View Full Version : Help educate newbies for the season.

Wild Bill Bucks
August 10, 2006, 02:49 PM
Probably most of you guys already know most of this, but I thought it was a pretty good article, on some do's and don'ts, for the new guys just starting out this year.

#1 Avoid washing your clothes in a detergant with brightners, as they will glow in the dark to a deer. (If you are not sure, spray them with a UV killer, and check them with a small Black Light) Avoid wearing blue clothing, as deer see this color best.
#2. If legal, wear Orange camo instead of solid Orange. (Breaks the pattern best)
#3. If camo orange is illegal, try to break up blocks that deer perceive as "pale gray" by sitting behind branches as much as possible.
#4. If you use cover and shadow intelligently, camo isn't necessary. Solid medium-intensity colors don't spook deer if you avoid direct sunlight.
#5 Hunt with the sun at your back, and the wind in your face when possible.
#6 All predators have eyes in the front of their head, and one thing that will almost certainly spook deer are two "Predator eyes" staring at them. Wear a brimmed hat to shade your eyes, and mask your face with small branches in front of you to break up your facial pattern. ( I don't hunt with a cap so I keep my head bowed down slightly, and look through the top of my eyes, to keep the whites hidden)
#7. If you are ground sitting, be aware of bright colored labels on the bottom of your boots. ( You can see a small bright spot a long ways in the woods)
#8. It is good to put as much cover between you and an animal as possible to break up your pattern, but be careful, not to get it in the way of raising your rifle to get a shot.
#9. Don't wait on a deer to get to close before raising your rifle. I try to get my rifle in a shooting position as quickly as possible, without putting myself in a strain if I have to hold it to long. (The closer a deer gets, the more chance he has of seeing any little movement you may have to make.)
# 10. The MOST important thing, is to remain as still as possible. ( Beware of nervous habits you may have, like chewing gum, or a nervous foot switch, while your sitting in your stand. The slightest movement can cost you a good deer, if he sees you make it.

Just some things I thought newbies might like to know, without getting into to much detail.

Any thoughts from the rest of you guys?

August 10, 2006, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the refresher WBB - good advice. I can vouch for deer being able to see "predator eyes". Even if you are perfectly still, if a deer looks right at your face at 35 yards or less, and stares for a couple seconds, it will be able to make your your eyes, and it will be gone, snorting the whole way to warn the others. Doh. I now wear those camo headnet doomaflatchies, and clip-on tinted lenses to the scrip glasses, even when rifle hunting. Previous to that, I only wore the full camo getup in archery season.

My biggest nemesis by far when hunting is face itchies. My skin gets drier in the winter, and I'm constantly having to sloooooowly move my hand to a spot on my face/neck/forehead/ears, scratch disreetly, then sloooowly move back down - anyone have advice on how to prevent this? I'm gonna try cutting down on caffiene intake to see if that helps, but I've got to have SOME caffeine or I'll fall asleep.

August 10, 2006, 06:44 PM
Yeah you dont want to fall out of the tree stand. That would suck. :eek: My wife has all that face moisturizing cream and I believe they have non scented stuff. You might want to try that sort of thing.

Wild Bill Bucks
September 1, 2006, 04:32 PM
OK, I'm going to have to post this. I just got back from a scouting trip this week-end with a couple of guys, who have just purchased a deer hunting lease. Neither one of them have done much hunting, so I agreed to go help them a little.

When we got there, I noticed a long, wide, freshly dozed area, about 300 yards long, that looked like it cut the middle of their property. I told them to walk down it, and keep a careful eye on the ground ,to see if they could find any tracks that would indicate where the deer may be crossing.

They left walking on both sides of the cut-out, and I proceeded to check out some smaller trails that I had seen.
After quite a little while, it became apparent, that there wasn't a lot of sign in the area I was looking at, and had just about decided that they had probably wasted their money. All of a sudden, one of them came back to me, and told me they had found a MONSTER trail, that was loaded with fresh deer tracks, crossing the cut-out.

I was pleased with this, because I really didn't want to dissapoint them, with the news that I hadn't found much sign. After following him for about 250 yards, we came upon the trail they had found, and they began to show me all the tracks they had found. They were really excited about it, right up till the time I had to tell them that all they had found were some HOG tracks.

Suggestion to newbies: Hog tracks to a novice, can look very simular to deer tracks. If you don't know the difference, then get on the net and look them up, so you will know what you are looking at. A hog track has a rounded front on the hoof, and will not leave the pointed characteristics of a deer track.

I told them not to be to dissapointed, because they could always hunt a hog, if nothing else. This lease was so barron of deer, I couldn't even find a track to show them the difference. I helped them put their feeder up, but I think they will just be watching hogs all season, unless something changes.:o

September 1, 2006, 06:35 PM
Bare hands stick out badly, too. I always try to wear some kind of glove while sitting in a stand, even if it's warm outside. I don't always wear camouflage, but I always cover my face and hands. They make gloves out of the same material that face masks are made from that aren't too hot to wear.

It's good to hunt with the sun at your back but it is important not to "skyline" yourself. The human silhouette is very distinct and movements will definitely be seen, even with the sun in their eyes. This is just as important while hunting in trees as it is sitting on a hill. I like to have cover behind me as well as in front of me, if possible.

Learning to sit absolutely still will do more to increase your success than anything else. When I was first getting into to hunting from trees, an older, successful hunter told me something that has always stuck with me. "When an owl is sitting in a tree, he doesn't move anything but his eyes."

Good Luck

September 2, 2006, 11:40 PM

I'd suggest you...moisturize. I'm not kidding. Any number of products (I suggest Olay - they make stuff for men) will help with the wintertime itchies. Beyond that, you just have to control the urge to scratch that invariably comes immediately after you realize how STILL you've been, and for how LONG. THAT happens to all of us. :D

September 3, 2006, 10:35 AM
Try Goldbond, First.

Hunting tips:

1. Noise and movement must be avoided. Get used to sitting motionless and not moving. Use cover like trees and bushes to break up your profile.

2. Pick a good spot, but not a perfect spot (which you'll never find). Try for a spot that you can watch a pretty good area, with some cover between you and the deer so that you can raise your rifle or change your position when they walk behind a tree/brush. Watch trails/paths and areas between dense brush; deer can be like humans, when they walk they like an easier path, too.

3. Once you have a spot, resist the temptation to move for a better view, etc. You'll just make noise and the new spot probably won't be much better.

4. Wait for a good shot. While they are standing still or barely moving. Moving shots are difficult, and running shots are worse. If you wound it you gotta track it, and gut shots are no fun when you cut it open.

5. Don't be surprised when a deer appears. It will often be like a ghost -- all of the sudden a deer (or two) will appear seemingly out of nowhere. If the deer is stopped and looking around, you'd better freeze like a statue. They will often twitch their tails right before they stop and look around.

6. Deer like to hang out together. If you see one, there is probably another one (or more) in the area. So if the first deer you see moves away or doesn't offer a good shot, wait (quiet and no movement, remember) for another to pop out of nowhere.

7. You don't need to spend a fortune for the best gear made. Just have good, warm, waterproof and breathable (gore tex) stuff that will keep you comfortable when it rains/snows. Get good boots and gloves.

Those are the best I can think of right now.

Wild Bill Bucks
September 3, 2006, 11:39 AM
Thanks for all the input guys, great advice.

I have two newbies, that are reading every word, like it was the gospel, so any advice you guys can give them will help. Sometimes grandpa's advice just sinks in deeper, when someone else says it. Thank again, keep it coming.:D

September 3, 2006, 11:55 AM
and the wind in your face when possible

Definately stay downwind.

Everything else is personal perogitive. #9 about the having gun shouldered is a bit ifffy. Having it shouldered for awhile tends to get a bit heavy (especially for those with heavy barreled setups with bipods and monster scopes hanging off).

I personally have been still hunting with no scent blocker wearing solid orange and old spice deodrant and had deer walk right past me to where I could have whacked them on the rump with my bow. As long as you stay still and down wind and don't stink too much you will be ok.

Newbies can do all the silly stuff, but scouting at all times of the day helps the most to be in the right place at the right time. last few times I have gone out was wearing blue jeans, normal work boots and a blaze orange hat and vest and because I had prescouted the areas I knew when the deer would be where I was and I bagged nice bucks each time at anywhere from 25 to 80 yds with rifle and blak powder.

Happy hunting.!!!

September 3, 2006, 04:21 PM
I'll be hunting with my Ruger Old Army. Anyone have any pet loads they know will be good for whitetail? It's also my first time so any advice will be helpful. I have a Hawken rifle also that I think I may bring along just in case I get the oppertunity for a long shot. I still have some recon work to do this month before the muzzleloader season begins. I'll be grateful if I bring back a deer..doesn't matter if its a Buck or not. Meat is meat.


September 3, 2006, 05:24 PM
I have to agree with most everything posted here. I think the 2 most important things are scent control and keeping still/quiet. I had a bird land on my arrow once, thats how still I try to stay. I wash my hunting clothes in baking soda and use Arm and Hammer baking soda deoderant (unscented). I also use scentless soap and shampoo and spray myself with earth scented cover scent. The way I see it there is dirt everywhere, but if you use apple, pine, animal scent....... you may spook deer. As much as deer love apples, there just isnt apple trees everywhere.
When it comes to your weapon, Hoppes #9 STINKS!!! lol I wipe my rifle/pistol down with scentless oil that I bought in a gun shop. It takes off the cleaning fluid but leaves a good coating of protection. I dont clean them until the season is over, just more scentless oil. I would think olive oil would work well also.
And the answer to the most asked question, "When is the best time to hunt?", EVERY CHANCE YOU GET! Dont listen to the tapes that say dont bother after 10am or before 2pm, or whatever times they say. A guy I used to hunt with would say, "the deer have to be somwhere all the time". Ive found the guys who get the most deer are the guys who spend the most time in the woods.
Ive taken most of my deer at less than 50 yards, some were less than 15 yards so whatever Im doing seems to work. I hope this helps and good luck to everyone this season.
Be safe and shoot straight,

September 4, 2006, 05:06 AM
FreedomFirst, Try Lanolin...It's sticky, but has no scent, & last forever. you find it in the nursing mothers area. Yup, that's right. It also makes good case lube:p

But seriously, the stuff works...

Wild Bill Bucks
September 4, 2006, 08:01 AM
Since deer hunting is only permitted during a certain time of year and only so many days, there is not such thing as a best time to hunt. It's like I tell my fishing buddies, You can't catch big fish, if your sitting at home.:D

September 4, 2006, 03:47 PM
Have fun and do not become dissappointed if you do not get a buck that first try.

Perserverence is the key.

Never give up. Learn from your mistakes.

Hunting is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If it is not you should lighten up a little. You surely will not go hungry if you do not kill a deer.

Snow falling on your face itches tremendously. Pain is easier to deal with than an itch. I recommend getting some hives or poison ivy rash to acclimate yourself to that itchy feeling:D

September 4, 2006, 08:53 PM
1) Read the Hunting Regs. for your state...ie. season dates and fireams and clothing rules... The Rules are sometimes odd.

2)Private Land or Public - try to scout out where you'll be hunting well before you go hunting... Get to know the land and talk to people who know the area...

3)Read about deer and their behavior...and match it to the land where you'll be hunting. When you scout the land - look for signs and form a strategy...

4)Leave a small footprint when you scout and hunt(make the scouting as fun/adventurous as the hunt itself - maybe even use a remote camera !)

5) COMFORT - Sitting or walking out in the cold woods is not any fun if you are too cold or too tired, hungry...it's not fun. The right clothes do make a difference. Gloves ! Beef Jerky ! A nice pipe with some sweet virginia tobacco! , )

6) Do you know how to clean a deer ? Where/how are you going to process it - haul it of the woods? Meat or Trophy?

7)Get a lot of practice at the range - and talk to people!

8) Knowing the area well...before you hunt it...will give you confidence ie.it will help you feel a lot more focused... Try to imagine where you are going to see the deer appear.

9)If every week-end between now and deer season - you scout the area and practice at the range...you'll be that much better...

10) GPS & Cell Phone !

11) Remember to listen to your wife and do what she tells you ! :rolleyes:

September 4, 2006, 09:02 PM
Odor is your worst enemy.You can make yourself be still and not make any noise.Hard to completely mask your odor to something that is at least a thousand times better at smelling than we are.But do the best you can.Scent blockers help.

September 5, 2006, 04:39 AM
youp wrote; "Pain is easier to deal with than an itch. I recommend getting some hives or poison ivy rash to acclimate yourself to that itchy feeling"

Cracks me up!

I double the idea to have fun. It is what hunting should always be. Just don't have fun at the expense of someone else's hunt.

Hives heh!

September 5, 2006, 08:45 AM
Any advice for those of us doing our hunting from the ground? What about hunting on the move? I've encountered many a deer while on the move and I usually saw them before they saw me.


September 5, 2006, 02:41 PM
Hey Laz, same thing to me, wind in your face and sun at your back if possible.
Move slowly cover to cover. A good still hunter told me to still hunt properly you should take a step no more than once every 20 seconds. Hard as heck for me to do, so I hunt in a blind or stand. Use the senses you were given and look and listen. Be prepared to make that shot every step. He also said to look for a piece of deer not just the whole deer. Look for an ear or antler or leg. Deer see movement so you need to see 3d in order to gain the advantage.
One more thing from my own personal experience. Pay attention to where you are going while you are being sneaky and stealth. Being quiet and slow still sux if you end up lost and have to find your way out. Hunting bedding areas is controversial at best. You will get mixed opinions about that.

September 5, 2006, 03:35 PM
Thanks for the advice Fox, sounded pretty good to me. I just want to be sure my Ruger will do the job. I can get around 1100 FPS out of it with Triple7, though I wonder if I can get those velocities with a 220gr conical? Either way I think I'll be alright. I just have to make sure I hit the mark, that's all.


September 5, 2006, 04:21 PM
Lazarus.Are you talking about a percussion pistol with a round ball?Don't know that that is such a good idea.The Hawken will work great.I assume it is 50 caliber.I killed my two largest bucks with a Thompson sidelock.They are slow twist and won't shoot straight with as much powder as the newer faster twist rifles but will shoot 60 or 70 grains OK.I killed both bucks with 60 grains of Pyrodex and a Hornady 250 grain XTP hollow point and sabot.Neither deer went over 60 yards.And it is about a 100 yard shot max. proposition.Good Luck

September 5, 2006, 07:07 PM
Yup, Ruger cap & ball over 35grs of Triple7 with a 220 grain conical bullet (not a round ball). I've heard of other hunters using this combo and having no trouble taking out a deer. under 50 yards it shouldn't be too much of a stretch. I do have a Hawken rifle and I may bring it along just in case I only get a longshot oppertunity. I was thinking 90 grains of black for the rifle...is that too much? I keep getting different opinions on how muck powder for the Hawken. A friend on the net uses 60 grains and that apparently works very well, and you stated the same thing so I guess I'll try 60grs.


September 5, 2006, 08:17 PM
I love to travel and hunt. Go slow and look alot. Most of the deer you will see will be already moving. It is difficult to consistently get a buck in his bed. Do not expect a standing broadside video shot. Some of the best still hunters I know shoot a very high percentage of deer high through the hips. Then you take off running at the deer to finish it off. If you still hunt you need to be familiar with your gun and load, whitetail anatomy, and not be afraid to shoot.

September 5, 2006, 09:28 PM
See what your rifle will shoot well.If you want to use pistol bullets with sabots,or Maxi-Balls,orPower Belt bullets,each may perform differently with a given charge.Your Hawken probably has a one in sixty twist and may not stabalize a bullet well with a heavy charge as it was originally designed for a round ball.Experiment and see what it will shoot well.What somebody else is using may not mean much.If it will shoot a four inch group at 100 yards ,I would consider that pretty good.

September 6, 2006, 01:39 AM
The conical is strictly for my Old Army. I have some 385gr Plainsmen HP bullets for the Hawken rifle. I'm going to try and get me a deer with my Old Army if possible, I think it'll do the job as long as shot placement is good. A 220 grain conical moving faster than 1000 FPS should take out a white-tail within 25-50 yards or so. You never know, I might be able to get in with a closer shot, say 10 yards maybe. If that is the case it's pretty much a definite kill. I've never even shot my Hawken yet. I'll be taking it out for a test drive sometime later on in the week. I'll try some offhand shooting at 50 yards to start, then move out to 100 yards after that...maybe even try for a little further out if all goes well at 100 yards.


September 17, 2006, 12:05 AM
There are a bunch of random tips, as well as articles, over at whitetails.com. Specifically, look here:


and here:


on the second one, starting clicking on each of the subcategories, from Antler Rattling down to Tracking.