and wash your body with baking soda as well. This helps neutralize any body odor that is on your clothing and on you. Stay away from foods that have heavy odors – such as bacon or onions – and do not fill up your gas tank in the morning so you don’t have the lingering smell of gasoline on you. Even though you and your clothes are clean and you are using an attracting scent, try to stay upwind of your quarry as much as you can. Remember that when the wind blows, it will blow your scent away.
Advices That You Must Listen Before Shooting At Deer.
When your deer comes into range and you know that this is one you want to try for, take your time taking your shot. No hunter should ever try shooting at a running animal. All you will do is wound it and possibly lost it in the woods as it runs away. Always wait for a shot you know you can make and try to aim for the heart and lung area of the chest. If the deer is facing slightly away from you – because you will hardly ever get a broadside shot – aim through the deer towards the opposite shoulder when you fire. If you are not in a good position to hit the deer, don’t shot. It is better to have a good shot and take the deer down than to injure the deer and have it run away.
If the animal drops on the first shot, reload your weapon before approaching it because it may not be dead. You may have to shoot again, what’s called a finishing shot, to completely kill the deer. If the animal runs off, stay where you are for about thirty minutes before searching for a blood trail. While we will not cover tracking a wounded deer in this article, it is your moral obligation to track down the deer you wounded and find the animal, killing it if it happens to still be alive. You do not want the animal to suffer.
Venison on Your Dinner Plate
Venison is very flavorful meat, but if it tastes too gamy or too strong then it’s probably not been properly cared for between the woods and the table. Bucks that are taken during the high point of the rut will have a wilder flavor that a young, un-aroused one, or a doe. Sometimes the bucks that you think will have the toughest meat, the old grey-furred ones will be the best eating ever. It has to do with when you cook down the animal and the meat. This is why field dressing the animal where it falls is necessary.
Most local law regarding deer hunting requires that you tag the animal as soon as you kill it. The next thing you need to do is the seal off the vent in which the feces escapes. You do this by coring around at the anal opening and pulling it out enough to tie it off with a string. From there you remove the sexual organs without piercing the bladder or intestines and without cutting into the body cavity itself. A good, sharp, thin-bladed knife is the best thing to use and you never want to make deep cuts. Shallow cuts for this are all that is needed.
To continue field dressing your deer, slice from a few inches ahead of the rectum upwards to the sternum. Use the whole of the blade and not just the tip. When the opening is big enough and the intestines begin to bulge out, use your free hand to push the entrails back into the body cavity and away from the cut you just made. Flip your knife around so that the blade is not up and slide slowly and carefully ahead of the hand holding the deer guts in the body. When you reach the bottom of the sternum, stop.
More deer hunting tips on dressing are: Now you need to find the deer’s bladder. When you do, cut the ligaments and tendons around it until it comes loose and then removes it carefully, preferably without spilling any of the contents on the meat. Pull the rectum that you tied off back up into the body and cut away all the tissue that is holding the entrails in place from the abdominal walls. Make sure you do this for both sides of the animal for that the guts will come free easily. Cut the esophagus just above the stomach, and then work the entrails out of the body cavity with your hands onto the ground. If you want to save the liver and kidneys to enjoy later on, let them cool and then place them into a plastic bag to bring home.
Finally, cut through the diaphragm that separates the chest and the abdomen. Reach up into the deer as far as possible to cut through the windpipe and the gullet. Grab a hold of the tubes and pull them free bringing the heart and the lungs with you. If you are going to eat the heart, add it to the bag with the other organs. Roll the animal over and let excess blood that accumulated while you working on the innards drip out onto the ground.
Remember being a deer hunter means taking the deer down humanely. If you shot it and it doesn’t go do it is your job to track the deer and finish the shot. You owe the deer that much!
Bringing Your Deer Home
Whether you carry your deer out of the woods or drag it will all have to do with how strong a person you are. Regardless of which way you do it, cover the head with a blaze orange cloth so that another hunter doesn’t mistake it for a live animal. Keep the cloth on the deer’s head as you load it into your vehicle to bring home. Another option is to wrap it in a tarp in the back of your trunk to keep it from getting exposed to the elements and also keep over hunters from thinking the antlers on your deer in your truck is a live game. I hope you enjoyed this basic overview of deer hunting and some of the deer hunting tips we have provided.
Take your deer to a designated check-in station and report your kill. You can take it to an authorized meat processor or butcher it yourself if you have the skills. Make sure you let whoever butchers your deer know that you wish to keep the head and cape to have it mounted. Once you’ve dropped off your deer, you can go home and get a shower. Then it’s time to start looking through your cookbooks for a good venison recipe.