As a deer hunting beginner, you will want to plan for your hunt about a year in advance. This will give you plenty of time to locate your hunting area, learn some woodcraft, get to know your weapon and learn how to deer hunt.
Step 1: Find a Place to Hunt
If you already live in the country and have your own piece of hunting land, then this will be an easy step for you If you don’t own any land, the second best thing is befriending someone who does.
If you have any farming friends or co-workers that have access to private land, you can probably talk them into letting you hunt on their property. It might take some work to wrangle access to private land, but learning how to hunt deer will be easier and probably more enjoyable on private land.
If access to private land eludes you, you can still find a good place to hunt by researching public hunting land. Call your local office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and let them know you’re a beginner looking for a good deer hunting areas in your county. They will let you know what public land is available and point you to the correct resources.
Step 2: Get some Good Maps
Go to your local outdoor store and get some topographic quadrangle maps of the areas you choose to hunt. Buy a compass and learn to use both of them. Don’t go very far into the woods until you are comfortable reading and using your map and compass.
When you feel ready, go scout the areas you plan to hunt. Scout during different seasons, wear blaze orange if hunting season is on. Mark any deer sign you find, water and food sources, and deer routes you notice on your map. Scout as often as you can, this will put you ahead of the crowd when your season rolls around.
Step 3: Decide on a Weapon
You need to decide whether you will be hunting with a rifle or a bow. In either case, you will need to visit a hunting outfitter or gun shop to be fitted for your weapon. Get to know it well and always follow safety procedures. Do not go into the woods with your weapon until you have mastered an adequate level of accuracy, for your sake and that of everything else in the forest.
You may want to purchase some camouflage clothing and comfortable boots. I would recommend a blaze orange based pattern, especially if you will be hunting public land.
Step 4: Get all Your Paperwork in Order
Take your hunter education class. Purchase your hunting license and tags. Learn the rules and regulations in your area and stay on the right side of the law.
Step 5: Go Hunting
As a beginner, the best strategy for you is to learn to sit quietly and observe. Set yourself up in a tree stand or on the ground with your back against a tree. Make sure the wind is in your face, and that you can oversee an promising area from your earlier scouting.
The more you learn, the more fun you have. Happy hunting!
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