There are 30 Million White-tailed Deer in this country...
...but that doesn't mean that killing one of them is a cake walk. To celebrate North America's most popular game animal, here are some tips from the First Lite Pro Staff to help you fill your tag this season.
Knock on doors
For better or worse, the vast majority of whitetails harvested every year are killed on private lands. With today's burgeoning populations of deer many landowners are more than happy to have a few less on their property. It never hurts to ask.
Scout, Scout, Scout
Look for natural food sources, trails, scrapes and rubs. Set up cameras if you have access to them. Have several trees ready to go so that when the weather moves in or the rut begins you can take advantage of variable deer movement. Most of the work of harvesting whitetails occurs before the hunter ever climbs into the stand.
Work the military crest
Deer tend to walk the "military crest" or the top 2/3rd's elevation line in hill country on the leeward (downwind side) of a ridge, and then will often bed on the points of ridges with the wind at their back. This allows the daytime's rising thermals to create a scent zone that allows the deer to smell what is behind them and see what is in front of them. Knowing these lines and bedding spots, intercept them in the morning or evening.
Find him, don't push him
When it comes to hunting a mature buck, locating deer while also putting very little pressure on the area is key. Get to vantage points and glass bean fields from long distances, let trail cameras sit for 8-10 weeks without checking them, and treat your hunting land as a sanctuary.
Whitetails are very wary animals. Walking into the stand can alert them just enough to make them hunker down until dark. One technique is to have a buddy drive you in and drop you off, and drive away. The sound of the vehicle cruising away makes any bedded deer within hearing distance feel the danger has left.
That's all for now. From all of us here at FLHQ, best luck in the deer woods!