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What are the Best Tips for Stalking Deer?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are many ways of stalking deer when hunting, with each having its own particular benefits and downsides. The very best tip for stalking deer is to take the season and weather patterns into consideration prior to heading into the deer woods. It is also extremely important for the hunter to have an understanding of the area being hunted. Knowledge of the terrain and the wind patterns is also instrumental in stalking deer. Perhaps the best tip when stalking deer or hunting any type of game is to use safe and sound methods on every hunting trip to ensure that there is another hunting trip in the future.

When hunting and stalking deer, the weather plays a very large role in the methods used to move stealthily through the woods. In most areas, early hunting tactics can be slightly more aggressive due to the heavy foliage and naturally muffling effect that a green wood has on sound. Slow and steady walking with periodic stops to watch for movement is the key to early-season stalking. When possible, keeping the sun behind the hunter as he walks into the wind is the absolute best scenario in any type of stalk. Where local laws permit, wearing very green camouflage will aid in keeping the hunter unseen by the deer.

In the mid to late fall, camouflage colors should change to dark brown and gray to match the dying trees and grasses. Moving through bedding areas and the perimeter of food plots will often give the best success when stalking deer at this time of year. Noise suppression is the key, as sound is easily carried long distances in the barren wood lots. This time of the season also mandates long periods of no movement while watching for any sign of deer in the surrounding woods. It is important that the hunter not look only for deer, but visually scan the area for deer parts peeking through the foliage, such as ears, backs, antlers and tails.

Windy fall days are perfect for stalking deer in standing corn and crops. The wind rustling through the crops will help in muffling and disguising any sound that the hunter might emit. The hunter's scent is also dispersed through the wind, making the deer's most valuable weapon, his nose, a non-factor.

Late fall and early winter also bring the rut into play when stalking deer. Bucks in rut often act carelessly because they have only one thing on their mind: mating. During this season, stalking deer should be focused on bedding areas and travel corridors through the woods. By hunting later in the morning and early in the afternoon, the hunter's chances are greatly increased.

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