Frustrated New Hunter Needs Help

Thread starter #41
Since you are familiar with this sight, I'd spend a good bit of time on the Traditional Bowhunter part of this forum. The reason is that those guys HAVE to get deer and hogs close because their maximum range is only maybe 30 yards. I spend as much time or more reading about how those guys hunt and I'm not even a bow hunter. A good percentage of those guys hunt public land and kill deer with incredible consistency. No food plots. no corn, just natural food sources. Several posts have already mentioned the wind. When I got serious about the wind direction and hunting accordingly, I started killing bucks. Lastly, you're pressing. I did the same thing trying to kill my first mature racked buck. I wore myself out treating deer hunting like a second job. I finally took a deep breath, went back to basics, found a funnel between 2 cypress ponds and killed a monster 7 pt. You've got the right attitude and you're willing to do the work, just settle down and scout smart. Then hunt smarter.
Thanks! Good advice!
Dont feel bad, buddy. This is my first year hunting, and all I've killed is a little 3 pointer. That was on private land, over corn.

I can now only hunt public land. I decided to start hunting weeks before bow season, so I didnt have time to scout much or really learn a lot. I have only seen a couple of deer on public land so far, but I had a bow and they were at least 60 yards away. I have been hunting at least twice a week, climbing up and down these ****ed NW GA mountains looking for deer.

You just gotta stick with it man. Just enjoy being out in the woods.


Senior Member
A couple things I've not seen addressed. How many acres is this club and how many members? It more than likely isn't just you in those areas and the deer have learned to avoid the areas you and other members frequent. If you have several members walking up a given area, you have forced those deer to move elsewhere and move at night.

Also, you mentioned you're checking your cameras every time you go to the stand. The deer have already figured that one out, thus the reason your only getting pictures at night in those areas.

How many deer have other members taken off of the club?


Political Forum Town Crier
I hunt the thickest places I can find that borders a food source and I also check my cameras every 2-3 weeks. Pick a rainy or 15mph windy day and do some scouting. I have had a lot of luck with the wind blowing 10-25mph.

Check the GON rut map and see when the rut is for your area, read all these comments that members have posted and pick which is best for your style of hunting and use the knowledge of other hunters.

You haven’t had a bad season everybody makes mistakes and everyone misses that is why they call it hunting.
Thread starter #46
Thanks, y’all! I dropped another doe last night and had a chance to shoot three more minutes later. Amazing how one more deer will make you feel about your season. Still looking for that first buck, but it will come. Really appreciate all the advice.


“Well Rounded Outdoorsman MOD “
First I’d like to say congrats on a great season , the best advice I can give on getting that first buck is not shoot the first doe that u see , a lot of the mature bucks that I’ve killed I’ve seen other deer before I’ve killed them , and I’m sure if I’d of shot ol big boy wouldn’t of stepped out
Congratulations on 2 great seasons. For a new hunter sounds like you doing just fine. It took me 3 years to get my first deer and that was almost 40 years ago. Hunting is still my passion but the older I get the more I realize that its more about the campfire and sharing it with good friends and just enjoying being out there. Dont get me wrong I still get excited about big horns and I still love to try to figure those big bucks out. I guess Im just saying slow down a bit, take your time, hunt the wind, forget what you see some hunters doing on tv and just enjoy. When you do get that big buck and you will it will be that much sweeter!


**# 1 Fan**OHIO STATE**
I got a spot a friend on our club has shown me a potential for next year. Great area for a food plot next year. On the edge of cover. Could hang my climber there and give it a shot.
Do it now. Like someone else said, now is the best time to use corn
Take up squirrel hunting and other small game as well. You will be surprised how much you will learn about the woods and animals this will transfer right over to deer hunting. When I was growing up we were forced to start out on small game before being allowed to deer hunt
I was you once, a long time ago. Gave it all pretty much up. I wash my clothes in the scent free normal detergent in the big jugs. I don't spend money on fancy clothes wash. I sit on the ground between bedding and feeding areas, funnels and travel corridors and edges. I don't see deer every hunt and you should not expect to either especially in a hunting club that gets pressure from other hunters.

Stay out of your hunting spots unless you are hunting them. Going in and out to check cameras every weekend? Do you think the deer don't notice that? You are walking through their livingroom and they do notice. The deer pattern you better than you pattern them, especially the older deer. They don't get old by being stupid. The deer in my avatar was 10+ years old. I got lucky. Luck counts.

Slow down, practice your shooting, stop buzzing through your hunting areas to check what is on that camera. Walk less, sit still more.
I posted this on another thread, but valid points for your inquiry.

Remember, the season ain’t over till it’s over!

Stick with it!

Every time you hunt you learn something.

There is no right or wrong way.

The 6 deer on my wall are all Pope & Young or larger.

None of them have been shot while using a call, scents, food plots or bait.

I also don't criticize hunters for using what ever legal method they choose to use.

I attribute my success to the following:
  1. Time in the field, this includes, hunting while tired, in the rain, wind, cold, in the middle of the day, in the heat with mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers.
  2. Being as scent free, as possible. No scent soap, rubber boots, not wearing my hunting clothing anywhere but in the woods.
  3. Practice!!!!!
  4. Learning the ambush spots. This includes, trimming shooting lanes for bow and rifle before and during season.
  5. Watching the wind. I will not hunt certain stand sites if the wind is not blowing in the right direction
  6. Not hunting the same stand day after day after day. Don't educate the deer to your presence.
  7. If you aren't seeing deer, move to somewhere else.
  8. Learn to identify the preferred native food source.
  9. Hunting the rut. I take 9 days off in the middle of November every year to try to coordinate with the trolling/chasing phase of the rut.
  10. Being a little aggressive. Don't hesitate to try to stalk one. If you see one and the wind is right, go after him.
  11. The final, most important point is, use dumb luck. I am living proof that a blind squirrel can find a nut every once in a while.
The above are just some basic points that took me a LONG time to figure out. I have to say, once you get most of it figured out, watching the wind may be the most important.

Good luck!

Mr. Fishunt
I’ve only been into deer hunting about 10 years. Have learned a lot in that time. Started smoking my gear last year just to try it. It’s one of the best things I’ve done. I usually at least get a chance at one to put on the wall for the last 5 years or so and typically see plenty. I look for funnels of any sort. This year I focused on thick travel routes that didn’t allow me to see far at all. Paid off for me with 2 good bucks a week apart, one being an old deer, which is what my goal was. I started learning much more when I began watching deer instead of shooting them.
Thread starter #54
I’ve only been into deer hunting about 10 years. Have learned a lot in that time. Started smoking my gear last year just to try it. It’s one of the best things I’ve done. I usually at least get a chance at one to put on the wall for the last 5 years or so and typically see plenty. I look for funnels of any sort. This year I focused on thick travel routes that didn’t allow me to see far at all. Paid off for me with 2 good bucks a week apart, one being an old deer, which is what my goal was. I started learning much more when I began watching deer instead of shooting them.
Thanks for the tips, what do you mean by smoking your gear?
Thanks for the tips, what do you mean by smoking your gear?
I use a bee smoker with wood chips to saturate myself, clothes, and gear with smoke prior to hunting. There’s lots of info online about it. Deer smell you, but you smell like smoke. They are used to the smell in most areas and pay little attention to it.
You need to do a better job managing your expectations. You got meat in the freezer and you had a shot on a buck. That's an excellent season.

If it's all about the kill you will never be satisfied with any deer season because it will leave you wanting to kill more. The kill is the last event in a chain of events. You need to slow your roll and focus more on the chain of events and learn to appreciate each link in the chain. Your first buck is going to come when you least expect it. Keep pushing too hard and it will never come.

It's called deer "hunting" for a reason. Hunt more, expect less and get more out of each hunt. When you come out of the woods at the end of the day even if you didn't see so much as a squirrel, if you don't have a sense of satisfaction then you're doing it all wrong.
This right ^^^^. I rarely see many deer this time of year but I still enjoy the hunt.

I might suggest if you are hunting the same places you did in Oct & Nov that may be a problem. Food sources change and the beautiful hardwood ridge raining white oaks back then is prolly not where they are at now. Get in or close to the thick stuff around the best current food source. Try hunting OTG and be a sniper - hunt where other's haven't.
Well you need find your horse shoe, some people are just lucky. I hunt with guys who struggle even I spots I set them up in. Not trying to rub anything in but I have killed my two bucks this year helped my 8 yr old son kill his first which was an 8 pointer. Two does and shot 2 bears only recovered 1. I should have found the other but the terrain was to dangerous and lost him. All on public land. I normally do have seasons like this. It boils down to I spend way too much time in the woods. But who's ever said that? Nobody!


Anti everyone but me
Dont set your bar too high and kick back and enjoy the woods. I do very little work to prepare for hunting and I take deer every year but not always a nice buck. All you need to have fun hunting is three things: a stand (I prefer a climber), a gun and a bag of corn. You really dont even need the corn but it helps. I do like a trail cam but I dont check it all the time; I use it mainly to see how many deer are coming in to my corn. Sounds like you had a good season compared to a lot of other people so good job! BTW to keep them from running off learn the high shoulder shot and you will hardly ever have to track a deer again.
It took me 4 years to kill my first deer. It was a 3 ptr off a WMA. A memory I will never forget! I found a spot deep in the woods and sat up against a tree in the swamps near a river. All you need is warm clothing and your weapon of choice. I’ve never used any of that stupid crap they sell at hunting stores. As long as you put time in the woods scouting, finding their food source and bedding area and hunting inbetween with the wind blowing in your face, you will see deer. Find some acorns, find a tree and sit. Be patient and you will thank me later. Good luck!! Hope this helps.
Hang in there fella, when I started out deer hunting it was two years before it all came together! I was really struggling! I was talking to this one fella that was always bringing deer into camp, so I asked him to give me a couple of tips! He said ok , but I am only gonna give you one, I said ok shoot! This is what he told me, he said find you a place where you can get the highest in a tree and see the farthest, and I GARANTEE you that you will see deer! So, I tried his strategy and my struggling days were over! Sometimes the deer we're to far away so I would just move my stand a little closer, but I was seeing deer! I have developed other strategies over the years, looking for food sources, trails , rubs ect, but if I am having a dry spell I go back to the tip that fella gave those many years ago and Bingo!