In my opinion, scent control is the MOST IMPORTANT factor in deer hunting. Deer are constantly using their noses 25 hrs. a day, 8 days a week, 13 months a year, etc. (that's how extremely important a deers nose is for survival). A deer can tell the difference between coyotes, racoons, foxes, rabbits, and even the acorns between red and white oaks, although white oaks are the preferred choice. Anyways, just imagine when a deer gets a whiff of a human stomping through the woods. Its's foriegn, foul, offensive, and a form of danger. Use scent elimination products from soap, shampoo, deodorant, detergent, fabric sheets, and field sprays. There's even special chewing gum. TAKE ADVANTAGE of scent control.
I hope I can provide some useful info. to you. Speaking from experience a treestand provides you with a birdseye view of the area and the higher you are the risk of being smelled is reduced. Combine that with proper scent elimination techniques and you should be ok for starters. If possible use trees that have good, strong branches for climbing and cover for hang on stands. For climber treestands you will need a straight, strong tree without any branches, vines etc. for at least 25 ft so that you can climb up with no obstructions. If you know of any funnels, pinch points, or travel corridors that bring the deer and trails together you could setup around there. I always setup in woods opposed to fields. Maybe 40yards in from the fields edge. Thats where bucks will most likely be crossing the area checking the doe trails to the field. Look for the faint trail cutting across those field trails. It provides cover and saves the bucks time in searching for does. If you go to Sportsmansguide.com they have good tips at the bottom of their homepage just follow it to deer hunting tips. Also, try deeranddeerhunting.com. I'll try leaving more tips later because it takes me forever to type.
Looks like you are getting a lot of good advice, most of it I agree with.
As for the shot gun you use, use a 12 ga if you can handle it. That is the key question, what can you handle? Only you can answer that question, by practicing at the range. If you can get good groups at the range with a 12 ga use it. If not go to the 20 ga, the 20 ga will easily kill a deer. I would not go smaller than a 20ga.
Since this is your property, the best thing you can do is scouting. Like other members have said, check out the deer patterns. What time of the day you see them etc. I do not put too much faith in scrapes and buck rubs. I know the bow hunters would disagree with me. Rubs and scrapes are good, they are the most visible sign that deer are in the area, but they do not necessarily tell you how they are moving. Scrapes and rubs are made only when the deer are in the rut and can be abandoned or change quickly.
I think the key is funnels. A funnel being a narrow stretch of woods, a valley, a field edge, a creek etc where the deer are consistently moving from the bedding area to where they feed. Look for heavily worn trails within or near these funnels. If you find good scrapes and rubs within these funnels even better.
You may want to go on-line with your computer and get a topographical map of your property and near by properties. This may help you identify certain funnels.
It is good to see a young person getting into hunting.
Good luck and tell us how you do.
rubs are from a bucks antlers on saplings and small trees. Some people say that the bigger the rub the bigger the deer but I really can't tell only when there are deep gouges in the tree from large brow tines. Then there are different types of rubs, traditional is when any buck just comes up to a tree and trashes it. Then theres a signpost rub that would really catch your eye when you see one. This is usually done on larger trees and appears to be very fresh and bright. I don't know the exact significance in these rubs but hopefully the info from Buckfever will provide more insight for you. I have seen these rubs in a line along with some scrapes (deer scratching leaves and dirt away to expose bare earth to pee in it for scent purposes. Usually done under a low overhanging branch in which the deer will lick, chew, and rub his eye and forehead glands on also for scent purposes). These signs may be a hot spot to scout for just don't get too close to these and for any reason don't touch and try hard not to leave any human scent in or around the area.
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