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So,I just got my hunting license and completed a course as well so, I learned good facts about hunting. I'd like to start with T

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  • #16
    Welcome to F&S! I hope your first deer season will be fun. I second the notion of finding an experienced deer hunter to accompany you and make sure to keep SAFETY as your primary concern.

    Slugs are better than buckshot for deer in most situations and whitetails LOVE thick timber. With a shotgun/slugs you need to position yourself for shots that will be within 75 yards or less. That means you need to seek out active deer trails and/or bottlenecks that connect two large bodies of timber.

    Tree stands are typically best to ambush sneaking deer but hunting from the ground is OK if you don't have a stand. Just don't move if you see deer approaching until you are ready to shoot and watch the wind. You often hear them approaching during gun season so you can raise your gun before they are in sight distance. I hide behind trees if on the ground.

    Try to find a location with two or more crossing trails if possible and position yourself downwind of that location. Your tactics depend a lot on your hunting conditions and pressure from neighboring hunters. I have often found that pressure from other hunters moves deer around in the forest a LOT where there are short deer seasons. All hunters are out at once and keep the deer moving. If you have a long season, you will get less of that as the season progresses.

    Plan to be at your ambush location well before sunup and well before sundown because most natural deer trail use occurs during that time. During short gun seasons they often move all day though due to other hunters pushing them. If the rut is on, bucks also move all day and into new territory looking for love.

    Deer will escape pressure by using the trails in most locations that have heavy leaves on the ground, making trails even better ambush points. If you are near standing grain fields, the deer will be moving from them to timber in the morning and to them in the evening. Watch for their entry and egress points, especially along fence rows. These will usually be marked with trails leading to the grain at some point along the edge of the field.

    If you are not seeing anything on trails and you are running out of time, you can jump deer from their dense bedding areas or marshy low lands but you have to be ready for running shots just like pheasant or quail hunting. Use slugs in these situation as a pattern of buck shot really doesn't help your aim much and buck shot is not nearly as lethal when you hit one.

    I advise getting out there several weeks before the season to scout and familiarize yourself with deer behavior in your targeted hunting grounds. I use an 870 and I enjoy it, however, any of the shotguns mentioned will go bang if you pull the trigger.




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