1. Go Early - When you’re on foot, out of your tree stand, the deer has the advantage. The best thing any hunter can do to up their odds of getting a shot at a good deer is to stealthily enter the woods early. Morning is a great time to be in your stand a full hour before daylight.
2. Be scent free - Wash your hunting clothes in scent free detergent and hang them outside or put them in a sealed container. Shower with a scent free hunter’s soap and use a non-scented deodorant.
3. Reapply odor elimination spray before shooting light. Work up a sweat while walking to the stand? Reapply as needed.
4. Don’t be afraid to use rattle calls. Do you notice a lot of bucks with broken tines later on in the season? When do you think they broke them?
5. Know your bow - Good archers practice year round, great archers practice year round for the shots they’ll have, meaning that what separates good archers from great ones is practicing shots from their tree stand, at a target moving between two trees. Certainly not everyone can setup such an elaborate recreation of a real-life deer hunting situation, but every hunter can take steps to make their practice more true to real-life.
6. Play the wind - Check the wind on a regular basis. Use a dry dust sprayer or to keep track of the breeze.
7. Pick the right stand for the job – Tree stands are tools, built to specialize in a specific set of qualities. Pick the right one for your circumstances, and you’ll be that much farther ahead.
8. Have a plan – Do your homework, and scout your hunting spot. time results in a confident hunter who hunts better. Make sure you’ve spent the needed time before the season watching your herd from afar. Don’t have time to scout? Game cameras make it easy to scout any property with minimal time spent in the field.
9. Lose the race - Buck the trend of breaking for breakfast. It’s no secret that normal deer activity slacks off after midmorning, but hold tight nonetheless. Waiting until noon allows other hunters to bump deer, possibly putting you in prime position to score a look at a mid-morning buck.
10. Enjoy the view – You spend the whole year looking forward to the hunt, keeping that fact in mind should help you savor the experience that much more.