Entry and Exit Routes Deer Hunting
Deer hunting is filled with hundreds of tips, tricks, and tactics covering everything from shot placement scent control, habitat selection, and many more. One of the most important yet simple skills that any deer hunter should learn is how to enter and exit from any given hunting area. Whitetail deer are creatures of habit that revolve around food, water, and, most importantly, safety. For any deer, specifically mature bucks, these three things are the revolving door of survival in their everyday life.
Whether you hunt public land spots and stalk or private land box blinds/tree stands, the method in which you enter and leave from your prized hunting spot can be the final determining factor on punching your tag or not.
Pay Attention to Wind Direction When Entering
One simple mistake hunters make while entering their hunting area is paying too much attention to the wind direction at their final stand location. Though wind direction at your stand is vital information, one should also pay attention to what the wind may be doing while traveling into your hunting area.
If the wind happens to carry your scent down into a known bedding/staging area while you are headed into the stand, then your hunt could very well be over before it ever begins. Making sure that your wind going into your stands is as favorable as at your final location is one small detail that is often overlooked and or forgotten about.
Checking this before entering your hunting area will increase the probability that those deer will not know you are there waiting.
Cause Little Disturbance While Entering and Leaving
Wind is not the only issue that hunters face while trying to get into that perfect location in hopes a mature buck will present himself. Sometimes, the wind can be perfect, but if a hunter must travel too close to their bucks' known bedding/staging area, then this can also throw red flags to those elusive mature bucks. Again, we must remember that these areas are like a deer's living room. They see it, smell it, and hear it every day. So, the moment something smells, sounds, or looks different, they know something is up.
When selecting stand placement, it is imperative that a hunter think about not only where they will be hunting but how much disturbance will be made while entering and leaving that stand. Sometimes, the easiest path into a stand is not the best path for hunting in that area.
Choose a Perfect Time to Exit
Having a great exit plan is another vital portion of being able to continuously hunt a certain area with as little disturbance to a whitetail deer as possible. This is most often seen attempting to leave after a morning hunt while walking through or close to a known bedding/staging area or walking through or upwind of a known food source after an afternoon hunt.
A perfect yet simple example of this would be to not walk across the entire field for an afternoon hunt, as deer often flow into these fields under the cover of darkness. This means that your exit path will run out/disturb all deer in that field feeding in the dark.
Other Tips for Deer Hunting
Taking the extra time to scout entrances and exits for that prime hunting spot is a simple yet underutilized scouting tool that can drastically increase the odds of putting that target buck in front of you this season.
Keep in mind wind, noise, food, and known deer travel routes to help put these pieces of the puzzle together, and hopefully, this will help you punch the deer hunting tag this season.