This season I have heard of people making the same mistakes over and over when picking their deer hunting spot. Now that the rut is here, it is time to correct that error and pick much better and more productive hunting spots, be them on the ground or in a tree stand. On this episode I go in depth to explain this big mistake and the many ways you can improve your hunt by correcting it. 

Where you setup make a big difference when it comes to taking game. It is the single most strategic decision you can make. Picking a spot where you can see deer is not the same as picking a spot where you can take deer. You have got to focus 100% on the latter. Seeing deer does nothing to put venison in the freezer. 

Always focus on selecting stand and blind locations where you can take deer home. And as more hunters begin to fill the woods you need to also take into account how their activities impact deer movement and help or hurt you. Always work to leverage their activity to your advantage as well.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear the one huge tip!

October can be one of the best times to be in the woods, but ALOT is happening and changing this month. If you can flow with the changes and use them to your advantage, you can excel. If you keep trying to do the same thing all month, your effectiveness is going to diminish.  On this episode I talk about how to get the most out of hunting deer in October.

In October:

  • The days go from long to short
  • The weather goes from warm to cool
  • The cover goes from dense to thin
  • The deer go from social to ready to fight to the death
  • The places deer spend time go from summer patterns to fall
  • The times of day bucks are most active goes from evening to morning
  • The hunting pressure goes from zero to heavy
  • The focus of deer goes from munching to breeding
  • The strategy of most hunters from bad to worse

If you know how to manage all of these changes and use them to your advance, this can be your most productive month in the woods!

Listen to the episode for all the details.

The early season has several distinct advantages that can help you find quick success in the deer woods. Too many people look to luck when they should be looking to preparation. On this episode I talk about three tips that helped me shoot my buck during this deer hunting season. 

All of these tips can be summarized in one word, preparation. Once you get into your tree stand or hunting blind, the vast majority of factors that can contribute to your success are behind you.  Yes, you still need to do many things well to be quiet, still, smart, judge distance, take good shots, etc. But those things can only happen if deer have a reason to get within range of you.

Preparation is the unfair advantage that often makes the difference between seeing nothing and consistent success.

Listen to this episode for the three tips that helped me land my early season buck this year. Photo below.


Everyone would rather hunt deer smarter vs. harder, but the big question is not that, it is to hunt smarter vs. hunting more. And that choice is not as easy of a choice for everyone to make. Some want to be successful as soon as possible, tag out, and be done for the season. Others want to hunt all season long. Either is fine, and both could be done smartly, but often that is not the case.

  • Hunting smarter involves putting yourself in a position to take deer regularly, it involves strategy, scouting, timing, and terrain.
  • Hunting more or longer is often a result of one of 3 things, looking for the biggest deer possible, not hunting smart, or bad luck.
  • Hunting smarter not only results in more chances to take game, but being more ready when the opportunity comes.
  • You can have the best of both, because there is more than deer in the woods to hunt. You can tag out early and then go after other game. 
  • No one should ever feel like being successful early takes you out of the woods, it should just shift what you are hunting for.
  • Listen to the episode to hear it all!

September can be the best month to hunt deer, depending on your land and preferences. On this episode I talk about why you would want to hunt the early archery season and how to do it effectively.

Reasons to hunt the earliest part of the season:

  • The deer have not yet been pressured; they are in their most natural habits.
  • It is warmer, so you need less gear and less budget.
  • Ground hunting is more feasible due to more available cover, which can be a cheaper way to hunt.
  • Deer are more active during the day because there is more daylight and fewer dark hours.
  • You can get into the woods after work and still have daylight to hunt.
  • Deer are likely to have not shifted to their fall and winter patterns yet, so summer scouting can pay off immediately.
  • Bucks are often still traveling in bachelor groups, multiplying potential opportunities.
  • No deer have been shot yet, giving you a chance at every buck alive that season.
  • You can tag out early to make time for hunting other things later in the season.

Listen to the episode to hear about HOW you can hunt effectively in September.


Shot placement is part of a deer hunter’s choice and preference to a large degree, but there are shots that are definitely more effective than others, and more ethical. On this episode I talk about not just where you can shoot a deer, but where you should in order to minimize suffering and have a quick, clean, easily recoverable kill.

Here are 6 of the different shot placement philosophies:

  1. Meat Hunter: Attempts to save as much meat as possible by shooting the deer in the head or neck.
  2. Opportunist: Will shoot at any vital area presented to take the deer home at any cost.
  3. Sketchy Hunter: Will shoot at any brown fur they see, and likely to take few deer home. This is also largely unsafe on often illegal.
  4. Heart Shooter: Aims for the heart to the kill the deer as quickly and painlessly as possible while preservice the head and neck.
  5. Traditionalist: Attempts to shoot through the largest vital area, both lungs, to produce the most consistent kills.
  6. Disabler: Tries to shoot through both shoulders so the deer is unable to run to escape.

Listen to the episode to hear the pros and cons for each shot style and which are the most effective and most ethical.

If you want to be a better deer hunter, fixing a few bad habits may be the fastest way to improve your level of success in the woods. On this episode I talk about 10 bad habits deer hunters develop and how to fix them.

Deer hunters, like anyone, can easily fall into a pattern that becomes a rut. If you keep doing the same things and do not get the results you want, there is an obvious issue. But because you only do it a few times a year, there may not be enough awareness or drive to really evaluate things and make a change.

Realizing you have a bad habit is sometimes all you need to do to fix it the next time around. You may become a better hunter just by listening to this episode. You may also learn some things that require proactive effort to put into practice. In either event, you should be equipped to do even better!

Listen to the episode to hear about the 10 bad habits! 

Getting your spots ready for the next deer hunting season should be fun and enjoyable instead of rushed and stressful. On this podcast episode I talk about strategies and timing to help you get everything checked off your list and ready for the next deer season.

Whether you hunt public land or private land, there are things you can and should be doing far in advance of the hunting season to give you the highest chances of success. Get your check list ready.

  1. Pick a spot – This is maybe the hardest to do and requires scouting, planning, strategy, factoring in future winds and much more. Listen to previous episodes to learn more.
  2. Food maintenance – Whether you are planting food, maintaining food, or finding food sources, the work needs done months in advance of the hunting season.
  3. Select your tree or spot – Once you have determined the right areas and how deer will relate to food, you need to pick the right tree or blind location that you will hunt from. DO NOT expect to just walk into the woods in the dark and find a good tree.
  4. Setup your stand or blind – Think safety first, second, and third. Use extra rachet straps, double the safety measures, and get it done well in advance.
  5. Mock scrape – Every good hunting spot should be paired with mock scrape to give you the best possible chance at focusing deer movement.
  6. Trail camera – Every stand and mock scrape should have a trail camera if financially feasible. This is how you learn where, when, and how to hunt each spot and if it is a dud without wasting your whole season sitting there.
  7. Removing or relocating debris – Cleaning up your area can be a good idea, but do not just get rid of every downed tree and branch, use them to your advantage!
  8. Creating cover – Deer need cover, and you may want to add some when you are able. Consider all available options such as downing trees to open up canopy, hinge cuts, switch grass, and more.
  9. Trail maintenance for deer – You want to keep certain trails clear to encourage and focus movement. Likewise, you may want to add obstacles in key places to limit movement options in order to try and get them closer or at better angles. 
  10. Access maintenance for people – Getting to your hunting spot quietly and while leaving minimal scent is crucial. Decide long in advance the best way to access your hunting spot and make sure you find or create a clear approach. 

Listen to the episode to for the details! 

Clover is one of the best plantings for a new hunter when it comes to deer and turkey hunting. It is easy, fast, inexpensive, does not require big equipment, and grows back every year. On this episode I talk about the benefits and easiest ways new hunters can plant clover as a food plot.

Take Aways

  • Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is the gold standard that all clover is measured against. You can get started with a microplot for about $20.
  • There are way cheaper clover options though. If you go to your local AG store you can often get white clover by the pound for half the price.
  • I have used both and gotten good results with both. But I would still lean towards the Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover if cost and scale were not major factors.
  • The clover is a great food source for deer year-round, I have watched them visit it daily in the middle of January and February and paw through several inches of snow to nibble on whatever is left.
  • Turkeys also find clover patches very appealing, especially in the early spring. They eat the clover as well as the bugs that live on and around it.
  • To prepare the ground there are two easy routes, you can whack the vegetation down to the dirt with a weed eater or do a few sprayings of Round Up with a cheap hand sprayer.
  • Normally you will want to put down some pelletized lime when you plant to help the PH. $20 worth is plenty for most micro plots.
  • You can add fertilizer in the spring or fall if you want. Ideally you want something like a 0-20-20. Clover doesn’t need nitrogen, it creates its own and it only feeds the weeds when you use it. My local AG store has 10-20-20, and I use that. 
  • To plant clover you need very minimal tools if you can see bare dirt, just a cheap hand spreader.
  • Upkeep is minimal, just re-seed in late winter/early spring wherever you see bare spots and you should be good to go.
  • You can mow or weed whack the clover in the summer if you are getting competition with weeds, typically the clover will grow back faster than the weeds and take back over.
  • There are some special herbicides that will kill grasses and weeds without hurting the clover if your clover gets overrun, but most people won’t need them.
  • Listen to the episodes for all the details.

If you want to have more deer and more mature bucks on your property, then creating a deer sanctuary is key. And while the sky is the limit on what this can cost, if you understand the principles, you can get much of the benefit for free. On this episode I talk about what a deer sanctuary is and the strategy that goes into developing one.

Take Aways

  • A deer sanctuary is as a much a strategy as it is a physical place. You, the hunter, make an area a sanctuary by virtue of what you do or do not do. Sure, modifying the habitat can help, but it cannot serve as a substitute for how you manage and hunt the land.
  • It is amazing how cheaply you can create a sanctuary when you understand the concept and what makes an area ideal habitat.
  • Remember that mature bucks need to almost be treated like a different animal from does and young bucks. They are much more wary, strategic, and mindful. This is why they are prized to hunt, because they are the hardest member of the heard to take.
  • Even if you spend a fortune on habitat improvements, you undo it all if you are not mindful of your access points, walking areas, and stand locations. Hunting smart will always yield more results than spending money.
  • Listen to the episode to learn about what a deer sanctuary is and how to build one.