5 Big Game Hunting Tips

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Do You Consider These Things Each Season?

Use Good Entry and Exit Routes

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1 | Use Good Entry and Exit Routes

Mike Stroff, co-host of Savage Outdoors, stresses the importance of using good entry and exit routes.

“No matter the big game you are hunting your approaches into and out of your hunting area is critical,” Stroff said. “You have to get into the hunting area undetected (wind direction, sight and sound). If you fail in this, your odds of success are much lower.

“Also, know your hunting area and its terrain,” Stroff continued. “The conditions and animal movement are constantly changing, so knowing your area and being able to adjust with these changes will up your success.”

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Photo Credit: Mike Stroff

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Be Mindful of the Wind

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2 | Be Mindful of the Wind

Michael Lee, co-host of Backwoods Life, also knows a thing or two about hunting stuff with big racks. His most important tip is to always be aware of the wind.

“Wind direction is a huge part of fooling any big game animal and getting close enough for a shot,” Lee said. “Always go into your hunt knowing the wind direction and plan your strategy according to the right wind for the setup or stalk.

“Take a shower before a hunt using a scent-eliminating body wash,” Lee continued. “Wash your clothes in scent-eliminating products. Then spray down with a quality (not cheap) scent eliminator. This [regimen] can lead to huge success. Even if you get a 10-percent advantage, it may buy you crucial seconds to get the shot off.”

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Photo Credit: Michael Lee

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Know the Game You’re Hunting

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3 | Know the Game You’re Hunting

Carl Drake is the jack of all trades. He does it all. He’s appeared on numerous hunting shows, competes as a professional turkey caller, reps for Hunter’s Specialties, and much more. His big tip — know the game you’re hunting.

“Know the game you are going after,” Drake said. “This includes knowing their habits, knowing their territories, knowing their vocabulary and their breeding habits — to the point you feel you are that animal.

“Then, practice, practice, practice,” Drake continued. “There's nothing worse than having the animal of a lifetime in range and it get mucked because of a poor shot due to lack of practice before the hunt. I've known of hunters who break out their equipment right before season and take a shot or two and feel things are good to go. Again, practice, practice, practice.”

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Photo Credit: Carl Drake

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Use Modern Hunting Tools

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4 | Use Modern Hunting Tools

Modern advancements are there for one reason — improvement. They make us better at the things we do. That's Art Helin's advice.

“Good optics for whitetail, mule deer, elk, bear, etc. are a hunter’s best friend,” Helin said. “Spend the extra money and get a good set of optics this will allow you to identify animals you want to spend the time hunting/stalking.

“Next, use trail cameras as a tool, instead of using them to see what you have on the property you hunt,” Helin continued. “Use them to identify year-to-year patterns and locations on food sources, water sources, etc. at different times of the year. This will make your hunting more productive by using them as a true scouting tool instead of just a camera.

“Finally, a lot of the best hunting comes during the coldest times of the year,” Helin concluded. “Get yourself some good cold-weather gear so you can put the time in when it matters most.”

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Photo Credit: Art Helin

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Put in the Time

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5 | Put in the Time

Josh Hedrick is a Realtree pro staffer and owner of Smoke Hole Outfitters. And true to his hard-working nature, his key point is to put in the time.

“Go early and stay late,” Hedrick said. “This is critical with any type of big game hunting, because the more hours in the field — especially at prime time (right after daylight and just before dark) — the better. Midday can be a little slow unless you’re hunting the rut, but not taking a chance on going and coming an extra trip from your area can mean the difference between getting the shot or not.

“If you’re traveling to do a destination hunt, check your bow or gun before going in the field after you have landed,” Hedrick continued. “We’ve had several occasions where our archery equipment has been bumped or shifted on our flight. We have learned over the years to only trust good quality cases such as Pelican and Otter Box.”

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Photo Credit: Josh Hedrick

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Most big game animals aren’t easy to bring down. While they’re all different in their own ways, and different tactics are used to hunt each species, there are general rules that apply to all of them, no matter if they have a beard, canines, crème-colored rump or white tail. Here five solid pieces of advice you should follow.