Apr 172017

  1. Antler rattling is most effective in areas with high buck-to-doe ratios. It is also good where there are large numbers of older bucks and on properties managed for trophy bucks.
  2. Although deer are creatures of habit, their feeding preferences can change dramatically from late summer to early fall. Do not automatically assume bucks will feed in the same areas in September and October that they used in July and August.
  3. Give your bow a reality check. Practice pulling your bow and holding it steady for 30 seconds to simulate waiting for a deer to step clear of a bush. Many bowhunters may find that their bow poundage is set too high.
  4. Go scouting. Do this during the summer months and up to deer season. When you scout, be as careful as you would if you were actually hunting. Stay quiet and leave as little scent as possible.
  5. If you shoot a deer and you jump it up a short distance from where you shot it then back off and give it time to die. Wait at least 20 minutes before tracking a shot deer.
  6. Deer like to sleep in areas of thick and dense brush. Set up on the outskirts of such areas where you have good visibility as to what emerges.
  7. To easily tell from exactly which direction a breeze is blowing, tie a very fine thread, about three inches long, to your rifle barrel or bow sight. The thread will move in the slightest of breezes and it is easy to see at a glance.
  8. It is best to set up blinds, hang tree stands and cut shooting lanes at least a full month before you plan to hunt. After a month, big bucks will be accustomed to the changes you made and will return to their old turf. Also, a week before the hunt make sure that feeders, water, and other hot spots are checked for good sight which allows a good shot.
  9. Scout during the summer for large antler rubs made from the previous fall. If those old rubs were refreshed in early autumn, the big buck is still alive and using his former haunt.
  10. For a set of effective rattling antlers, choose a pair of medium thick antlers with long tines as they make the clearest sounds. Remove the brow tines with a hacksaw, and rasp away any burrs or ridges for a smooth handle section. Then, drill a 1/4-inch hole through the antler bases, to feed through a carrying cord. Coating the antlers with linseed oil once per year will give them a ‘live’ sound and preserve the resonance.
  11. Deer move to food sources after a period of stormy weather ends. Immediately after bad weather, hunt wherever trails lead to feeding areas. Does and fawns will want to feed and bucks will not be far behind. Don’t leave your blind early. Remain in your stand until the legal shooting time is completely over. One of the best times to sight a buck is the last minute of daylight.
  12. Check your equipment when you first get in the stand and make sure you are comfortable. When a buck walks out is not the time to see whether your scope is clear, if your bow draws back properly, shell in the chamber, etc. With antler rattling, don’t rattle too much. Deer push each other for short periods of time only, so shorter rattles will be more authentic.
  13. During the rut, hunt areas that are plentiful with doe and you are certain to find the biggest bucks. If you notice a big buck on the prowl, chances are good you can stalk him. When preoccupied with the rut, bucks are less likely to pay attention to you.
  14. The more times you hunt from the same stand, the less effective that stand will be in producing a deer.
  15. Hunt more! Spending more time in the field is guaranteed to increase your luck. Also, take a friend and/or child nothing can replace memories like these.

Source: Texas Deer Association