By Mark Huelsing
A quick internet search for “deer hunting tips” will yield about 3,760,000results in 0.37 seconds.
Think about that for a second. It is crazy. Right?
“Six ways to…”
“Four things you should…”
“Eight tactics for…”
Countless articles have been written to tell us, hunters, what we should and shouldn’t be doing at any given point of the season. I, for one, am grateful that we have so much information available to us. The fact that we have this material at our finger tips, via resources such as sites like this one, is a huge asset for the modern hunter.
The problem, most often, is not with the information that we are exposed to, but rather, what we do with it.
Here are three things that you should do to make the most of hunting tips, tactics, and trends…
1) Try It
I can’t tell you how many times I have read an article and thought to myself, “I definitely need to try that!”, but I do know that number is infinitely higher than the number of times that I have actually acted on the information I read.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
– (Arguably attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Many hunters know loads of facts and information, but far fewer have developed a true hunting knowledge. This knowledge, as defined in Webster’s dictionary as “the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience,” takes years to develop. I am doing my best to develop this knowledge, not because I read facts, but because I do my best to go to the next level and test them.
If you want to turn hunting tips into practical hunting knowledge, then you must be intentional about developing a plan to put these ideas into action. Personally, I keep a notebook of all of the tips, tactics, and things that I need to work on or try come hunting season.
2) Adapt It
The interest in, pursuit of, and information about whitetail deer never ceases to amaze me. Millions of men and women hunt this animal every year – from the swamps of Louisiana, to the suburban “backyards bucks” on the east coast, to the fruitful croplands of the Midwest, as well as the bitter cold forests of the north and even the mountainous regions of the West. In addition to the millions of hunters, there are thousands of hunting distinctives that vary from one deer camp to another, which make hunting whitetail mysterious and magical.
The one obvious fact that many of us fail to consistently comprehend when considering hunting tips is that what will work for one hunter may not work for another.
Hunting in southern Georgia is going to be different than my hunting here in Missouri, though there will be some similarities. Even hunting 50 miles north of my house is vastly different than hunting 50 miles to the south. The differences may appear to be slight at times, but the practical implications are often enormous.
As you consume information regarding whitetail hunting, you need to constantly ask yourself this one question…
“How can I best adapt this information to be most effective for when, where, and how I hunt?”
3) Forget It
The information that is meant to help us learn how to hunt deer more effectively can also be what keeps us from missing opportunities. Wild animals do wild things; sometimes we need to go with our gut, and not remain boxed in by the “rules” we have in our heads. Best practices are recommendations for what works best most of the time, but those practices should be challenged every so often.
In my opinion, there are very few absolutes in whitetail hunting. There are things, such as wind direction and scent control, which I think are critical to success all of the time, and in every location. But there are many other golden rules of deer hunting which are just begging to be broken, or at least tested. When all else fails, forget the clever tips you have learned and think outside the box.
Dedicated hunters are on a constant quest for more hunting tips, tactics, and trends, but remember – simply knowing these things means very little until we try them, test them, and prove them in our personal hunting experience.
Keep reading, watching, and listening. More importantly…keep trying, fumbling, doing.
– Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. If he is not bowhunting, then he is planning towards it, training for it, and writing about it at SoleAdventure.com