Deer hunting is a great sport with an array of benefits, from population control to tasty venison to spending some peaceful time in nature. But if you’ve never hunted before, how do you begin? We have some tips for you.

Be Legal

Before you can start hunting, familiarize yourself with the laws in your area. Also, check with your local fishing and wildlife agency to learn when deer hunting season begins and ends. Remember, hunting seasons can be defined by weapon as well as animal. (Bows and specific guns have different seasons.)

Be sure you aren’t hunting on private land without permission. If you don’t own the land or know who does, there are many public hunting locations with an abundance of deer.

Know Your Weapon

Whether you’re hunting with a bow or firearm, you have to be familiar with your weapon. There is nothing more dangerous than a hunter who doesn’t know their weapon well. Visit a shooting range to become more familiar your weapon and work on your shooting accuracy.

Be Familiar with the Field

Your hunting grounds are just as important as your shooting accuracy. If you’re hunting on private land, spend some time before your chosen hunting seasons prepping the field. Many hunters swear by laying seed well before hunting season. The seed, once it grows, will attract deer to your field.

Knowing the distances you’ll be shooting from and understanding the area you will be hunting is crucial. Before you start, visit your hunting area and measure the distances from your stand or preferred spot. Depending on your hunting area, start your shooting practice at 50 and 100 yards and slowly move up to 200. Practice makes perfect. Remember, you won’t be trying to shoot an animal that is out of range; wait for it to come to you.

Dress Appropriately

Your hunting attire is crucial. Here are a few key elements to remember when dressing for the big day.

  • Depending on the season and weather in your area, it is always a good idea to dress in layers. It might be colder in the evening and morning, but warmer at midday.
  • If it’s cold, coveralls and heavy jackets are a must (like these).
  • Purchase quality, waterproof boots, like Carhartt’s high-quality hunting boots. If your feet are cold or wet, you will not enjoy the hunt. (more options)
  • If you’re hunting with a gun, be sure you wear enough orange. We recommend a vest that can easily go over a jacket or coveralls.
  • If you are hunting with a bow, be sure you are heavily concealed with camo.

Hide Your Scent

While you might not think about how you smell, the deer definitely will, and if they catch your drift, they won’t come near you. Consider using a scent neutralizer before entering your hunting area. Also, if the wind is blowing, be sure it’s hitting your face rather than your back. This will cause your scent to be carried behind you, concealing your actual location.

Understand Your Prey

Just as you need to understand your weapon and the area you will be hunting, you need to understand the deer. Scouting for deer is a great way to understand their patterns and behavior. You can become familiar with their movements and the times of day they are most active in your area.

Do you have any useful tips for beginner deer hunters? Share them with us in the comments.