Hunting: Simple Tricks That Can Make A Big Difference

Whether you are sitting in a tree stand, ground blind or walking fields on the hunt for wild game, there are some simple tricks that will help you to be more efficient and successful.  These are the things you "learned from your daddy" or maybe you're mama but they don't talk about readily in the magazines, on the hunting TV shows or in other forums.  These are the little things that you learn through experience and perhaps previous failures.  These are some of my favorite tips, in no particular order, that I like to share with my hunting friends and family.  I used most of these this past November during my Whitetail Deer hunt (on private land in an elevated stand) and they would apply to many other day-trip hunting scenarios.  



-Always site in your weapon prior to the hunt--you don't want to miss your chance at harvesting your animal or, worse yet, injure an animal because you didn't prepare properly.

Scent Slammer from GSM

Scent Slammer from GSM

-Check the regulations--these can change often and sometimes in big ways.  Make sure you understand the rules before you head out.  Hunt with the right ammunition, on the right days, at the right times, in the right areas and in the right ways. 

-Use scent free soaps/detergents on your hunting gear and yourself--I used the Scent Slammer by GSM Outdoors this year for the first time and was undetectable in my tree stand!  I hate doing extra laundry or hanging my gear outside, so this was perfect for me!

-Unwrap your snacks and treats and put them all in one bag for the day--you don't want to spook a deer because you're busy opening your Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers!

-Check your wind direction (especially if putting scent out)--don't send the deer to the neighbors because you put the scent on the wrong side of your deer stand.  This will also help you to place your ground blind or choose a stand that it's the right spot for that day's hunt.  

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-If you're sitting/walking in the open or you lack a roof on your shelter, make sure to leave your scope covered--I like to lean my gun in the corner of my stand with just the up-facing end of the scope covered.  This way it doesn't fill with snow or other condensation and I'm ready to use it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

-Listen to the other animals in the woods--if you are familiar with the area you're hunting you will learn the animals' habits (what time the Wild Turkeys come back to roost, what time the songbirds wake up, what time the geese let off the nearby pond).  You can use this to your advantage.  When another animal is unexpectedly in the area, the birds may quiet, the squirrels may erupt with noise, the turkeys may run when they normally walk.  This can alert you to an approaching animal and potentially put you a step ahead in the hunting process.  Get ready, watch and wait.

-Bring a length of thin rope with you (about 4-5 ft is plenty)--you can use this to secure a deer's legs while field dressing the animal if you're alone.  You can also use this to help drag your harvested game back to a loading point. 

-Bring along a zip tie, duct tape, string or wire to secure any required tags to your harvested animal.

-Make sure you have the tools you need--whether that's specific game calls, skinning/field dressing knives, gambrels or shooting sticks; make sure you have it with you and ready for use.

-Bring water, snacks and basic emergency supplies--although you may plan on only a day hunt, be prepared to hunker down in the woods if needed.  You never know when the weather might change, you might be injured or some other unforeseen emergency comes up.

-Make sure your cell phone is charged & bring an extra charging bank if possible--for emergency calls, digital compass use, map apps, flashlight capabilities, and of course photos after the successful hunt.

-At first light and dusk use your optics to search for game--the lenses in your rifle scope or your binoculars are meant to pull in the maximum amount of light and will help you see the things your eyes cannot see in limited light conditions.

-Pick the right chair--a swivel chair works best for range of motion and it is the quietest.  Test them out at home before committing to one in the woods.

-Learn to look with your eyes first--as with many game animals, deer will see you before you even know they're there at times.  When you hear a stick snap, learn to look out of the corner of your eye and slowly turn your head versus snapping your head to face the direction of the noise.  The rapid head movement and exposure of your face will easily spook anything looking your way.  (This takes practice but is especially useful when duck hunting at dawn!)

-Let someone know where and when you're hunting--Especially if you're hunting alone or without cell service, make sure someone knows the general area and times you'll be hunting.  If you don't return as expected, they will know something is wrong and can send for help.

-Scout the area you're hunting--make sure you have proper permissions, know where other hunters might be, and know which directions may not be safe or legal to shoot.  Also know where the water sources are in the area, where any food plots or farming areas are that animals feed at during the day, and know how to get back out of the woods safely.  Bring a flashlight and it's a good idea to mark your trail with ribbons or reflectors if it's an unfamiliar area.

-Most importantly, HAVE FUN!  You're not always going to bag a monster buck.  Be proud of whatever you successfully harvest and don't EVER apologize for it!  Remember, even on the hunts where you don't fill your tag or your freezer, it's about the experience, about being in the woods and enjoying the great outdoors and everything mother nature has to offer!  

Be safe and happy hunting my friends!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Hokuf

ReelCamo Girl Pro Staff

Extreme Huntress 2019 Semi-finalist

Connect with her on Instagram! 

Instagram: thokuf

 

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