Deer Hunting Tips to help you get ready for the Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener, by Nik Dimich, Dimich Outdoors. Visit Grand Rapids welcomes hunters to the Grand Rapids area and wishes everyone a safe and productive hunt. If you have forgotten something on your way to the hunting shack, don’t worry we have you covered. The www.visitgrandrapids.com website has a shopping, dining & services section that will help you find everything you are looking for.
TREE STAND SAFETY
In Minnesota, a large percentage of deer hunting related injuries result from falling out of tree stands. Wearing a safety vest or harness can help prevent falls. Using a rope to haul up gear can also help as can using an equipment hook for hanging your pack, bow, etc. Tree stands should be examined every year for safety. The more prepared you are, the safer you will remain.
Since scrape activity slows, but never really stops completely, it is never too early or too late to make mock scrapes in the deer woods. In and out of the rut, deer still use and seek scrapes to leave their mark. Simply working the ground up under an over-hanging branch will get the momentum started. In early season, top off the fresh soil with a urine-based scent, closer to the rut, bring out the doe-in-estrous scents. It has never been easier with the advent of drip bottles to do that.
TRACKING WOUNDED DEER
Tracking a wounded deer is something most hunters really don’t want to do, but sometimes have to do. Here are three tips to help you put venison on the table. First, buy a handheld GPS. Punch in your stand and then punch in each spot where blood is found. Second, get some fluorescent flagging tape to tie on at each blood site (be sure to come back and pick up the ribbon). Finally, for night tracking, bring along two Coleman lanterns. Leave one at last blood and look for more with the other. Blood shines in Coleman light and the woods are a little less scary.
Deer calls can be very effective when used at the right time. During the rut, a low-toned grunt call can act as a challenge to dominant bucks while a higher-toned grunt or bleat may attract a buck or invite other does to come closer. Fawn bleats can be effective in attracting does and other fawns that may then be followed by bucks. The key is practice your calling so you know what message you intend to send and how to accomplish it. Another key is to watch and listen to deer when you are out. Let them teach you their language.
DON’T CHEAT YOUR FEET
A seasoned cold weather hunter will tell you “Don’t skimp on your boots!” Cold feet often lead to hunters leaving their stands, lowering their chances of bagging a deer. Even a good pair of boots can still result in cold feet if you neglect to remove and dry your liners every day. Starting your hunt with moist liners guarantees your feet will get cold, no matter how many degrees below zero the boot rating states. So dry your liners at the end of each day. Better yet, purchase an extra pair of liners for a mid-day switch.
HEATERS CAN BE YOUR BEST BUDDY
Like the old timers used to say, “Life is pretty simple, eat when you are hungry, stay cool when it is hot, and be warm when it is cold.” The last part is a vital element of firearm and muzzleloader and late bow deer hunting. When the winds of November bring the heavy cold and December welcomes winter, a deer hunter’s best “buddy” (pun intended) can be a propane heater. Whether used with a 1, 5, 10, or 20 pound tank, Mr. Heater and Buddy heaters and other brands will make your day afield warm and memorable. There will be no more missed shots due to a shivering body and frozen fingers. Hunting should be about enjoyment, not endurance.
Article by: Nik Dimich, a year round Grand Rapids, MN area fishing guide and outdoor writer/raido communication who can be contacted at www.dimichoutdoors.com