The Real Secrets to Deer Hunting Success

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

me and pointed into the brush to our left. I didn't see anything, but he kept pointing, and finally I noticed it. A doe was lying right at the edge of a small patch of brush and honeysuckle.

We continued, but two hours later I was tired and bored. It was going to be dark soon, and I was thinking about where to hunt tomorrow. Suddenly the expert aimed his rifle at something I couldn't see. He fired, and two does burst from the brush 200 feet away.

I hadn't seen them before they moved, but the expert told me he saw the does and a buck lying down watching us, evidently confident that we hadn't seen them. He led me to a beautiful 11-point buck lying dead from a clean shot in the neck. The expert admired his deer, and we dragged him out. We went back to his house and talked until midnight.

The expert gave me dozens more tips, most of which I had read in books and articles. Undoubtedly, the most important thing he told me was to believe that I was going to see deer.

I realized the importance of this secret after he shot that 11-point buck. Not one deer hunter in a hundred would have seen that deer, but the expert did. He was so sure there were deer around, and so sure he would see one, and so sure in one more second he would get his chance, that instead of just seeing a lot of woods, he was seeing every detail in the woods.

At last I realized my problem. I was so sure that I wasn't going to see anything, that I really didn't see anything.

The next morning it was foggy and raining as I left my truck, but my spirits were bright. I was armed with a powerful new weapon: the power of a positive attitude. I kept thinking - and believing - "In one more second, I'm going to see a buck. In one more second, I'm going to see a deer. In one more second, I'm going to see that beautiful buck. In one more second, my chance will come."

It was wet, cold, and uncomfortable. I had been out for hours, but I knew in one more second my chance would come. I was happy, alert and ready. Suddenly I saw a deer leg! That's right, a deer leg. There was a thick pine tree about 75 yards in front of me, but between the bottom branch and the ground I saw one deer leg from just above the knee to the hoof. I couldn't believe I had seen one little deer leg in that whole big forest.

The deer took several steps away from the tree. It was a buck! I aimed for the shoulder, squeezed the trigger, and down he went. An 8-point! Words can't express how good I felt at that moment.

I am happy to say I have experienced that same thrill more than 40 times. Every year since then I have gotten my buck, but I have also learned that I don't have to kill a deer to have a successful hunt. Once I cleared the hurdle of killing my first buck, I learned that a positive attitude enables me to enjoy the natural setting, the friendship of my hunting partners, and the adventure of the hunt. I have a good time rain or shine, buck or no buck. Now they call me an expert, but I'm really not. It's just that I know the secret, and now you know it, too.

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