STAY STILL ON STAND
Your feet will stay warmer and you will be quieter during long waits for deer if you place an insulating layer of evergreen boughs underfoot. Sweep away snow and other material to expose bare earth, then lay the branches down about 3 inches deep. When your feet are warm, you’re less likely to shift them, and if you do, the boughs are quieter than crunchy snow and leaves.
NEVER FORGET GEAR
On your computer, make separate lists of vital gear for deer hunting, bird hunting, waterfowling, bass fishing, etc., and keep them up-to-date. When it’s time to pack for a trip, print out the appropriate list and check off the items as they go into your bag. With an accurate guide to help you, the process becomes quick and efficient. You won’t forget necessities or lug along useless extras.
RIG TANGLE-FREE DECOYS
Set your decoys with a trawl line to avoid frustrating tangles. To make one, tie four or five overhand loops 2 to 3 feet apart in the middle of some camo-colored cord. Tie a loop for an anchor at each end. Rig your decoy bases with snap fasteners. To use, anchor one end, snap decoys to the loops as you pay out the line, then anchor the far end. Stagger lines to create an irregular pattern.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR LURES
Permanent-ink felt-tipped markers are great for making on-the-scene pattern repairs to plastic fishing lures and for increasing their visibility under specific light conditions. Use black or blue to draw distinct scale patterns or vivid dark-light contrasts. Red is good for adding bright gill slashes. Make glaring eyes with yellow and black. Carry a few colors in your tackle box.
SHOOT A MIDDAY BUCK
Deer move the farthest at dawn and dusk, but there is also a midday period during which does will leave bedding areas to browse, and attending bucks follow them. You’ll have a good chance at one if you stay in the woods between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M. and hunt close to spots where does have been resting. Select a stand that offers good visibility over a wide area.