10 Essential Hunting Tips: Strategies

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Hunting is an incredibly fun and exhilarating sport, however, it can also be a very dangerous sport at the same time. That is why it is important to be familiar with and understand all the different strategies, rules, and safety measures. With the help of this Outdoor Life article, I would like to provide a running list of hunting tips so that we can all be better hunters. First, I would like to provide you with some key hunting strategies.

1) Go Slow, Have Patience

When still-hunting, most of us do not move slowly enough or stay in position long enough. Next outing, you should try using a watch as a guide. Decide on a period of time to stand still, such as 5-7 minutes. This way you will be forced to remain quiet and silent for this minimum amount of time. Having your eye on the clock will make sure you are not moving too quickly.

2) Stay Quiet

If you make a loud noise while you are outside, stop and stand there as long as you can if you suspect animals to be close by. A deer might stand a long time and stare in your direction, and if it sees you moving then it may run away. But if it doesn’t see or smell you, then it might go back to feeding or whatever else it was doing before it was disturbed. So when you accidently make a loud noise, stay put and wait it out.

3) Quick-Stepping For Deer

Deer are very good at detecting a human cadence as we talk through noisy leaves. Next time, try taking quick steps in a short sprint (10-20 yards), pause, and then do it again. If you can keep your footfalls as light as possible then you will likely sound much like a squirrel scrambling through the leaves instead of a human.

4) Design A Better Drive

All too often hunters will place standers in front of and alongside the area being driven. The problem is that deer will often wait for hunters to pass and then sneak back and run off in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is a good idea to position a stander in the rear where the drive originated to prevent the deer from sneaking away.

5) Judge the Quarry’s Place

You should always try to anticipate where the animal will be when you finish your stalk. Before you start, watch the quarry long enough to determine its direction and rate of travel if it is actively feeding or walking. You should then pick your destination accordingly.

6) Follow With Care

When you are tracking an animal, remember that the quarry will be alert to its back trail. A fresh track requires you to practically still-hunt, as opposed to merely following. This is especially true if the animal is not “lined out” but is taking bites of browse as it goes.

7) Clear Shooting Lanes

When you get into your tree stand, practice taking up shooting positions for all the directions where an animal may appear. After you have a good idea of your shooting lanes, try to remove any branches that are in the line of fire. You should then take up the position that requires the least amount of movement to turn in any direction to your desired shooting lanes.

8) Sweep Away Blind Clutter

If you are sitting in a ground blind or standing next to a tree, then you should sweep away leaves and brush with your boot so that the area is clean of forest debris. Clearing the area will help to eliminate unnecessary noise if you make a move when an animal is approaching.

9) Pick Better Landmarks

While you are stalking an animal, making a big circle and coming up behind it, it’s easy to become confused as you change your location. Pick a distinctive object on the skyline that you can recognize from the back, such as a tree, fence line, rock, or other landmark that you can use to help guide you to the correct spot.

10) Drive Solo

If you are hunting alone then you should try a one-man drive. Purposely walk into an area with the wind at your back. The goal is to stir deer up and get them moving. Once you have passed through, make a circle and do it again. This should be able to confused the deer as to your location. If this doesn’t work then you should take a position on the flank of the area you walked through and wait an hour or two.