5 Basic Mistakes For New Hunters to Avoid

Any hunter is going to make mistakes regardless of the experience level. Even the most skilled hunters sometimes come across unfamiliar situations, in which the risk of making a mistake can be really high.

You can’t avoid mistakes completely. However, you could try to learn as many things as possible to lower their probability.

Today, we want to focus on newbies. In particular, we want to examine 5 basic mistakes for new hunters to avoid. And hopefully, this material gives you a good idea of what kind of mistakes you should avoid in general.


Wrong smells

You should know that animals can be very sensitive to smells. All the smells and odors that are regular for humans will be red flags for the prey.

The first thing that you should be doing to prevent weird smells is not to wear your hunting clothes for anything else than hunting. Don’t wear them when changing oil or when doing some DIY task. Your hunting clothes are only for hunting.

And besides, stay away from unnatural food smells. Opt for items like nuts, raisins, apples, and other foods that aren’t going to make your prey suspicious.

No smells are the best smells. However, achieving that is practically impossible, so you will have to carry those smells with you that will not alarm the deer or whatnot.

A very good option would be opting for scent control products that actually help attract prey. However, even after using scent control, you will still need to make sure that you aren’t carrying weird smells with you because your prey will most likely sense it.

Overdoing scent control isn’t a good thing as well. The animal will definitely realize that something’s wrong, and you will get a reverse effect. As it is with everything in life, use scent control very sparingly.

Lack of patience

It is very easy to watch your prey for several hours. But it definitely isn’t easy to wait for hours for your prey to show itself.

If you are too impatient and decide to move after half an hour of waiting in your spot, you will be just hurting your chances of a successful hunt. What do you think, would the animal like you moving around, spreading your scent everywhere, and crushing branches? You will just alert your prey of your presence if you are impatient.

Instead, why not sit in your spot for a couple of hours before the prey shows up? Unaware of your presence, it will be more confident when roaming around its territory. If the prey doesn’t feel secure, it won’t get out of its hiding spot. And good luck landing a kill then.

The opposite is also true. Having too much patience is a sign that you are doing something wrong. If you wait for your prey for a week and don’t catch even a glimpse of it, then you most likely made a mistake somewhere. Either you picked a wrong spot, or maybe you aren’t there at the right time.

And this brings us to our next point.

Neglecting scouting

This one is actually a mistake that even the most experienced hunters make. No matter how well you know your hunting plot, you need to do scouting before actually hunting. This especially applies to beginners because they have zero information about the prey in the hunting area.

Scouting is challenging. There is plenty of information to be gathered and a lot of time to be spent. Possibly, that’s why experienced hunters sometimes get cocky and neglect scouting. They may just get too lazy to do it.

There are many variables that you will need to determine before the hunt. You’ll have the best chance of gathering the important information if you go scouting a few weeks before the hunt. Heck, some people even recommend doing the scouting a few weeks after the hunting season.

At the basics, scouting serves the purpose of providing you with data on where the prey will likely be. To find this out, you should determine the food plots, trails, and bedding areas that the prey is using. You’d also need to find out when your prey is out of its shelter for you to land a kill.

And besides, you would need to find out whether there actually is deer or other animals in your property! Hunting grounds can change significantly from season to season, which is why scouting needs to be done by absolutely everyone before hunting.

Ignoring the wind

The wind is the greatest friend of your prey. It can sweep your scent right towards the animal, alerting it of your presence.

An experienced hunter will definitely know about the importance of wind and how to stay away from it. And beginners should be aware of these as well.

A simple thing you could do before the hunt is check the weather forecast. Knowing the wind direction, you would be able to pick a proper hiding spot so that the wind doesn’t deliver your scent to the prey. Weather forecasts can sometimes be inaccurate though, so you should also pay attention to how it actually goes on the site.

Because the direction the wind is going to blow in on the hunting day is unpredictable, you should have a couple of hiding spots to choose from. One spot may be perfect for one day and awful for the other, so you better have a couple of spare options for your hunting session.

Wrong expectations

As a beginner, you would certainly want to see results right on the very first hunting day. It would be so great if all your training and investment into gear paid off so quickly, wouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in real life. Even if it happened, it would most likely be mere luck.

Doing mistakes is completely okay even for experienced hunters. As a beginner, you will be doing mistakes, no matter how well-prepared you are. In a completely new environment, one wouldn’t be able to adapt quickly enough to have a successful first hunt.

The point is: don’t expect to land a kill on your first day. Nor the second and even the third. Be patient.

About Me


I am Morgan. I run RangeFindersAll.com where I talk about rangefinders (you kind of guessed that, right) and how it can be used for purposes related to hunting & sports. Feel free to reach out to me for anything related to rangefinders and I will be happy to help.