Deer Hunting tips, the best deer hunting
guide for gun and bow hunters
For details on Deer Calling, Deer Decoys and Deer Rattling go lower on this page.
1. Don't leave before the legal shooting time is over. Probably the best
time of the day to kill a buck is the last minute of shooting light. Don't leave your
stand like me and most hunters tend to do, 10 minutes to early.
2. Check your equipment when you get in the stand not when a buck walks out.
Is your scope clear, will your bow draw back properly, shell in the chamber, etc. etc.
3. If you are going to hunt a large field or food plot hunt it in the
4. Deer love heavy cover. Try clearing a path through the cover that would
be beneficial to the deer. A deer usually would prefer the easy route. Once the path is
established hunt over the path in a tree stand.
5. If you don't have any faith in a deer call, afraid of scaring deer away,
only use it after you see a deer that you are not going to shoot! You will get to see that
it doesn't scare them and get to see their reactions. Make sure to use the appropriate
call though are you might confirm to yourself that they don't work.
6. So here is my Number 1 best tip. Guarantted way to increase
your luck. Hunt more! Sounds dumb but its the truth. You say you hunt every chance you get
when you don't have to work!!! We'll that may be true but how much of that time is spent
at the camp? Why not spend the middle part of the day in the woods? Staying in bed due to
bad weather! Not a good excuse! Remember deer are killed every single day of the deer
season. My biggest buck was killed in the middle of the day. The largest bodied deer was
killed in between rain showers(I had a poncho). You can scoff and say this is not a real
hunting tip but I promise you one thing, if you were to live by this one rule it will
increase your kill opportunities more than any other tip you find ANYWHERE!
7. When hunting a new area it pays in the long run to hunt a new stand each
day for awhile. This is the fastest way to learn the deer movement patterns.
8. If you shoot a deer and you jump it up a short distance from where you
shot it then back off and give it time to die, wait overnight if it was shot in the
9. For bow hunting it amazes me that people will spend untold hours shooting
their bows from the ground and then hunt from a tree. I shoot exclusively from a tree
stand when its within a month of bow season.
10. Why so many pins. I only use one pin. I find it easier to aim high or
low on the deer than to try to remember to use a certain one when the big one walks out.
Determining what deer call to use is not a matter of which rut phase you are hunting,
but which sex and age class of deer you want to attract. Does respond to distress calls
and Maternal/Neonatal calls primarily out of maternal instinct. All bucks respond to any
call, which may lead them to an estrus doe; particularly a Social Grunt or a Low Grunt.
Dominant bucks also respond to Mating calls and aggressive grunts out of the desire to
exert dominance. Subdominant bucks may respond to these Mating calls during the breeding
phase, but they may not respond because they are afraid of encountering a dominant. If you
are hunting for any legal buck it may best not to use mating calls or aggressive grunts.
There are four basic techniques for calling deer that can be used anytime during the
rut. The fourth technique is not as effective during the Rest Phase and Post Rut because
the bucks are exhausted, not as aggressive, and not as interested in breeding.
1. For does and young bucks; Distress Call or Fawn Bawl.
2. For any deer; Social or Low Grunt.
3. For all bucks; Social/Low/Tending Grunt.
4. For dominant bucks; Social/Low/Tending Grunt or Grunt Snort.
1. Rattling for deer is most effective in areas with high buck to doe ratios. It is
also effective in areas with high numbers of older/dominant bucks; in limited habitat such
as urban areas; in the marginal habitat of prairie river bottoms; and on property managed
for trophy quality.
2. Bucks respond to rattling out of curiosity and dominance; they want to find out
which bucks are fighting, and if there is an estrus doe with them. Rattle near areas bucks
regularly use; buck feeding/sparring areas, buck bedrooms, doe feeding and staging areas,
and dominance areas of rubs and scrapes.
3. Rattling works any time during the rut, but works best during the peak of the rut,
when bucks are most aggressive.
4. Rattling works best in the morning when bucks are still searching for does or
heading for core areas, and is less effective during midday when bucks are bedded. Older
dominant bucks may respond best in the evening.
5. Rattling, like calling and using scents, works best when Security Factors are high.
Deer prefer to move during low light conditions, when there are low wind speeds, and when
few hunters are afield.
6. Bucks that respond to rattling are intent on discovering the source, which leaves
you vulnerable to discovery. Take precautions to conceal or disguise unnatural sights,
scents, sounds and you from the deer.
7. Rattling is most effective where you have a chance of seeing the buck before it
discovers you. Use treestands in dense or brushy habitat. Natural cover or blinds can be
used to conceal you and your movements in open country.
8. Wary bucks responding to rattling or calls generally approach from downwind. Use
buck in rut, tarsal, forehead, doe urine or estrus scents to add realism and bring bucks
into range after being attracted by rattling and calls.
9. Hang a second set of antlers from your tree stand. When bucks get close these
antlers can be jerked and rattled, keeping movement to a minimum and away from you.
10. Thrashing brush and rubbing trees near buck high use areas also attracts bucks,
especially mule deer that express dominance by thrashing.
11. Rustling leaves and pounding the ground with a stick or rattling racks, and
grunting and blowing add realism to the sound of rattling and thrashing.
12. Larger antlers and some imitation racks work best because their sound carries
farther. Be sure to use racks with a neutral color so they aren't easily detected by the
13. If bucks are not nearby the initial contact of the antlers should be loud to get
their attention. When bucks are nearby rattle softer.
14. When you rattle loudly bring the racks together with a crash, then roll your wrists
and grind the racks together, simulating two bucks pushing and shoving each other for 1-3
minutes. Then stop and listen for a buck's approach for 3-5 minutes before beginning
15. If a buck shows up, but won't come into range, rattle softly while it can't see
you, or use a grunt call to coax it into range.
16. If the buck starts to leave before you get a shot, or won't hold still, use a grunt
call to stop it.
17. If you don't get a response when you rattle, wait a half hour and try again, then
move a 1/4-1/2 mile away and try again.
18. Before leaving the stand site check the area thoroughly, especially if you have
been watching a deer. More than one buck may have responded and be nearby.
19. A buck or doe decoy added to rattling, calls and scents provides the final visual
stimulus to bring in reluctant bucks and distract their attention from your position.
20. Patience is an asset in rattling. Bucks may respond from as far as 1/2 mile in calm
weather in open country, and may take up to a half hour to come in. Rattle every 10-15
minutes to keep the /buck interested.
21. During the pre-rut use long, loud rattling sequences to attract wide ranging bucks.
22. During peak rut, when the bucks are most active, use short, loud rattling
sequences. Long rattling sequences make you prone to discovery.
23. During post-rut use quiet, long rattling sequences. Bucks are not as aggressive
after the rut and don't travel as much, give them time to respond.
24. Don't try to rattle the same buck from the same site on successive days. If the
buck comes in and you don't get a shot wait a couple of days before rattling from that
25. Try not to rattle to the same buck more than three times if it doesn't see a decoy
or a deer when it comes in. If bucks don't see a deer when they respond to rattling they
learn that something is wrong.
Where and how you place your deer decoy may determine how successful you are, and which
sex and size deer respond to the decoy.
1. For safety use a decoy with blaze orange, hang fluorescent tape nearby, or hunt from
an elevated stand.
2. Don't get human or unnatural scent on the decoy. Use gloves when carrying and
positioning the decoy, then spray it with deer scent or cover-up.
3. Place the decoy in a high use area; near trails, rubs, scrapes, bedding, staging or
feeding areas with nearby cover.
4. Don't place bedded decoys directly on trails. Deer don't usually bed on trails.
5. Place decoys upwind of where you expect the deer to appear. Bucks like to approach
downwind from cover if they can.
6. Place decoys within your personal shooting distance in a clear shooting lane.
7. Place a doe decoy with its rump toward you. Bucks often approach does from the rear
or side, presenting you with a shot.
8. Place a buck decoy with its head toward.you for a shot. Bucks generally approach
another buck cautiously from the front.
9. Don't place the decoy in a direct line between you and where you expect the deer to
come from, the deer may see you. Place the decoy off to one side of your stand to distract
the deer's attention from your position.
10. To get the buck's attention on the decoy, tape a small piece of white plastic to
the tail area, so that it can blow in the wind, or use one of the new tail motion decoys.
11. To keep the buck's attention focused on the decoy place a few drops of deer urine
on it, doe in estrous for doe decoys, buck in rut for buck decoys.
12. Use buck or doe scents, and calling or rattling to create the illusion of another
deer in the area, and to initially attract bucks to the decoy.