5 Expert Tips for Deer Hunting Pressured Whitetails

How Do You Pursue Pressured Deer?

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Choosing Parking and Entry Routes Wisely

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1 | Choosing Parking and Entry Routes Wisely

Realtree’s Tyler Jordan has hunted deer in a lot of states. He knows his way around the deer woods — even those that have been pressured by hunters.

“Be careful when choosing your parking spots upon entry and not broadcast your location,” Jordan said. “This not only goes for showing other hunters where you’re at, but it helps with the deer pressure, too. I hardly park near areas I’ll be hunting. Most of the time, I’ll usually go way out of my way to disguise my entry and exit routes.”

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Photo Credit: Bill Konway

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Get There Early and Get to Your Spot

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2 | Get There Early and Get to Your Spot

Getting there before everyone else is key. You need to be the first one there every time. That’s the only way to ensure you’re the one hunting that particular spot.

“I’ve only hunted public land a handful of times for deer, elk and turkey, but the times I did, I arrived early and stayed late,” Jordan said. “Most of the time, for public land hunters, nothing discourages them more than to see another vehicle near their hunting spot. This might mean arriving to your hunting location a full hour or more [earlier] to secure the area; but it might very well be worth it in the end.”

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Photo Credit: Brad Herndon

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Hunt All Day

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3 | Hunt All Day

Winchester’s Deadly Passion’s Melissa Bachman has hunted a lot in her time, too. And she advises all-day sits for those pressured places. And it makes sense, too. As studies shows pressured whitetails are more apt to move during midday hours.

“Whether you’re hunting public land or highly pressured private land, hunting all day is one of my biggest tips for success,” Backman said. “You’re eliminating two trips a day in and out which will help on the overall pressure you’re putting on the area. But another important aspect to remember is if it’s highly pressured around you, let the other hunters push the deer to you around that noon hour as they go in and out. Now you’ve found a way to make the high pressure work for you and your hunt.”

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Photo Credit: Melissa Bachman

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Freshen Up Scrapes and Mock Scrapes At Key Times

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4 | Freshen Up Scrapes and Mock Scrapes At Key Times

Another tactic is to make the local buck’s think an intruder is among them. This is one way to encourage more daylight movement in mature bucks.

“Most whitetail hunters around the country have encountered bucks that seem to be nocturnal,” Bachman said. “This can get downright frustrating when trying to hunt them, especially when you get great photos of big bucks at night. One tip I use when trying to combat this is to create mock scrapes. By creating these, you make the dominant bucks in the area believe that a new buck has moved in. The part that can change their activity from day to night is by using a Magnum Scrape dripper, as this drips daytime only. This helps convince the deer that they need to at least make the rounds a couple times during the day to see who is making these scrapes.”

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Photo Credit: Brad Herndon

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Slowly Increase the Intensity of Your Tactics

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5 | Slowly Increase the Intensity of Your Tactics

Midwest Whitetail’s Bill Winke is a big-buck killer. His mindset on pressured deer game plans is to start out with low-impact tactics and gradually increase aggressiveness as you run out of time to hunt.

“When hunting any kind of pressured areas, the deer quickly learn to move only at night in the areas where people are common,” Midwest Whitetail’s Bill Winke said. “So you have three options. First, you can either try to force them to move using small deer drives. (This can work, but is very heavy-handed, often running deer out of the area for at least a few days.) Second, you can find those areas where human activity is lowest and hunt those spots anticipating that the daylight activity will be greater. Or third, figure out where a buck is bedded, go in and bump him out and be in that spot well before daybreak for the next few mornings in hopes he returns to the same area – which he will eventually.

“All three of these methods will work, it just comes down to selecting an approach that will give you some chance throughout the season,” Winke said. “To do that, start with the least aggressive (finding the areas where other hunters don’t go) and then work toward more aggressive strategies as your hunting time runs out. Bumping them from their beds is probably as aggressive as you should get in most situations. Deer drives are an absolute last resort — basically for your last day of hunting.”

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Photo Credit: Midwest Whitetail

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Do you hunt pressured deer? Hunt areas with a lot of hunters afield? If so, you might need to do everything you can to stack the odds in your favor. Here are five of those things.