• Hunt the Wild

8 Reasons Why Deer Hunters Are Unsuccessful

Myself with a doe I took during the 2013 bow season in Southern Indiana. I was hunting public land where no one else was willing to walk to. It paid off!

Hello everyone and welcome to my next blog post. Deer season is getting close which leads us to another whitetail deer hunting post. September is the reduction zone bow season opener for myself here in Southern Indiana and I couldn’t be more excited! Today I want to discuss eight reasons (10 is overrated) why I think many deer hunters are unsuccessful. I look forward to hearing your comments! Enjoy!

1. Failure to prepare

I’ve listed this for number one because I feel like it’s an overview for the whole blog discussion. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Did I mention prepare? For some, deer season starts two days before the shotgun or rifle opener but diehards have been at it since the day after the season closed last year. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Believe me, it shows.

2. Laziness

If you do much deer hunting, then I bet you know a guy like this. Hell, you might even be him! He doesn’t scout out property and hangs his stand in a tree that is easy to get to. He hunts 50 yards from someone else on public land and has no courtesy for anyone else in the game. He doesn’t utilize cover scent, buys a new bow the day before the season opener, and drives his truck 25 yards from where he’s hunting. Guys like this don’t get on deer consistently and in the rare event that they do, it sheer luck. Don’t be that guy.

3. Permissions/Access

One of the many pieces of the puzzle and an extremely important one to say the least. You can’t hunt without permission on private property. Get out there and start knocking on doors, trading work for hunting access, or calling up your long-lost cousin and playing the family card. Your options are as limited as you are. This should be an all year project and shouldn’t start a few weeks before season becomes in. Without a place to hunt you’re essentially dead in the water. Don’t overlook public land either!

4. Reputation

Turn of the tv and throw away those hunting magazines. Majority of the deer plastered on those things are photoshopped anyways. Forget what your buddy is doing and forget what your sister’s boyfriend’s uncle’s cousin thinks. Hunt for yourself and forget about public perception when it comes to rack size. If it legal and your comfortable with it, that’s all that matters. Passing on a ton of deer will often leave you empty handed. I once heard “Never pass on something the first day of season that you would be ecstatic to have on the last day of season.”

5. Attention to Detail

I have seen more people fail at deer hunting because of this and I’m certainly not exempt. You rush into a new property without scouting and set up on the first piece of sign that you come across. You play on your phone when the action gets slow and you miss a shot opportunity on a buck that gracefully slips past you as your scrolling the feed on Facebook. You pay no mind to the abundance of other animals in the woods, which often serves as a warning of deer in the nearby vicinity. Keep your eyes and ears finely tuned because the one time you don’t, the opportunity will present itself.

6. Impatient

A big contributor to the unsuccess of many deer hunters. I’ve always heard “You can’t kill them from the couch” and it couldn’t more true. Get in the woods, sit down and relax. When it’s your time, it will happen. A huge percent of deer hunters fail because they are impatient not because they are bad woodsman/woodswomen. Everyone gets a little antsy in the stand sometimes, but it’s the ones that control it that bring dinner home.

7. Hunting good spots and bad spots

You can’t kill deer if the deer simply are not there. Once you get a permission or decide to hunt a new tract of public land, make sure you do your homework. Use topo maps and google earth before ever putting boots on the ground to start scouting. Talk with neighbors living around the property to help get an edge on how the deer are feeding and traveling. Many hunters are limited on the amount of days they get to spend in the woods, so the best utilization of time is a must. Failure to do so may result in an unsuccessful season.

8. Learning from mistakes

You can learn a lot in the woods just from making mistakes. The next time you make a bad shot, spook game or wake up too late to make it to the woods, take it as lesson in deer hunting 101. Look at what you did wrong, analyze how to fix it and then adjust your habits to become a better deer hunter. The deer hunter that dwells on mistakes and doesn’t use them as a learning tool will come home empty handed often. Sometimes so much that he/she gives up deer hunting completely.



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