Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Top 5 mistakes Deer Hunters Make


As deer hunters we all know it when it happens, the moment we realize that we just blew it. When the buck we’ve been chasing is alerted to our presence and blows out of the area, often for the rest of the season. We have all done them, I know I have done my share. Here are the top five mistakes deer hunters make when chasing trophy bucks.

  1. Ignoring the wind. I have known far too many hunters who get up to go hunting and decide before they ever leave the house which stand they are going to hunt. Perhaps its their favorite stand. Or it’s the one they got the ‘big one’ out of last year. Its in the old acorn grove and the acorns are dropping like crazy. They go in and hunt and hope that they will see the buck of a lifetime and never pay a bit of attention to the wind.

Trophy hunters know that in order to kill big bucks they have to get in and never let him or any other deer know they are there. Big buck hunters always let the wind dictate where they hunt. For example; at a piece of property I hunt we have a list of stands with the optimal winds. We never allow anyone to hunt a stand with marginal winds. If the wind isn’t perfect, we do not hunt it no matter how bad we may want to hunt it. By allowing the wind to decide where we hunt, we never second guess if we are in the best spot. We know we have given ourselves the best possible chance by not alerting anything to our presence.

  1. Getting down to early – or getting in too late: I cannot over-emphasize this enough. I have seen it over and over again, especially in the later parts of the season. Hunters get into their stands well before daylight and by 9:00 or 9:30 a.m. they are heading to their trucks and getting something to eat. Hunters who stay longer can and will kill more bucks than those who get down to hang out at camp. An old philosophy I adopted long ago was simply; “if I’m just going to sit around camp and wait to go back in the afternoon, I might as well stay in the tree.” While it may seem simple, many just don’t have the patience to sit for hours and wait for a big buck to show. Getting down and pouting back at camp about not seeing anything. While many of my tags have been between 11:00 and 2:00. Sure its difficult to sit there that long, but if all of the preseason work has been done, then I have confidence in my stand choice and I know that if I am just patient enough, I will have the chance I’ve been waiting for.

The same is true for afternoon hunts. Many will wait until the last hour before getting into their stand and only hunting the harvest hour. One particular event taught me to get there early. A few years ago, a friend was hunting with me, and I had to take him to his stand, so we left early, so I could get him to his stand and I could get to the other side of the property and get set up. I crawled into my stand at 3:00 p.m. with sunset at 7:30, while setting up in my ground blind, I had been there no longer than two minutes, a buck stepped into the lane, I was fortunate enough to get him. Had I been five minutes later, I never would have seen him. No other deer were seen that day. Getting there early paid off.

  1. Not sighting in your gun before season: Hunters get complacent we gain confidence in our favorite guns, and from year to year, never check our guns for accuracy. Between seasons, with the cost of ammunition and perhaps access to firing ranges, it’s a lot of trouble to go sight in our guns. I too have fallen victim to this, but not again. Just this year, a giant buck appeared at one of my stands at approximately 210 yards. A chip shot normally. As the buck stood there broadside, I placed the crosshairs on his shoulder and fired. The buck stood there, I was a bit shocked at first – I reloaded and fired again, and again. I missed that buck three times. Before he got wise and ran off. Later I checked the gun at the range and found it was shooting seven inches to the right! I have no idea when it happened or how, but sometime between last season and this, my scope was knocked out of alignment.  –You can bet I will never again begin a season and not check my guns for accuracy. The shot of a lifetime only comes around once for most of us, we don’t want complacency keep us from that trophy we have worked so hard for.
  2. Hunting the same stands too much: We all have our favorite stands for a variety of reasons. We love the location, the food is plentiful, we always see deer there. You name it and we can justify a reason to ‘over-hunt’ the favorite stand. While we are usually cautious, still we can quickly educate every deer on the property to avoid the ‘oak stand’ because we have left scent trails to it and from it for weeks. Not hunting the favorite stand is difficult, but often it makes the favorite stand more productive.
  3. Becoming Complacent:  If you have hunted the same property for some time, its easy to get complacent. We stop scouting aggressively, we stop learning the land and the animals that live there. We trim shooting lanes and go hunting. Many times this can lead to a lot of frustration and a lot of empty tags. Regardless of the size of your property, there is always more to learn. Case in point; my property I have hunted for over a decade, on a recent scouting trip, I realized that one of my favorite stands was in the wrong place, by moving it a mere 75 yards, I am seeing more deer, and better deer than where it was before. Not being complacent allows for the excitement to stay, and the knowledge to grow. The more we learn about our property, the more successful we can be and keep the thrill alive.

While I know there are many other mistakes we deer hunters make, and some of these may seem elementary to many of you. Keeping these in the forefront of your mind will help to prevent you from repeating them in the future.