by Ben Gustafson, Senior Digital Editor
Not sure why you've been skunked the last few deer seasons? Here are 10 reasons you won’t shoot a whitetail again, this fall, unless you fix or avoid the problems.
- You’re Stand Is Too Close
You setup too close to a bedding area and bump deer every morning without even knowing it.
Solution: Scout more and move your stand away from the bedding area on trails leading to a food source.
- You Have A Squeaky Stand
Your treestand squeaks or makes other noise.
Solution : Fix it! Before every season inspect your stand—make sure to replace all broken or missing plastic bushings, oil squeaky seats and other joints with scent free oil and tighten all loose bolts. After you place the stand in the tree be sure it’s snug, doesn’t wiggle and produce unwanted noise.
- You Can’t Sit Still
Sit still you’re spooking the deer.
Solution: Bring a good book, play a game on your smartphone or distract yourself by any means to limit your movement. If you do need to adjust or stand up make sure you move slowly and quietly. If you move because you’re cold, dress warmer, get some hand and foot warmers or invest in a pair of ThermaCELL heated insoles , and your toes will stay warm.
- Cover Scent Doesn't Match
You’re trying but you’re doing it wrong. Your cover scent needs to be native to the area.
Solution: Do some research before you hunt or simply look around. If there aren't any pines in the area don’t use a pine cover scent, use fresh earth or fox urine, etc.
- You’re Lazy
You head out to the woods, plop your blind down and wonder why you don’t see any whitetails.
Solution: Do the extra work, set your blind up a couple of weeks before the season stars. If it isn’t possible to get out early, at very least make sure you brush it in.
- You Don’t Hunt The Wind
You hop in your stand, you’re quiet and have taken every precaution, but forgot to check the wind.
Solution: Simple, get a weather app for your smartphone that tells you the wind direction or better yet try this free one . Now you can use the wind as an advantage.
- You Hunt The Same Stand
You've hunted the same stand everyday all season long for multiple seasons, good for you. The problem, it only takes one mistake to ruin a stand for weeks at a time.
Solution: Have multiple stand locations, this allows you to hunt the wind, and if you do accidentally bump deer or make a mistake you have another place to hunt.
- You’re Guessing
You see a deer and take a shot but miss and then wonder why.
Solution: Use a rangefinder and you’ll know exactly how many yards away the deer is from your stand. Now you’ll be able to make a more accurate shot, plain and simple.
- You’re Enter And Exit Strategies Suck
You spook deer because you bump them on the way to and/or from your stand.
Solution: Be smart, if you hunt land that doesn’t typically see motor vehicle use don’t use a truck or an ATV, walk in. If you hunt farm land have your buddy drop you off and pick you up in a tractor. Finally, don’t walk through bedding areas in the morning and wait until after it’s dark to get out of your tree.
- You Stink
You hop out of the truck and head to the woods with the same clothes you had on the last two days and ate breakfast in. Contrary to your beliefs deer don’t like the smell of B.O. and bacon as much as you do.
Solution: Don’t stink! Shower with scent elimination shampoo and body wash , wash your hunting clothes (socks and underwear) with scent free detergent , spray your boots and other gear with Scent Killer. Last but not least wear odor eliminating clothing like gear from Scent Blocker over the top of your other clothes. You’ll thank me later.
If you avoid these ten things I bet you’ll shoot a whitetail this fall, except if you’re one of those guys that only have bad luck.