Deer Hunting: How to Get Started as a Beginner

Historical artifacts reveal traces of hunting for food dating back over two million years ago. Hunting continues to be a popular pastime, though an equal number of people hunt for sport over sustenance. 

Deer are one of the most popular targets of big game hunting. It is also one of the most regulated. What should new hunters know? Keep reading for the best deer hunting tips for beginners.ย 

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When to Hunt 

Deer are always present in nature, but deer hunting season is a very narrow window for a limited part of the year. 

Best Hunting Season 

Hunting season varies by region and state. For example, hunting season in New York state begins in October or November, depending on location, weapon, and age. 

Many states require hunting licenses and have strict hunting laws.

October through December is the most common hunting season and coincides with the deer mating season. 

However, as hunting season progresses, deer adapt and are difficult to find during previous peak hunting times. 

Best Time of Day to Hunt 

What time people can hunt is also often regulated by the state. In New York, hunters can begin hunting 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. 

Many hunters arrive at the hunting location an hour or so early to set up and get situated. 

Hunting Necessities

By the time hunting season rolls around, cold weather isnโ€™t far behind. Many hunters stay outdoors for hours, if not the entire day. What essentials do they need to bring? 

Hunting Clothes

You donโ€™t have to worry about impressing the deer with your fashion sense. In fact, everything you wear should be to increase your invisibility to the animals. You also want to be warm and comfortable for however long youโ€™re hunting. 

That means no jeans or nylon clothing that can make noise and startle the deer. Wool and cotton are your best bets. 

During hunting season, the weather can change dramatically throughout the day. For that reason, hunters should layer their clothing. 

Camouflage clothing is popular among hunters to blend in with their natural surroundings. 

Many states have laws that require hunters to wear orange colored hats and vests so other hunters can see them. 

Weapons

Typically when people think of hunting, they think of guns, specifically long rifles. While guns are a popular weapon for hunting, crossbows can also be used. 

In addition to your main weapon of choice, many hunters bring knives to field dress any deer they kill. 

Other Must-Haves 

What are some of the other must-haves hunters should carry with them? 

  • Backpack
  • Ammo 
  • Binoculars 
  • Phone and phone charger 
  • Food and water
  • Toilet paper 
  • Flashlight 

Hunting Techniques

How you hunt is a personal preference or a method passed down through your family. There are two main deer hunting techniques: stand or stalk. Whatโ€™s the difference?

Stand-hunting

Stand-hunting is staying in one location to hunt. Either up above in a tree stand or on the ground in a type of pop-up tent called a ground blind. 

Stalk-hunting

With the stalk-hunting method, hunters stealthily walk up to the deer as they are grazing or otherwise occupied. Deer have a very strong sense of smell, making stalk-hunting more difficult than stand-hunting. 

Safety First 

Whatever method and means you choose for hunting, you should always prioritize your safety. Ideally, you will take a gun safety class before hunting. Your safety and the safety of the hunters around you are more important than nabbing a deer. 

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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