Gear advice for newbie deer hunter

ACC

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I have a plot of land out in Parke County. I have never hunted deer out there before, but I am doing it this year. Set up trail cams last season and figure out where the deer are moving through. Set up two tree stands this summer in the right places.

I have a rifle and scope all set up and ready to go. Also have a FIL who has all the field dressing experience and tools. But wondering what other gear you all would consider essential.

Regular camo clothes or scent blocker clothes?
Deer calls?
Doe scent?
Other things I have no idea about?

Not trying to break the bank on this hunt, but want to be sure I am going into it with the necessities.

Thanks for any advice for this deer hunting newb.
 

1nderbeard

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second patience, and would add warm comfortable clothes.

Good warm Hat, gloves/mittens that you can shoot with (shots will come quick), something for the face too, at least 2-3 underlayers of clothing and a nice coat, warm pair of bibs, 2 socks, and insulated boots.

Hunting is best described as hours of waiting for a few minutes of total exhilaration followed by hours of hard work.

Practice walking quietly to your stands too; know the area and anything that will make noise. I snuck in to my blind perfectly, not a noise, only to sit down on a chair cushion that made a loud air noise that spooked the dear in the area....
 

BiscuitsandGravy

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3rd Patience... Yes- go out before the season and just sit... We take bottle of water, small first aid kit w/ quik-clot, hand warmers, enough layered clothes so you can always take layers off. It sucks if you're freezing cold. Anything else I may have missed.

Good luck! And take pics!

:ingo:
 

Hookeye

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If you aint comfy, they you won't be paying attention.
Or you'll not stay out very long.

Gun season, lots of people will be out.
Many will get tired/bored and get down, do pushes or just leave.

Do not be one of those guys.

If a pass through, or even if not...........most of my deer are killed between 10am and 2 pm.

When those around me have gotten down at 10 am.

;)
 

Hookeye

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Might want to take an extra orange hat.
If you do get on the ground to hunt, hanging the spare high and behind your position adds safety.
I hunt creekbottoms and set up just below the ridge........so high side folks may not see me even w vest/hat.
Hanging one higher behind just makes me feel better.

Nobody else supposed to be hunting there.
Doesn't mean somebody won't shoot that way.

Extra orange is cheap.

Plus if you hunt big ground the extra hat can mark where the dead deer is, save you from taking the scenic route when you are coming back with the cart.

...............

Tools.....

A sharp knife. Proly nitrile gloves for field dressing.
Jug o water and paper towels for clean up of hands/arms (if one gets that messy LOL).
Some folks oops the field dressing, water helps erase the mistake.

A good stick w rope to tie a does head/feet to, makes dragging them out way easier.
But you should pop one and do it the old fashioned way of just grabbing behind the foot and pull.......getting the wonderful hand cramp after a few yards
Just once LOL.
Bucks w decent antlers have good enough grab.

IMHO there's no need to split the pelvis w saw.
Yet my hunting bud still wants to do that, after years of not (but he started his deer hunting with folks that did).
A reg sharp 4" fixed blade knife should be all you need.

A deer is just a giant rabbit. Maybe intimidating, but after one or two you're a pro.

.......................

Calls.

Grunt call. Doe bleat (can type). They work, but timing is everything.
Watch some hunting videos to see how much/little is right.

My suggestion in that is to watch "The Hunting Public" videos on YT.

They aint trying to sell you stuff.............blasting calls at deer that have had zero pressure.

Heck, they're pretty entertaining.
Those guys and "Whitetail Adrenaline".

Only ones I watch, and FWIW I detest the outdoor channel programs.
 
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teddy12b

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When I started deer hunting I made all kinds of rookie mistakes that I'm happy to list out.

*Don't buy full camo outfits for every season of the year. Odds are you're going to be throwing a giant orange sheet over the top of yourself anyway, so what's the point in some fancy camo from head to toe. I'm in a ground blind so I don't even bother with it at all anymore, but for a tree stand you'll need/want it. I'd just get one oversized layer of camo that you can throw over whatever cold weather you already have if you've already got something that'll work.

*Don't fall for all the knife, gut hook, whatever gimmicks. Every time I bought some new gadget I ended up feeling dumb for buying it by the time I was done using it for the first time. You can field dress a deer with any small folding pocket knife out there, just don't get caught up into the hype of needing something fancy.

*Don't worry about doe bleats, rattles, or calling devices. I've never seen them work, but I have definitely watched them fail. I've seen deer too far away in the distance at the end of a day and have tried experimenting with all the gadgets usually with the same result of a deer head popping up alerted and shortly followed by the deer running off in the opposite direction. If there's an art to that, I don't know it. I watched dvd's and you tube videos and wtih a can you turn upside down I don't know how you can possibly screw that up. These days, I just let the kids play with those, but they do not go hunting with me.

*All temp ratings on boot manufacturers are full of it and inconsistent across the board. I've had Rockies, with 800 grams of thinsulate or whatever other big numbered cold weather rating out there fail miserably and to have cold feet. A couple years ago a buddy of mine pointed me towards "Sorel Mens Conquest" boots and on the gear specs they only have 400 grams of thinsulate but are hands down the warmest boots I've ever worn outdoors and I'll never give them up.

*Aside from all the gear stuff I mentioned, the best practical thing you can do is when you get in your stand or get setup, take a couple of practices at positioning yourself for a shot. The last thing you want is for an animal to be giving you a shot and now you have to figure out how much stuff is in your way or has to move or that your sling is caught on something or any number of things like that get avoided by taking a couple of practice setups.
 

spencer rifle

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You may want to consider the UV-killer orange stuff. While hunting with a friend a few years ago we were able to see the deer react to regular orange. We were downwind and motionless, but they still saw me and reacted. No problem with that since the switch.
 

jerrob

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A harness.
The best harness you can afford.
If you don't have/ can't afford one, someone on here, maybe even me, will give you one.
Deer hunting sucks when you have a broken back or very dead.
Bonus tip: the wind is a Deer's best friend and your new enemy. Learn to use it to your advantage and set stands accordingly.
Good luck and stay safe.
 

Mgderf

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A harness.
The best harness you can afford.
If you don't have/ can't afford one, someone on here, maybe even me, will give you one.
Deer hunting sucks when you have a broken back or very dead.
Bonus tip: the wind is a Deer's best friend and your new enemy. Learn to use it to your advantage and set stands accordingly.
Good luck and stay safe.

This is the best advice yet given.
Not that any of the rest is bad.

I would also forget the calls.
You said Parke county? You have nice deer in at least some of Parke county, if not all.
My property is only a mile, maybe a mile and a half from the northern edge of Parke county. I'm in Fountain.
Last year I shot the largest deer (9 point buck) I've harvested in my 40+ years of hunting Indiana whitetail and I shot it on that Fountain county property.
This was no Pope & Young contestant, but a personal best.

Get out early and sit as still as you can.
Some tree stands have a provision that allows you to hang a camo skirt around your stand.
These help tremendously if you have fidgety legs, like me.
Slow, quiet movements of my legs let me stay out a lot longer.

Anymore I hunt from an elevated blind so my movements are masked even more.
Safety is first, deer second...good times to follow.
 

Ruger_Ronin

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Be constantly aware of the wind direction and how it is changing. Move accordingly.

This is at the tip top. Learn to play the wind.
An empty plastic bottle to pee in is crucial. Other than that, required orange, and a good pair of both socks & gloves. A cold man is a figity man.

Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
 

Hookeye

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Calls work. But they proly wont make up for other sins. Halloween I will have a bleat can and grunt tube on me.......and even in gun season.

Think they work best right before gun but have called bucks in w grunt calls in gun season.

I havent figured out how to do a snort wheeze yet lol
 

Hookeye

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Have observed hundreds of deer over the years. Called in quite a few. They usually come downwind and lock up at 50 yards lol. Not cool for bowhunting....unless you have a buddy 50 yards downwind.

Camo works. But not if you are stupid. Remember.....sitting still and blending in aint gonna help you when you spooked em into the next county getting to your stand
 

Hookeye

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You can do everything right and not see a tail. Can do everything wrong and kill a monster.....but to see and kill deer regularly.....the stuff seems to be the same as it has been.

Be sneaky, watch the wind.

You will learn how to move, how to look....the more you do it. Learn what not to do kinda thing. Some folks learn faster than others.

Enjoy the education. Its your classroom.
 

Restroyer

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In my opinion I think a Grunt Call does work. Not so much to call a Buck in but to get a Buck that is moving to briefly stop and look so I can take that still shot at him. When a Buck is on the slow trot I give a quick Grunt Call and he will typically stop and look for a second and then be ready to take that shot (my grunt call has a rope for around my neck so as to free up my hands to shoot). I also agree with the wind direction - that's your worst enemy. I also agree with warm clothes. As I have gotten older I wear more layers and still get cold faster than when I was young and had better blood circulation. A tool I use to field dress is the Butt-Out tool (it does what it implies and you can watch You Tube Videos on it if you need to).
I use Bleat Calls and Rattle Bags but I have never been able to attribute any success to them. I hunt on Private Land and it seems most of my kills are at end of the day which sucks if they run much since it's usually about dark. For gun or muzzle loader season I try and take a shoulder shot so as to minimize the distance the deer can run. Just my 2 Cents. Good Luck.
 

Leadeye

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Stay comfortable so you won't move around. Scents like Tinks are 50/50 sometimes they bring in the buck alone, sometimes they drive off the doe with the buck trailing. I don't use them anymore. Mind the wind. Know your gun. I've had my best luck with a doe bleat can call, even brings in coyotes if you get bored.
 

two70

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As has been mentioned by a couple of others, if you don't already have a treestand harness that should be your first gear purchase priority. Get the best you can afford, preferably one with a built in retractable life line or standard harness combined with a separate retractable life line for an even higher degree of safety. Most safety harnesses can also be used to drag a deer and they beat the heck out of any hand held drag rope/system.

Second, get and regularly use a some sort of puff or powder style wind indicator. It is not enough to simply know the wind direction, you need to know exactly what the wind is doing to your scent at your stand. Topography, cover, and thermals can all work to carry your scent 180 degrees from the nominal wind direction. They are cheap and can teach you a lot about your stands.

Third, get neoprene pads for the bottom of your stand where you put your feet and neoprene/foam padding for any metal that you contact while sitting in your stands. This will help you sit more comfortably and help keep you warm by reducing metal to boot and metal clothing contact.

Calls can work very well... if you use them correctly at the right time. They are relatively cheap and really don't have much of a down side so long as you are willing to invest a bit or practice time and a bit more time learning when, how and mostly importantly, how not to use them. My advice would be to keep it simple to start with, buy a tube call that is adjustable to make several different kind of sounds. The standard doe bleat should be where you focus most of your calling efforts. This call will bring in deer of all ages/sexes and won't spook some like more aggressive calls can.

Scents can work but they can quickly get expensive and in my experience are almost never worth it, especially in firearms season. Generally speaking, any deer that can smell any scent you use can probably either smell your scent directly or the ground scent you left when you placed it. Personally, I've tried many scents on the market and have only found one that seems to work somewhat consistently, even with that one the jury is still out.

A decent pair of binoculars is good to have but certainly not critical for your first season. Just remember that a riflescope is not a substitute for nor should it be used as binoculars.
 

Hookeye

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I had great success w aome scents years ago. But the ones i used got discontinued. Others didnt work, so i gave up altogether.

Like stated in above post.....they get expensive.

Have hunted here for decades without binoculars.
Excellent vision.....never felt handicapped.

Now that my eyes have gone to hell, i bought some.
Steiner entry level 10x32. Reg 469....discontinued model.....for 169. Sold out. Dunno if Doug at Cameraland will get anymore.

Think for general use an 8x might be better. Meopta Optik are IIRC 299. Might get a pair of those too.
 

Hookeye

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HS buck lure supreme and Foggy Mountain hot doe were the two scents that worked for me.

The buck lure.....pulled younger bucks like they were on a string.

Dunno what was in it but early and up through pre rut.....it worked.

But to pull bigger bucks....and save some money......grunt call for the win. Too aggressive and yeah you'll spook some deer.

Ya just never know what tactic will work. Deer dont read the script.

Nice to have choices though.
 
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