One of the biggest frustrations in deer hunting is making mistakes, or “fumbling”. It can be over late, your gun jams, you pass up a deer that’s been staring at you all morning. If you aren’t careful with your take-down procedures and follow-through-choke hold and shot placement like a jacked deer, success can quickly turn into failure.
1. Don’t Get Distracted
Distractions can be many things, like a deer walking around behind you, or your buddy’s hunting pressure. Don’t get distracted by these things, as it can cost you a shot on your trophy buck!
2. Be sure you know how to use the scope on your gun
Be sure to know how to use the cross hairs on your scope for maximum accuracy. If you don’t understand the scope on your gun, practice shooting at different distances (100 yards, 300 yards) and at different heights (up and down) so that when you’re in the field hunting deer, you’re ready for any shot. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it!
3. Know how to properly handle your gun before every shot
Handle your firearm with a firm grip and make sure that your trigger finger is on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. This will help keep yourself from jerking and making a mistake by causing the shot to miss
4. Make sure that your gun is tuned-up correctly
Keep in mind, that deer hunting can be dangerous and predators may be lurking nearby. Before every shot, make sure the safety is out of the way so you can quickly put it on or off. The safety helps prevent accidental discharges caused by human handling (or animals messing around with your gun).
5. Know the proper buck call you’re using
Buck calls are very important in deer hunting because they send out a message to the deer herd, letting them know that there is a hunter in the area. To buy or make a good buck call, be sure to hunt around different shops and ask for the best advice on what type of buck call to buy or make. Some stores will have different brands of buck calls for sale, so you can choose from one and see if it works for your style of hunting. You should also try to get your hands on some old-style, antique buck calls as well. They do not come with modern electronics like most calls, but are very effective at drawing deer into range.
6. Always know what you’re carrying – and what isn’t
Always make sure that in your hunting pack, you have at least one spare magazine, a couple of extra shells (maybe 3 or 4) extra Mucinex or Pepto Bismol, some Advil or other common over-the-counter medicines, and any survival kit like a Whistle Kit or a set of bandages. You can even put together your own pack with the necessary tools and supplies to help you out when buck hunting.
7. Know that gunshot wounds happen!
When shooting deer, things do go wrong; sometimes it will be something you did wrong, and sometimes it is just bad luck. All hunters are advised to be conscious of the following:
A. Decide what kind of shot you’re going for
There are two types of shot to make when you’re hunting deer: a head shot, and an end-over-end (sometimes called “loop-the-loop”). The goal is always to hit your target, but the best way to ensure that you’ll hit your target is by choosing the right type of shot.
B. Knowing the correct way to mount deer on a buck frame
Be it standing on all fours, or if it’s running, know what type of animal you’re hunting and then make sure you have everything ready before taking aim!
C. Positioning the rifle
This is the most overlooked aspect of deer hunting, but is extremely important. Positioning your rifle correctly can ensure that you take your shot. A common mistake many hunters make is that they get distracted by something behind them and when they look back at the target, it has moved! Make sure you have a comfortable stance before taking aim – it’s also helpful to try and get in front of your target so you can see everything in its eyes. If you’re lucky enough to be hunting on private land or if you know someone who will let you hunt their land, position yourself such that the animal can’t change its mind or run off before commencing a shot.
D. Proper follow-through
When shooting, make sure that you have complete control over your gun. Lock your sight on the target and squeeze the trigger without jerking. Most people are so tense when they shoot for the first time that they’ll pull their shots left or right or push their shots high. Learning how to properly control the rifle and follow through will develop good shooting habits in deer hunting.
E. Know the best shot for your rifle
Imagine yourself being attacked by a deer or predator and you have only one chance to make the shot count. What is the best shot for your rifle? The head or through the “chest cavity?” Should you shoot too low or high? There are a lot of factors to take into consideration before making that final decision.
8. Know how to take down your firearms safely
This is very important, especially if you’re using a synthetic stock gun as opposed to one made from wood materials like SxS deer rifles. Why? Because when it comes time to clean and repair your firearm, you want it clean and safe without permanent damage being done to it.
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