If you want to be successful deer hunting, I believe that there are only three things that you need to do. Of course there are many things you can do and buy which will help you to be successful, but if you only do these three things well, then I believe that you can still do everything else wrong and still shoot a buck.
1. Find a Good Spot
This first thing you need to do is find some land where there are deer. If there are no deer where you are hunting it does not matter how good a hunter you are you cannot shoot what isn’t there.
A good spot can make a hunter more successful than anything else. If you are deer hunting where big bucks live you’ll only really need one to wonder by for you to get lucky.
The skill of a deer hunter may not be accurately judged by the number or size of bucks shot, because a good spot can overcome a lot of a hunters deficiencies. The skill of a hunter might be better judged by the frequency of his shooting the biggest deer in the area. In some places the biggest deer may only be considered medium sized in better spots.
Keep in mind, no matter how good the spot you will not get an opportunity every time, or even see a deer!
2. Hunt as Much as Possible
Once you’ve got hunting access on the best property you can get, the next “trick” is to hunt it as much as possible. Even if your location is great, and you are a world-class shooter you can’t shoot deer if you are not there to see them.
How many times have you missed a day, or slept in and then had your friends all shoot deer or catch fish while you stayed in? If you are like me, then once was too many. So go more often, and stay out longer than your friends and family and you will not miss out on an opportunity, and probably be more successful than they are.
This point, and having a good spot, are to what I attribute my success. I’ll compare my ability to stay on stand with anyone, wind, rain, sleet, snow, sub-zero temperatures… I have sat through it all and I have taken advantage of the opportunities presented to me.
I recently read a deer hunting article by, or about, a guy nicknamed: “Ironbutt.” He should be my new hero, yours too if you want to shoot deer.
3. Hit What You Aim At
If you’ve found your spot and you are there, then the only thing left is to shoot the deer. There is a lot less of a purpose in hunting if you can’t shoot the deer that you see.
A good, sighted in, weapon and practice are the tasks you need done in order to shoot the deer.
The more you practice shooting the better you should get at shooting antlered deer. Ideally you will be practicing from whatever position, elevation, climate, time of day, whichever clothes, etc. that you will be hunting. And at a deer sized target, from awkward positions, several hours each day, and …
The more the better, so shoot as much and as often as you can.
However, no matter how goo you are at hitting a target you will miss deer. The excitement of the hunt, and possibly, your inexperience will mean you don’t get every deer you see, but that is part of what adds to the excitement and challenge of deer hunting.
So, that’s all you need to to do in order to shoot and antlered deer. I believe that you can do everything else wrong and still have a chance to shoot a buck.
These three steps for deer hunting are the same three steps for many similar goals. For example my aunt has asked me to help her catch a 40″ muskie, I’ve caught quite a few. And as I was thinking about how to go about it I realized the most important thoughts on this task are: 1.) find a body of water with lots of 40″ muskies in it, 2.) fish there a lot, and 3.) be familiar with your equipment which is in good working order.