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Spotting Deer

The most important aspect in spotting deer is to see your deer before he sees you. Once you accomplish this you have an advantage, and you can concentrate all your attention on where the animal is and how to close in on him.  The whitetail buck on the other hand, has his mind on something else and is expecting only general dangers.  The best times to take advantage of this factor are early in the morning and late in the evenings when the deer are moving about and feeding.

After a deer has bedded down, his attention is no longer on getting food.  Even if you could spot a bedded buck before he notices you, you have to compete with all his senses, which are
more focused on hearing, seeing or smelling an intruder.  Not only are deer easy to spot when they're moving about, there is also the chance they may start moving towards you.  This will no doubt make your job a lot easier.  You can get away with making small noises during the early and late hours, because deer will expect slight disturbances from the movement of other game.  But once it quiets down, you'll be at a disadvantage with every movement you make.

The best way to reduce your odds of alerting deer is to be in a hotspot area before the animals begin moving during the early and late hours.  In the morning, the stalker should be in his hunting area before the stars begin to fade.  You should take a flashlight with you to help guide you in, then sit down and wait until the first hint of daylight before you start moving about looking for a buck.

Most hunters today start the afternoon hunt too early and end it too early.  Whitetails do not move out of cover as early in the evening as they did years ago because of this.  You'll seldom see a deer till early in the evening most of the time.  There's not much sense of getting into the area you want to stalk until the sun is almost setting.  When you start hunting, don't give up until the last minute of  the shooting time window passes.  You may not have the time to stalk some of them, but you know there's not a chance in the world of stalking a buck you haven't spotted.

One of the greatest errors would-be stalkers make is going too fast and too far when looking for bucks.  The hunter who barrels through the brush has almost no chance to spot a deer before the animal becomes aware of him.  The main trick is to scout for good deer country well before the hunting season starts, then soft shoe through it while spending 90 percent of your time looking, and 10 percent walking.  Step on solid rocks or firm ground if possible, never put your weight on anything that can make a snapping or crackling sound.  Any deer hears much better than he can see,  and he will be instantly alerted to any unnatural sounds.  The beginning hunter often sees these deer because they may wait to make sure the noises are from a human and not from something harmless before they bound away.  But then, there is not a chance to stalk the deer.