3 Keys to Deer Hunting
(When these 3 keys come together you will be 100% successful)
#1) 30 % is Opportunity, you could be the very best prepared hunter in the world or an Olympic skilled shooter, but if you never get a chance or opportunity to take a shot on a deer you will never be successful at harvesting one. It’s about location and timing. If you are in the right place at the right time you could be the one to own the new state record buck in Maryland, or get your very first deer. Here is how you can get hunting opportunities. You could ask for written permission to hunt private land owned by friends, family or even strangers. You could purchase a hunting guide service or hunt public state game land . There are many public land opportunities in Maryland; some are lottery hunts that include buck permits. https://marylandbucks.com/maryland-public-deer-hunting/ The fact is if you’re in the woods hunting you have a chance to be successful, and during the rut in November you have a very good chance for a buck. Bottom line is, you just need to be in the woods, and maybe you will be in the right place at the right time with an opportunity for a good shot.
#2) 30% is Making the Shot, you’re in the right place at the right time, now it’s all about making a good clean ethical shot. It’s better to have a clean miss than a bad shot that wounds an animal. You need to be responsible and practice with each weapon before going hunting. It gives you confidence and satisfaction knowing your weapon is on target and the fact that you could have been successful even if you don’t get a chance. I have heard many hunters say “i don’t know how i missed my gun or bow was dead on last year”, key words here is “last season”. You need recheck each weapon before each season. There is nothing worse than missing a deer because you didn’t practice shooting a certain distance or shot angle before. Also get a range finder and range the yardage of the trees around your hunting spot, it helps you be sure of the distance before taking a shot. To see how to Aim at deer at different angles see our web page called “Where to Aim on whitetail deer” https://marylandbucks.com/where-to-aim-on-whitetail-deer/ it’s very important.
#3) 30 % is Recovery, OK you managed to be in the right place at the right time and make a good shot, so you think?, but the deer bolted or ran like it was never even hit??? Yes it can happen and you need to pay attention to where it went and why it ran that way? Recover of your game is a very important part of hunting because if you never find your deer, you have not completed the hunt and it’s a total waste of resources and it’s not the purpose of hunters as food provider. I can give you one clue to tracking now, many times a Deer will go back the way it came or back track if it can. They also will take their normal escape routes if you know where they are? They will go in the same direction as you spooked or chased them off before. Many times there is little or no blood trail to follow. If possible you should hunt with an experienced hunter or get help or you will be learning from trial and error. I personally care very much about the recovery, because we all hate to see a deer go to waste.
That’s 90% what about the other 10%? … 10% is LUCK, Yes luck matters, it’s the things that are out of your control, like its luck that you picked the only day of the year, that a really nice buck decided to walk 20 yards from your tree. He may have only been in your neck of the woods once ever in his life time and you where there to tag him, that’s what i call Good Luck. Good Luck is how you missed that twig you never seen, between you and a deer, it’s the difference between things gong your way and things going wrong. Good Luck is the when the neighbors dog runs into the woods, jumping up bedded deer and they go right past you for a good shot. Bad luck is when i had 4 bicyclist going down a road talking so loud they spooked off 6 deer right before i could shot, or a homeowner that starts a leaf blower or chain saw right when your ready to squeeze the trigger on a deer. Once i forgot to load my muzzle-loader and only my cap when off when i had a deer in my scope at 40 yards, that’s not bad luck because that was in my control, its was poor planning. Remember when your hunting everything can change in an instant from a boring, uneventful day to where the heck did that nice deer come from?. That’s what keeps us hunters in a stand on those freezing cold days, we are always hopeful of what the next moment could bring. Also always be ready to shot, at anytime. That’s the difference that worked for me when I got my 14 pointer, I had my arrow knocked and my hand on the string when I saw him coming down a trail, I only had seconds to pick a shooting lane and make a good shot. It all happened so fast! But that was good because I never had a chance to get buck fever before the shot. Bottom line is Luck does matter.
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