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What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Old 08-30-2006, 02:40 PM
Dominant Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: WC FL
Posts: 26,323
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Making sure of your shot beforepulling the trigger... never shoot at a deer or hog standing where you are not sure if someone is coming from the other side.... don't use your rifle and scope as a binocular for scouting....Don't shoot in a pond or water....when around other hunters, be aware ofwhere your barrel ispointing and always have your safety on.....Your state has hunting laws and you should abide by them no matter what!
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:23 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 590
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Taking magazine articles seriously. I really think my biggest obstacle in learning to hunt was taking what I read as gospel. Only if you hunt deer in the exact manner typical in 99% of magazine articles - i.e. farmland in IL or IA - will most of the information have applicability to your own hunt.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:48 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,425
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Learn to hunt and shoot by hunting small game...I am fortunate in that I started squirrel hunting with a .22 and a scope about the time most kids are in the 1st grade...I know in todays world that isn't possible for most kids....But I am amazed at the hunters that I take out that just don't know how to shoot a scoped rifle...If they had 4-5 years of hunting squirrels and learning how to take head shots, how to recognize the different oaks in the area, then they have more hunting experience than the guy that sits up in a tree waiting for a deer to show up, and then has a problem finding the deer in the scope and deciding when to shoot and how to take a proper rest....

If you don't have squirrels, hunt jackrabbits, groundhogs, crows, coyotes...whatever....Don't expect to grab a .270 bolt action rifle with a scope and shoot it well when it is your 2nd or 3rd year hunting and you haven't shot the gun since last hunting season....

Also...Always sightin and practice with the loads that you will be deer hunting with....Check your zero every year....and practice at different ranges...As a rule of thumb if you shoot a centerfire rifle that has a muzzle velocity around 3,000 fps then sight in 2-2 1/2 inches high at 100 yards and you should be able to hold dead on to about 250 yards and make a good killing shot on a deer's lung area...

And last, you don't need to buy any rifle larger than either a .270, 30-06 or a 7mm-08 to kill whitetail deer with....I can't tell you how many guys come to our farms with larger caliber rifles "Because I might go elk hunting sometime"....I bet less than 5% ever drive from NC to Colorado or whatever to elk hunt....And if you can afford to take a trip out west elk hunting...You should be able to afford another rifle at that time....In other words, if you are going to deer hunt, buy a deer rifle...Your shoulder and retina will thank you....And if you enjoy shooting, you will be a much better shot....

Sorry for the rant...
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:17 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: MN USA
Posts: 1,392
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Learn which animal presents are high probability kill shots (e.g. broadside standing heart 2 hungs) and which are not (e.g. quartering toward you and bounding).
Direction of wind, their sense of smell will pick you up long before you see them if you're not aware.
Absolutely minimize your movement. Even when a deer is on the move and you think it's not seeing you, you've got to move incredibly slow to get into positon to shoot. Even when you think the animal is behind an obstacle, be very slow and deliberate. If it stops to look, freeze. If you don't move and it can't smell you, you can in some case be within 20 feet of it without it knowing for sure what you are if you stay absolutely still.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 39
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

1. looking for shortcuts (trying to substitute gadgets for experience)

2. putting too much pressure on their hunting area

3. Not using the wind

4. Believing everything they see on videos and TV or read in a magazine
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:10 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Southern Maryland (St. Mary\'s)
Posts: 884
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

I believe that a huge mistakeis made is not practicing scent control on your person and your gear. I know I'll probably take a lot of flack for this next comment, but that's okay. While I agree othersthat it's of great importance to "hunt the wind", that can't always be done. I hunt an area of public land where it's nearly impossible to hunt the wind a majority of the time. This is due to the way the property must be accessed,available stand locations and other factors. While I do the best that I can to hunt the wind, if I only hunted with the wind in my favor, I'd be limiting myself a great deal.
By practicing scent control and for those of you/us who believe they HELP (they are not the salvation of all hunters)...wearing scent control clothing, we can increase our chances. Last season I arrowed a nice, mature doe at 15 yards while she walked right toward me with the wind blowing at my back...directly to her nose. I had done all the scent control I could and was wearing a 3 year old "scent blocker plus" outfit. Her and two other does were scent checking the air as they walked their path right to me and they never paid me a moments notice.
Hunt the wind....you bet...if you can. Scent control is also key.
All the best,
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:03 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,357
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Below I will discuss the RIGHT things to do to be successful hunting deer.

Hunt at the right time and in the right place and where you know there are, in fact, deer. Hunt opening day morning. Practice shooting with your rifle/shotgun/bow so you are skilled with your chosen weapon. Sight in your rifle just before you go hunting, even if you have been practicing diligently for two months before the hunt. Have a complete plan for taking care of your deer when your hunt is successful. Know how to field dress and have a plan for getting the deer out of the woods to a processor or to your home where you will butcher the deer yourself. Hunt every day, if possible, until you score.

While deer can be taken at any time, deer tend to move most early and late in the day. I think the first two hours of hunting light and the last two hours of hunting light have the best prospects for success. Try to be on your stand at least 1/2 hour before these preferred hunting hours. In heavily hunted areas hunter pressure tends to upset these daily patterns.

Being in the right place involves two considerations: (a) knowing what routes deer are likely to follow and (b) placing yourself relative to the current wind such that your scent will not likely be blown to the deer following the route you are watching. In dry years, water will act as a magnet for deer, so set up overlooking water. Deer are prey species -- other animals like to eat deer -- so they like to keep close to cover and follow routes that give them a sense of security. At the same time they may not like walking through heavy brush because it is hard to get through. Thus, look for trails that are in a depression, which provides some sense of security because the deer is a little more hidden than walking in the open in a large open meadows. Look for narrow openings between large blocks of shelter -- the deer will prefer to cross between through the narrow opening versus a wider opening.

Scout your hunting ground in advance to confirm the presence of deer. Look for deer poopand look for trails with deer tracks. If you know where deer move through the hunting ground, you will have a number of places that you can have recourse to when wind conditions change from day to day.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 14
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

Learning how to look for deer is important as the originator suggested. Take a good look at what is behind that dead fall tree. Make sure that that branch is a branch, maybe it is a leg. The leaf that flips around in the breeze might be a deer ear swatting a fly away. Learning how to look through the clutter to see what is really back there.

Most times you will find it is only a branch or a leaf, but by really taking a look you improve your chances of seeing a deer, or some other animal for that matter, that you might not normally see..

Slow movements is also a key. Patience goes hand in hand with slow movements. The russle in the leaves on forrest floor behind you may only be a squirrell, but it could be a deer. Be patient and turn slow so you are actually able to see what it is that is making the noise behind you. Move too fast, you may only see the big white tail waiving good bye!

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Old 08-31-2006, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: mississippi by way of Florida
Posts: 357
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

I think most new hunters tend to shoot toohigh.
When presented with shots over 75 yards or so they tend to overestimate distances and overcompensate with holdover. Also, most beginners don't have a good grasp on deer anatomy. Ask most new hunters to point out where the heart and lungs are. What you will see is that most willpoint to a spot 6 to 8 inches higher than where it actually is.

I don't have any proof of this, but this is one reason I think many people shoot a deer, knock it down only to have it get up and run off later.
I've helped track two deer that werehit this way, a hit just high enuff over the spine above the front shoulder to knock the deer down and shock it, but high enuff that the deer was able to recover and run off. Both times we were able to dog track them for long distances and the get a shot to finish them off. Both times there was a huge blood trail to start, only to peter out after a few yards.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:18 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,447
Default RE: What's the biggest mistake "new" hunters make.?

not studying
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