View Full Version : Deer hunting question

November 21, 2002, 06:25 PM
hey yal, i'm from over here in ohio, and i'm looking for a little advice on the best way to hunt whitetail deer. is it all important to have a stand, or can i sit on the ground and wait for em? camo? how bout that scent loc and all that stuff, seems a bit excessive to me, but i've never done this so i don't know. just curious really, i've always hunted dove and varmit, but i've never tried deer hunting and i figured i might. any help would be great, thanks- bigjake

Art Eatman
November 21, 2002, 07:06 PM
Deer don't see colors; everything is a shade of gray. So, any dull-colored clothing. White is a danger sign for deer...

Like varmint hunting, wind direction is important. Set up where you're looking cross-wind or upwind into the most likely area or direction. Before hunting, some scouting is in order, to look for tracks, scrapes on the ground or rubs on trees.

A key is not moving. Just on the ground it's difficult to sit and not get uncomfortable. A low folding stool, with a back-support is not a bad thing.

Up in a stand, vision can be better and quiet movements are hidden. Stands are of course a hassle.

Most folks who sit and hunt get in position before "Ol' Rosie" (dawn) shows to the east. Generally, most deer movement ends an hour or two after daylight. Now, sometimes Ol' Bucky will get up between 11AM and 1PM, to pee and stretch his legs and look around for some Sweet Thang.

Evening, most folks get on stand by around 4PM or so, and wait until it's too dark to see the sights. Typical legal hunting ends "one-half hour after sundown"; "sundown" is shown by almanac or weather service...


November 21, 2002, 07:06 PM
stands are fine, but i usually just find a nice tree to sit up against. you need to do some scouting in the area that you're hunting during the off season and look for deer trails and movement patterns. find the routes that deer use the most and hunt overlooking those areas. camo is not really necessary since deer are colorbind. in all actuality, you could hunt in a clown suit if you wanted. the most important thing is to be quiet, still and scentless. if a deer sees you move or smells you, it's over. likewise, if you make too much noise, they won't come anywhere near you.

November 21, 2002, 07:14 PM
books have been written on how to hunt deer...but, fwiw:

camo and scent lok have not been tested extensively by me, but enough to know that they really aren't necessary.

sitting on the ground and waiting is a fine tactic, but you can't just plop down anywhere and expect them to come to you in droves... i like to sit on the ground on a high-spot or flat area that affords me a view of a trail.

remember, deer spot more hunters because of movement. if you can be very close to perfectly still, and you are in a good spot, you'll have deer walk right up to you. move once at the absolute worst time, and you've blown that day's hunt.

also, where you plan on hunting, what does the terrain look like? how about any crops that might be in the field? any other characteristics (rivers, etc)?

so how about you? have you done any homework? do you know that there are deer there in suffecient numbers that you will at least see deer (if you are at least seeing deer, it is much more fun to hunt)? do you know any trails?

best of luck to you. be very still, keep the wind in your face and the sun at your back (if possible) and have some fun.

November 21, 2002, 07:48 PM
Last weekend, sitting with my back to a tree, facing upwind, and where does the deer come from ... ? ... behind me. (Mr Murphy was also a deer hunter)

Little doe walks right by, but I could hear something bigger right behind the tree. Doe is looking behind me, not at me. So I sit still, hoping for the best.

No luck, both finally take off in opposite directions. Later I look and the other deer's tracks come up to about 15 feet from the tree.

Still a heck of a lot of fun ...

November 21, 2002, 08:36 PM
Awesome, thanks for all the help guys, mostly i'm just looking for the basics common to deer hunting. i'll be hunting our family farm, which i've grown up on, so i'm very familure with the lay of the land and such, i see deer plenty during the year too, we got a couple real big ones i think. you guys basicly answered most of my questions, i plan to go out with my 12 ga & carhartts and wait by a scrape. my only other real question is about calls, do i need one?, or can i get by by just sitting still and waiting?

November 21, 2002, 09:43 PM
calls can be very effective...if used right, and at the right time. here (s.d.), the rut has been in full swing for over a week. i expect most of the activity will die down substantially by the weekend...which means if i hunt scrapes, it will likely be unproductive. smaller bucks will still frequent those trails, but the monsters won't. also, calling will be largely unproductive, except does will still respond to bleats.

how does this translate to ohio? not well, really. just an example. if the deer are rutting hard in ohio, a buck grunt might be just the ticket. rattling has proven very ineffective here, but that is because the buck/doe ratio is so poor (you may well do fine w/ antlers).

since you're hunting (family) farmland, you are way ahead. were it me (and i'll be hunting family farmland on sat. am), i'd plant my heinie in a spot where i can see deer as they head to/from feeding/bedding areas. watch a trail that runs into a cornfield or slough. since it is private land and not subject to intense pressure, feel free to get up around 10:30 - 11:00 and try still hunting through corn...look fencerows over carefully...then back to your spot to set the sun...

as for your shotgun, i hope you'll be using slugs (not buckshot).

hope you tip over a good 'un!

November 25, 2002, 07:53 PM
I like to were camo pants and a nice warm pair of boots. Keeping feet warm is a must for a fun hunt. I also were a blaze orange camo jacket. I don't want to be one big solid block if a deer see's me but I also prefer not to get shot. I bet it would ruin the day big time:D And a Camo hat or face mask depending on the weather conditions.

I have had deer stand within 10 feet of me while I smoked a cig. And my father has taken deer while smoking. I believe smell can and does give you away but it depends on the wind. Cover sents and such can't hurt. But don't break the bank on them IMHO. Oh yea on tip whatever you do don't put buck or doe in heat urine on your person:D

As far as hunting on the ground or in a tree stand it all depends on you and the terrain. If you can get a good view from the ground then great if not a tree stand might be in order. Just make sure your comfortable seeing you might be there for a while.

November 27, 2002, 12:19 PM
Scent blocker is a longstanding joke w/ my hunting buddies. I use it, I think it helps to reduce human scent.

My buddy simply walks in cow manure. ( I like the scent blocker fo my sake!)

EIther way you need to try to mask your scent. Mr. Whitetail's sniffer is his best defense.

Check your local regs on camo. In Pa, camo is limited to archery. During the rifle season blaze orange must be worn on the head and torso.

Tree stands are good because they help break-up your outline, get your scent off the ground, provide a good back-stop for your bullet (i.e. shooting into the ground.

Good hunting. I can't wait for MONDAY!!!!!!!!

December 28, 2004, 11:50 AM
h.s. scents has a product that is called "earth scent". I swear by it. Being a bow hunter, to me if I had to pick one thing that is most important it would be to remain scent free. I wash my clothes in baking soda and store then in a heavy duty plastic bag with one of the scent " wafers"(above).Since I have done this I have never been scented out!!! I thought about the new scentlock products but why change when this technique has been working for me for years. Hope this advise will work for you!!!

December 28, 2004, 01:22 PM
Where are you, that HS "Fresh Earth" works for you?

Long Path
December 28, 2004, 02:25 PM
I used scent one time, and have to admit that it was impressive in the results. The buck stormed toward me upwind toward that doe in estrus urine that I had put on a paper towel around a chemical handwarmer. I dropped hammer on an empty chamber twice before finally shooting him as he kept coming closer. Nice buck.

December 28, 2004, 07:58 PM
I agree with Art and Peetmoss and others that wind direction is important. But I've about decided that Pine Sol works just about as good as anything for a cover scent for the iffy moments when the wind is wrong.

But I think the most important thing is to walk slowly. (I've jumped deer at my side door and last week Little Meek jumped one ten feet from the house as it was eating what was left of Mrs. Meek's sweet basil.) So it is important to be very slow and deliberate so that you don't just walk past the deer which are hiding in the bushes.

Does have pretty predictable habits, so once you know where one is hiding you can sneak up and watch her day after day. I've got a couple that I have been checking on in the afternoons much of this winter waiting for Bambi's Dad to come visiting. I shoot mostly does nowadays, leaving the little bucks to grow up. I think that one of the rules for hunting should be to harvest one or more mature does for each buck you shoot, so as to reduce overpopulation. There are too many deer in the South nowadays; 'way too many people killed hitting them in their cars, so it is a matter of good planning to shoot does.

Added Thursday night: Spent the afternoon watching some does in the pasture. This was from a fixed stand, though one can do the same behind hay bales or sitting in a stump hole in the woods near a deer trail. The problem is to decide which is better, to go ahead and fill the freezer or to wait for a big buck. :confused:

January 12, 2005, 08:52 PM
Glad to have another deer hunter...and that you ask for a few ideas shows your a true sportsman. Seems to me a lot of folks try to get into it with out asking any questions or doing any research before opening day. Well, I as most all these folks can give some ideas and the rest is up to you to try and sort out.... I still am after a lot of Novembers have come and gone.

My biggest bucks taken were hunted on the ground.... I do like to get up in a tree with the bow but that is sort of a different kind of close and personal thing and I guess a whole different chapter. I feel weather and wind give the deer his operating directions constantly... So I try when sitting to keep the wind in my face....seems to be SW and W here up in Michigan. This as everthing isn't in stone. I was surprised when a neighbor of mine was hunting the day after Thanksgiving in a darn near down pour rain.... He got the biggest buck of his life (65 years) that day. 10 point - 200 pound whitetail. So when others stay in or pass the chance cause of weather I think it pays to go hunt. Wear some high visability orange hat or vest.... most states require you to. I want to be seen by other hunters.... and I hope I see them too? I think foot odor and clothing odor can be important so air your gear out the night before.... dont smoke in your hunting gear... The deer has a nose and eyes that keep him alive so he knows how to use them.
I try to think of the woods or hunt location as a big house....that the deer live in ..... so don't make radical furniture adjustments cause I think they are smart and know something isn't right..... One last thought is when your stomach growls for lunch try to stay hunting....the other hungry hunters will move around and cause the deer to move.... maybe right to your shooting lane....? I made the mistake a few years ago.........and a dandy buck was harvested in the exact spot I was at just 20 minutes prior.... Well, I hope you had and continue to have great moments in the deer woods....... Enjoy the time out there....... I always do....... and now I take my son and soon my 2 girls out......... it just makes the hunt ten times greater..... :D

January 13, 2005, 07:27 PM
i havent hunted many white tails but i would recommend a scent blocker or cover scent of some sort. camo is good if its legal and i would reccomend a head cover of some sort and baggy clothes that dont move much and are quiet. if you are in the bush id reccomend a short fast handling gun with iron sights (.30-30 winchester model 94) or something like it a tree stand would give you a better vantage point. and dont forget to get out a few times before the season to find your deer and know their patterns