Whitetail Deer Hunting Tips – Overview

Whitetail hunting has been around for a long time. It has become a big part of tradition in many of the states today. A rite of passage so to speak. The sport has been passed from one generation to the next. In the past 30 + years, I have seen many changes in not only equipment but also the culture.

For example when I started hunting, it was a rarity to see a woman/young girl hunting. Nowadays I have seen a great incline in this area. That is a good thing. My kids have taken up the sport and have enjoyed the companionship of the hunting party.

As technology has made advances, so has the technology used in the sport of hunting. Trail cameras is one example. At the young age that I started, there was no cameras for taking trail pictures. Now its part of a normal scouting strategy.

Scent control has also gotten much better. Scentlock clothing and scent eliminating sprays/machines have become a part of a hunter’s equipment. They are not a necessity but help with fooling a whitetails nose.

As part of the conservation efforts, most areas require a license to be able to hunt for whitetails and other animals. This revenue not only goes on to helping preserve the wildlife and habitats for future generations. There is usually a bag limit as well. This helps control the amount of wildlife that is taken so it is not decimated.

Weapons

There are a few weapons that are allowed for most whitetail hunting. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Most states have enacted seasons where each type can be used.

Here is a list of common hunting weapons;

  • Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Black Powder
  • Recurve Bow
  • Compound Bow
  • Crossbow

The Rifles/Shotguns seasons are usually short in nature and the bow/crossbow seasons last much longer. This can vary from state to state and country to country. Before you go hunting make sure that you understand the laws and regulations for the area that you are going to be hunting.

Firearm hunting (Rifle, Shotguns, Black Powder) is the most popular type of hunting but archery (Recurve, Compound, Crossbow) is closing the gap. I do not believe that it will ever catch up with firearm hunting but it is going to continue to close the gap.

Stand hunting

There are many types of stands. They can range from fancy and expensive to made out of materials found in nature. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Stand Types:

Note! If you are going to hunt from an elevated platform, use a fall restraint device. These can/will save your life. I learned the hard way. I fell from 7′ onto my back due to equipment failure. My mind truly thought I was going to die in the woods. Now I don’t leave the ground without a fall restraint device.

Elevated platforms give the best vantage point but usually have a cost, on average well over $100. Ground stands can be constructed using materials in the area, purchased from a vendor, or constructed stands with windows and sometimes a heater.

When I started hunting I used a folding chair that I carried into the woods. I killed quite a few whitetails hunting from the ground without a blind. I think that starting out hunting on the ground has helped me be able to sit still.

A major part of stand hunting is the ability to sit still. Blinds help with movement but are not a catchall in covering movement. A whitetail’s eye site is many more times better than a human’s eyesight. They can pick up movement much quicker than a human. There nose is even better than there eye site. I’ll cover that subject latter on in this article.

Stalking

Stalking is another form of hunting. This style of hunting is all about moving vary slowly and watching your surroundings. It is possible to get into range of a whitetail if you can fool their nose and eyes. This style of hunting is used more in the western part of the United States. If you do not have patience, I would not recommend this style of hunting.

Stalking is nowhere as popular as stand hunting in the Midwest and eastern parts of the United States. I’m not saying it can’t be done as I have hunted this way with success but not the easiest style of hunting.

Scent

A whitetail’s nose is one of the best noses in the animal kingdom. To be consistently successful a hunter needs to be mindful of scent. Elevated platforms help with scent control but are not a get out of jail card.

There are many types of products that will help mask your scent or minimize it to the smallest amount. Scentlock clothing is one such type of scent control. Ozone producing devices such as Ozonics cover human scent with ozone.

There are also spays that are designed to destroy human scent or mask it with another more potent scent that is normally found in nature. Earth scents and animal scents for example.

Wind carries your scent in whatever direction it is blowing. A successful hunter will play the wind direction in their favor. Put the direction that you expect the whitetail to be coming from upwind from where your stand location is. This way the wind will blow your scent away from the whitetail.

Equipment

There are tons of equipment available for hunting. Many types of firearms and even more in the archery sector. A compound bow for example can have many styles/types of arrow rests. There are sights, arrows, quivers, broad heads, bows, and related equipment that can be added.

Some are gimmicks and some actually perform. Just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Each person shoots a little differently.

Firearms are not much better. You can customize almost every part of a firearm. Scopes, slings, bullets to name a few.

My suggestion is to try out the different technologies until you find something that works for you.

Wrapping it up

Hunting can be a challenging and rewarding pastime. If you are not careful it can quickly empty your wallet as well. I have enjoyed hunting for 30+ years and look forward to all the years to come.

I have taken kids out hunting with me even if they are not mine. My mind truly want to pass on this pastime to the next generation.

My mind truly want to touch on the fall restraint device one last time. Wear one. End of statement. Make sure that you come home to your loved ones each day you go out hunting. I hope to see you out there. If you do don’t hesitate to stop in and say hello.

Thank you for reading my post. Please leave comments below. I look forward to answering any question that you have or just to say hello.

Dan Stevens

Updated 5/31/19

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4 thoughts on “Whitetail Deer Hunting Tips – Overview”

  1. Hey Dan, thanks for this interesting post. I haven’t actually done much research into whitetail deer hunting before, so this was an eye-opening article. I found it interesting how you mentioned that there’s been a cultural shift in that you are seeing more women out hunting. Has this change been welcomed by everyone in the hunting community or are there still some that believe it is a ‘man’s game’ only? How can we go about convincing people otherwise? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hello Danny,

      From what I have seen there hasn’t been a huge issue with women hunting. For the most part hunting has been dwindling so anyone that is taking up the sport is a good thing.  Wisconsin even recently added blaze pink to allow hunters to wear instead of the traditional blaze orange. I personally haven’t had any issues with woman hunting with me.  In fact my daughter hunts and we have a couple of other women in our hunting party. Thank you for the comment. Dan

  2. I’ve really been entertained by your post, I partly understand something about whitetails. I checked your article for my daughter’s assignment about hunting and I came to read this post. Most of all as I saw there’s such thing as a camouflaged bullpen. You’ve been mentioning about fall restraint device. What is that thing? Can you elaborate?

    • Hello Eli,

      A fall restraint device can safe your life. It is designed to stop you if you fall. You wear the safety harness and attach it to the tree with a strap. 

      I learned the hard way.  I fell out of a tree stand.  It was only 7 feet or so but it still hurt really bad. I thought I was going to die laying there when I hit the ground.  A safety harness would have stopped me from falling.  I would highly recommend that anyone leaving the ground wear one.  Thank you for your comment. Dan

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