8 Reasons to Not Go Deer Hunting

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Quality Is Better Than Quantity

I love to hunt deer. Aside from God, family, and friends, it’s one of the most important things in my life. I do it for fun. But it also plays an integral role in my career. So one might think that I “hunt every day.” Well, not really. Not even close. My job keeps me in an office working on a computer most of the time. However, even if my job description was to go out “every day” and slay big bucks for a living, I still wouldn’t. Why? For several reasons.

Bonus reads: 12 Reasons You'll Suck at Deer Hunting This Season | How to Deer Hunt

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A Target Buck Hasn’t Revealed Itself

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1 | A Target Buck Hasn’t Revealed Itself

There really is no sense in putting pressure on an area you’re trying to kill a big deer in if one hasn’t shown itself yet. What I do if in this scenario is to start filling my doe tags. Either hunt somewhere else where you aren’t trying to fill your buck tag, or hunt the perimeters of the property so as not to put too much pressure on it.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Tom Reichner

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You’re Not Seeing Deer in Daylight

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2 | You’re Not Seeing Deer in Daylight

Similar to the first reason, there is no use in hunting if the deer you’re after isn’t hitting your stand locations during daylight hours. All you’re doing is applying unneeded pressure to the area. Instead, either wait until deer begin moving further away from their bedding areas in daylight, or scout to find a good setup closer to where the deer are spending their time during the day.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Tom Reichner

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Wind Direction Is Wrong

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3 | Wind Direction Is Wrong

Wind direction is likely the most influential piece of the deer hunting puzzle. If the wind isn’t in your favor, the hunt is going to be tough. Plain and simple. You have to know where the deer are bedding, feeding, watering and traveling. If the wind is not right for the stand location(s) you’ve chosen, it’s best to stay out of the woods until the winds change. That’s why I like to hang several stands for different winds. That way I have a place to hunt no matter what.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/JuneJ

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Less-Than-Ideal Weather

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4 | Less-Than-Ideal Weather

Hunting during inclement weather is not only ineffective, it’s pretty dumb. Sitting in a treestand during high winds isn’t smart. Holding a metal gun in your hands during a lightning storm isn’t too intelligent, either. Stay home during really bad weather. Save your inner-Rambo for those rainy days without the more intense weather.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Cammie Czuchnicki

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The Temperature Is Stagnant

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5 | The Temperature Is Stagnant

Deer respond negatively when the temperatures stay relatively the same for long periods of time. However, when there is a regular change in temperatures every few days, deer move much more during daylight. When we experience larger temperatures swings (up or down), deer respond by participating in what some call a feeding frenzy. By definition, a large temperature swing is a 15-degree (or more) swing in a 24-hour period. When temperatures are rising, focus on green food sources such as wheat, turnips and clover. When the temperatures are dropping, key on grains such as beans and corn.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Smileus

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You’ve Already Pressured Deer Too Much

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6 | You’ve Already Pressured Deer Too Much

Bumping deer has a very negative effect on deer movement and their use of a given property. Spooking deer each time you go afield will continually result in fewer and fewer sightings each time you go. If you’ve been bumping deer, or even suspect you have been, then allow that spot to rest until the timing is right to move back in and hunt it again. Hunt elsewhere until that time. That’s the wealth in having several spots to go to. It allows the places you hunt to rest.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Bruce MacQueen

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Allow Other Hunters to Make Your Spot Better

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7 | Allow Other Hunters to Make Your Spot Better

Not pressuring the spots you focus on while everyone around them are will push deer into the properties you hunt. Then, when the timing is right, move into those spots. You’ll see just how many more deer are using the property during daylight compared to when you were pressuring the properties like everyone around you. Sometimes not hunting is the best thing you can do to kill deer.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Paul Tessier

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The Spouse Is Spewing Anger

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8 | The Spouse Is Spewing Anger

This is the face they make when you send that text saying, “Hey honey, I’ll be home after dark” . . . for the 15th day in a row. I’m not suggesting you cave to pressure and forget hunting during the rut. No, that’s not acceptable. However, it doesn’t hurt to score a few brownie points by making time for the one at home. Better yet, take them to the woods with you. Or don’t. Your call.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Mooshny

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