Deer hunting is without a doubt the most popular hunt practiced today. Deer are, generally speaking, a very abundant resource and can be found throughout nearly all of the 50 states. While they don’t offer any kind of danger as say, overpopulation of bear, deer do a lot of damage to vegetation, particularly a farmer’s crops, and they are by many considered to be a nuisance. Deer have very heightened senses, so while there are so many around, they aren’t necessarily an easy target for the hunter. Deer behavior often depends on the weather, the time of day, and the time of year. A hunter must develop a sense of deer habits, and many, weeks before deer season even starts, will begin their bait piles and sit in their hunting blinds just to observe the particular deer coming to their area. The hunter has the choice to hunt deer with either a gun, or a bow and arrow, and providing the hunter knows the rules and regulations specific to his area, deer hunting can occur on either private or public land.
Deer can be a fairly elusive animal to catch site of. They are generally nocturnal, which means they do all of their wandering at night, starting to move around just before sunset. While hunters may not hunt at night, hunting regulations usually allow for this fact about deer and allow hunters to hunt for a short period of time both before sunrise and after sunset. Deer movement can also depend on the cycle of the moon; those who attempt to hunt only when it is convenient for them will often be disappointed.
Deer are highly sensitive animals. Any sense of danger and they’re off and running at the drop of a hat. Even when no danger is present, such as a sudden shift in the wind, or snow or rain, can set deer moving. Despite camouflage, deer very often can sense a hunter’s presence, most often by the smallest of movements a hunter may make to readjust, or because the wind is bringing the hunter’s scent directly to the deer.
Many deer hunters use a tree stand when hunting. This is an elevated platform anchored securely in a tree and provides the hunter with a better view of the area around him. Deer hunting is generally done in the fall mating season when deer behavior is at it’s most erratic. During this one time of the year the deer are generally much more active, and will often come out in the middle of the day when they would normally be resting. The hunter, if possible, should use this to his best advantage for a successful hunt.
Sportsmen looking for an additional hunting challenge sometimes turn to old-style black powder rifles, hunting deer and other big game at a closer range, with a one-shot limit. It’s a test of a hunter’s patience and skill – you have to really know the game you’re hunting, you have to be more conscious of the wind, and you need to be able to get much closer. It’s a primitive weapon, but many hunters find that it gives them a great sense of accomplishment, and makes them feel more connected to their ancestors, who used weapons like these to hunt for food.