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I'm 29 years old and this fall will be the first time that I have ever been hunting in my life. I'm really interested in Whitetail, but I'm not really sure where to start. I'm not a novice when it comes to dealing with firearms and being in the woods (10 years of Military experience), but I'm not sure how to go about the whole thing. I know that I have to buy a license and receive permission if I want to hunt on someone's property. I'm just not really sure what to do after that. My biggest concerns are; how do I scout for deer, stand placement, what type of equipment do I need and how do I choice which animal to kill (assuming that I see one)? I also don't want to break any unspoken rules or generally tick off anyone who has been hunting for a while. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I will be using a DPMS 308 as my rifle.
 

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Well Vikingjohn... welcome from Missouri! First off, where are you from? There are alot of guys on here from all over the U.S.A. that can help you with your state's regulations. If you're from Missouri, I can definately help you!
The most popular way to scout for deer these days is through trail cams. Personally I use 3 trail cams on about 250 acres of property. If you don't want to spend the money on them, then do it the old fashioned way, and scout them yourself.
Do you have access to property to hunt, or are you going to be hunting public land? Not saying you should use this as a crutch, but MANY farmers and landowners would love to let you use their land to hunt if they found out you were a veteran! I was in the ARMY National Guard for 4 years myself.
Right now would be a good time to scout in the early evening hours and early morning hours to pick up on how the deer are moving. This is the time of the year where they are patterned pretty well and they tend to have a particular routine they are used to day in and day out. (NOT saying they won't change that routine though) If you are hunting wooded lands, then I would suggest getting scent free and scouting the woods during the early afternoon hours (around 12-2pm) Typically during those two hours, this time of year, deer are bedded down somewhere. (That's also NOT saying they won't bed up for longer, or be up and about during that time). As you can tell, deer are unpredictable in every sense. If you are just going to rifle hunt, then you have plenty of time to prepare yourself for the rifle season! In alot of states, bow hunting has already started. It started here in MO on the 15th of this month.
If you'll give us somemore feedback on what type of land your hunting and how many acres and location (state) I'm sure we can help you out more!
Welcome to the DeerHuntersClub.
 

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Thank you for the warm welcome Tator. I will be hunting on my friend's property in South Carolina. I'm not sure how many acres he has, but it spans across farm fields and wooded areas and is pretty sizable. Also, I appreciate the scouting tips. I've been doing a lot of reading on rubs and other deer sign, so hopefully I can put your tips to good use. Another question that I had was about de-scenting myself. My friend compares deer noses to bloodhounds, so what do I have to do to not leave my scent everywhere?

Thanks
 

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Hello and welcome from Ohio. Tator's comments are great ones. Scent elimination is what you make it. I follow this every year. All hunting clothes get washed in a popular scent elimination detergent, hung outside to dry. I spray the clothes down with the same company de-scent spray let dry. Everything gets packed in plastic and a couple of pine branches go into the tub. At camp, outer camo hangs under the porch for open airing, sprayed again each morning and I take a small spray bottle while on stand and just mist clothes,boots, bow ect. Our camp has a steam sauna which is the best thing to open up your skin pores and get you clean. Not everyone has a steam sauna but a good steam shower and using a de-scent body wash product every night will come close. This year I'll be adding a tick spray to my outer camo suit hopefully to help prevent potential lyme disease.
 

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I agree with what HM said above.
I wash my hunting gear in scent free wash and I shower with scent free soap before every hunt. I also spray myself down right when I get to the field. I carry all my hunting clothes in a plastic tub (15 gal) and transport my clothing to and from the field using it. It does a good job of keeping scents out and not holding any scents in. That's all I do and it works fine. If I had a sauna I'd definately use it!!!

Ask you buddy when you can get into those woods and do some scouting. Look for rubs and scraps and trails.
 

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great points Tator & HM
just to add
I look for food sources & bedding areas & try to set up in between them
this year we have a poor acorn crop but the beech nuts are plentiful so I look for beech groves, apple orchards etc.. this is another good point of using cameras you can see what the deer are feeding on
deer beds usually are a patted down area of grass, ferns or leaves about the size of an average sized person
best chance for bucks are first light & last light but as tator stated that does not mean you won't see one at noon
early bow season I will hunt field or open dried up swamps
as the season gets later I will hunt the thicker areas more often then the fields
 

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First season

Don't fret about starting hunting at 29. I didn't start until 31! If you have that much property to hunt then take a few days and just walk around. Look for deer poop and you should see obvious signs of deer trails which alot of time looks like someone went through and laid the weeds over to both sides. Also if the property is hilly look for natural funnels between two hills. Deer like to move where they feel safe and I have had more luck in funnels than anywhere else.
 

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I'm 29 years old and this fall will be the first time that I have ever been hunting in my life. I'm really interested in Whitetail, but I'm not really sure where to start. I'm not a novice when it comes to dealing with firearms and being in the woods (10 years of Military experience), but I'm not sure how to go about the whole thing. I know that I have to buy a license and receive permission if I want to hunt on someone's property. I'm just not really sure what to do after that. My biggest concerns are; how do I scout for deer, stand placement, what type of equipment do I need and how do I choice which animal to kill (assuming that I see one)? I also don't want to break any unspoken rules or generally tick off anyone who has been hunting for a while. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I will be using a DPMS 308 as my rifle.
Wow, this is almost identical to my situation, though I'm 39. The good news for guys like us is that the hunting community is online and there's no shortage of experts willing to make others better hunters.

My approach has been to tap into the local hunting community. I found hunters at the local American Legion and VFW. I lucked into a father/son hunting party that have an area scouted. Heavy woods, light traffic. they've been walking me through the process.

Some tips not already out there that made sense to me: Invest in well-insulated boots. In fact, you may invest more in your clothing and gear than your rifle and scope, or at least I seem to be. In Penna., my slug gun season doesn't start until there's a nip in the air, so I've got to plan for layers and possibly long stays in a tree stand without moving around.
 

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Give me your shipping address, I'll mail you gallons full of them! JOKING!



We had a bad year last year for them, but this year the trees are FULL of them and then some.
Joking??? I was going to take you up on that if you would cover the shipping cost
nope it is OK looks like this year the beech & apples are where they are at I may be ok
 

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All good advice so far. I'd also recommend you perhaps invest in a ladder stand or perhaps a lock-on with added ladder for access. Climbers are also good, but good ones are a bit more expensive and the trees they are suited for are a bit limited.

Advice about scouting is all good as is that about being as scent-free as possible. The hint(s) about plastic bags or plastic bins to store your de-scented clothes are good as well. I normally will put some fallen leaves on the bottom or cedar boughs, if they are common in your area. Most important is them being scent-free to start though.

Best not to stop for bacon and eggs at the local diner in those hunting duds too, as you've just defeated your whole purpose. I even stay away from drinking coffee en-route to my hunting area. Do NOT stop and refuel & never wear your work boots to hunt, if possible. Keep boots just for the woods, if you can.

A small day pack is nice and if walking any distance to your stand, keep your outer layer in the pack, or tied to it, so you don't get all sweated up walking in. When at your spot, add the outer layers for warmth. Also, if possible, change to a clean, scent-free hat when in place. Go ahead and take a whiff of a favorite hat some time! A clean one helps while on stand.

When scouting for sign & stand location, keep the sun's position in mind. Sitting at daybreak looking at a rising sun, frankly sucks. So try to pick a couple sites in mind as well as the rising & setting sun's location.

Good luck!
 
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