It is easy to get stuck in one approach to deer hunting and simply stick with the strategy that has worked for you in the past. Being a well-rounded whitetail hunter is a noble cause but there are practical benefits to being proficient in different strategies. On this episode I talk about how to make the most of every hunting opportunity by looking at four different ways to hunt deer and when to do each.
Many whitetail deer hunting strategies can be grouped under ambush hunting. Using one method or another, you are laying in wait, as inconspicuous as possible, ready for a deer to walk into a shooting lane for you to ambush it. This is done with rifle hunting, archery, shotgun, and just about everything else. Ambush hunting can be broken down into two main types, the prepared ambush and the improvised ambush.
This involves scouting, land management, advanced planning, and everything that goes into selecting a hunting location in advance. Whether you spend a day or a year preparing to hunt from a particular spot, it is a preselected ambush location, possibly a tree stand, ground blind, or some other type of concealment strategy, if not just leaning up against a tree. This is sometimes done well on public land, but it is most often going to be private land where you can control hunting pressure and habitat to some degree.
The improvised ambush involves going afield, looking for sign or a good location, and setting up to ambush deer that you believe will come through that spot. The location is not preplanned, and you are selecting it based on sign you find in the field right now. This is most often done on public land or large tracts of private land where you do not as much control over the habitat or hunting pressure.
Active hunting is the other major category for hunting whitetails. This involves the hunter being on the move and trying to put yourself within firing range of a deer. There are two primary types of active hunting I discuss in this episode, still hunting and strategic location hunting.
Still hunting is a type of active hunting that involves walking through the woods slowly, trying to catch deer unaware. It takes a lot of skill to do well, and perfect conditions to do great. But this is still an effective strategy for people of all experience levels. It works particularly well when there are other hunters in the woods pushing deer around. It is most often done on public lands but may also be done on large pieces of private land.
This form of active hunting involves stealthily slipping from one high potential area or another, sneaking to a vantage point from which you hope to be able to get a shot at deer. These could be a series of locations with various draws for deer like feeding areas, water, bedding, browsing areas, etc. This is most often done on public land but it can be very effective on private land as well, if you do not overdo it and spook out the deer.
Listen to the whole podcast episode for all the details and when to use each strategy.