There is now doubt hunters spend a lot of time thinking about deer hunting strategy, tips and tricks. Many hunters will spend thousands of dollars to go on a big trip, but spend little or no time at the rifle range in preparation for their deer hunting trip. This is not recommended because it always pays to check your equipment and get reacquainted with your gun before that split second between success and failure comes.
In order to maximize your hunting success and to ensuring a quick kill, minimizing the possibility of losing a crippled animal, it highly recommend that you spend some time properly preparing for your hunt. Here are a few hunting and shooting tips for those that plan to head out deer hunting this fall, whether it be your lease, public hunting land or a guided trip.
1. Start with an adequate caliber for deer. Generally, a minimum of a .243 caliber with 100 grain bullet is a good starting place, but you can go way up from there. There are many hunters that use smaller calibers with great success, but there is not much margin for error when you get down to smaller bullets.
2. Avoid highly expandable bullets for deer and other big game. Certain ballistic tips and hollow points can explode on the surface or before if they graze even a blade of grass along the way. Partions, A-Frames, bonded bullets and bullets that retain the majority of their mass are preferred on mule deer and whitetail hunts.
3. Make sure to practice! Shoot at least 20 rounds through your gun in preparation for your hunt, with at least two different trips to the range. Lots of hunters know that their gun is sighted in, but is it? Also, you are not simply making sure that your gun is sighted in, but you are also practicing. It pays to become familiar with your trigger pull, follow through, breathing control and everything else that goes with heading out to the field.
4. The most common mistake deer hunters make is having their gun sighted in too high at 100 yards. Move that bullet down! If you forget this factoid when the buck of a lifetime cruises by at close distance, when things happen quickly, you can make a chip shot turn bad in a hurry. On the flip side, if a deer is way out you are not going to forget to aim high. Most calibers will put a bullet into the “sweet spot” at 300 yards out if you simply hold even at the top of the back, if sighted in at 100 yards.
5. Lastly, always check your gun when you get to your deer hunting destination just to make sure that all is still good to go. Sometimes things happen in travel. Sometimes screws loosen up on slings and scopes. Look your gun over and make sure it’s good. Remove the bolt and look down the barrel to make sure a spider didn’t build a web in there. You just never know.
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