Your Guide to Deer Hunting Season
Deer hunting is a great way to get outside during the fall. With open season generally taking place between September and December, you and your friends and family can enjoy the more temperate weather for months in pursuit of one of the most widespread animals in the U.S. Deer hunting has been an important method for acquiring food for thousands of years, and it now has become an enjoyable and challenging pastime as well. To learn more about what you need to know before deer season opens in your region, keep reading, and don’t forget you can find the best hunting gear available at Copper Ridge Outdoors!
Why Deer Hunting?
Hunting is a great way to spend time outdoors, cultivating important skills, honoring a tradition as old as mankind, and harvesting fresh, organic meat. Deer in particular are widespread throughout the U.S., making them an accessible choice of prey for many would-be hunters. However, that doesn’t mean they are easy or boring to hunt. Many would tell you that adult deer are some of the most wary and intelligent animals to pursue, and you’re sure to face a challenge in finding your prize game.
Deer hunting also has a positive impact on your community and local ecosystem. Hunting in general serves an important purpose in controlling local animal populations to ensure they don’t put too much stress on the region and its resources. An overpopulation of deer in particular can have serious, long-term consequences. For example, deer feeding habits can inhibit the growth of mature forests, since they prefer to eat young native woody plants over grasses or invasive species. Deer can also be linked to cases of Lyme disease in humans, as they are the primary hosts for the disease carrier blacklegged tick, and reduced deer populations have been linked to lower incidences of Lyme disease.
If your local area has a deer hunting season, take advantage of it! You’ll be sharing an experience not only with the original settlers of this land, but also millions of hunters across the country enjoying the same pastime.
Choose Your Weapon
Many areas have both a bowhunting season and a season for hunting deer with firearms. How do you want to hunt? Each method has its own pros and cons, but at the end of the day, make sure you choose a weapon that matches your skills and goals, and that you have plenty of time to practice before the season opener.
Bowhunting is a unique skill to cultivate, and it allows you to access a unique hunting season, one that often opens before the firearm hunting season. It can be an expensive weapon to invest in, especially at first, but the early season often gives you the first shot at prize game. It’s also easier to practice archery in your backyard if you are not near a shooting range. You do have to adjust any hunting techniques you learned and applied with firearms, but you also have a range of choice in your weapon. There are a number of bows available, from compound to recurve bows, so you can find something that matches your strengths and goals.
Guns are typically more accessible to beginner hunters, and come without the upfront costs of investing in a bow. You do have to share a hunting season with the lion’s share of other deer hunting enthusiasts, but you have the peace of mind of using a weapon with a great success rate. Make sure to check out our series on bowhunting versus shooting to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages that come with each!
Just like with bowhunting, there are many options within this weapon category to choose from. It’s up to you to do the research to find the right gun for you! If you need a starting point, here are a few popular models used by deer hunters:
- .270 Winchester
- .308 Winchester
- .30–06 Springfield
- 7mm Remington Magnum
Make sure you put in plenty of time with whatever weapon you choose to ensure you can operate safely — and hopefully successfully — on your next hunting trip. If you are building your own practice range, Copper Ridge Outdoors can help. We manufacture and sell a wide selection of high-quality outdoor supplies, including hunting and steel plate targets. Explore our collection today to get started!
Choose Your Vantage Point
There are a few ways to hunt deer. You can hunt on foot, from a blind, or from a tree stand. If you’re looking to learn what kind of gear to get, Copper Ridge Outdoors can help! Our online collection includes portable hunting blinds and tree stand platforms, so you can invest in outdoor hunting gear you trust no matter what method works best for you.
Hunting blinds are a great choice for beginners. These cover devices are made to help camouflage you at ground level, and often they are simple to put up and take down so you can move them wherever you need them. Even the best portable ground blind has disadvantages, however. For example, they can limit what you see and hear as well as where you can shoot thanks to the limited windows, many of which need to be zipped up to effectively camouflage you. On the other hand, hunting blinds tend to keep you warm and dry throughout all weather, and there is plenty of room for friends and other hunters inside.
Tree Stand Platforms
Tree stand platforms are a popular choice among deer hunters for a number of reasons. For one, your elevated place makes it harder and less likely for deer to detect you. Tree stands are typically more expensive than hunting blinds, as well as less mobile, but they improve your field of view and your range when shooting. One thing to keep in mind is that tree stands come with a higher risk of accident, so make sure to invest in and use safety equipment like a harness.
No matter how you choose to approach deer hunting this season, get the outdoor hunting gear you need from Copper Ridge Outdoors. We have exceptionally high standards of quality that we hold ourselves to in order to ensure your comfort, safety, and satisfaction. Find what you need here on our online store, from a simple portable ground blind to a deluxe two-man deer stand!
Bring the Right Gear
Because the deer hunting season takes place during the fall, you can experience a wide range of weather conditions. Staying prepared can help make your hunting trip safe and enjoyable, and packing the right gear can salvage a bad day or even save you in case of bad conditions or an accident.
Early in the season, when it’s warmer, look for lightweight clothes. You want to find fabric that is breathable enough to prevent you from sweating too much — invest in clothing with scent control if you can find it! Even if you plan on hunting from a tree stand, your scent can carry and scare off that big buck you’ve been hoping for.
As the end of the year closes in, the weather in much of the country gets cold, and you’ll have to bundle up to stay safe and warm. Dress in layers so you have some versatility, starting with breathable fabric to wick away moisture so your sweat doesn’t chill your skin. Try to avoid cotton for the layer closest to your skin, as it tends to retain moisture.
For your outer layers, you’ll want thick, water-resistant fabrics that can stand up to wind and precipitation, especially if you plan to hunt from an exposed tree stand. Make sure to bring a jacket, hat, and gloves. Choose your gloves carefully — you don’t want them to be too bulky and prevent you from effectively moving and operating your weapon.
For one, you should always have a hunter orange hat and vest on for your own safety. Several hundred accidents occur every year, and many of them could be prevented by wearing blaze orange.
As for the right gear to bring on a hunt, we recommend:
- Your weapon
- Extra ammunition
- Optics (binoculars, range finder, etc.)
- Sharp knife and rubber gloves for field dressing
- Your permits and required tagging materials
- A map and/or GPS
- A lighter or survival matches
- First aid kit
Pack effectively and you can address many bad situations and keep them from getting worse. By going one step further and also investing in high-quality outdoor hunting equipment, you can potentially avoid any bad accidents in the first place. When you order from Copper Ridge Outdoors, you are receiving products that we have manufactured and shipped ourselves, and we hold everything we sell to a high standard of safety and durability.
Where to Hunt
Finding a place to hunt can be one of the biggest challenges of deer hunting season. There are plenty of rules and regulations on where you can hunt out of respect for safety, natural resource protection, and property rights. That’s why you need to think ahead to take advantage of deer season in your region. Read on to learn more about a few of your potential options and how to approach them for a successful season.
Public land is the closest and only choice for many hunters in the U.S. After all, this land has been reserved for public use such as hunting. You can explore your options with land protected and managed by the federal, state, or local government. Several agencies are likely to have a portion of their website dedicated to information about hunting on public land to help you in your search. Make sure to double check if the spot you have in mind can be accessed by a car or ATV, because some public lands are closed to vehicles, and you’ll have to plan to hike in and then hike out with your game.
There are several cases in which private land may be available to you for hunting. In some circumstances, privately owned land may be open to public hunting thanks to special programs or agreements. You may also have the opportunity to hunt on land owned by friends or family. If they do offer this option, make sure you express your gratitude! (It wouldn’t be wrong to share some of the spoils from your hunts either if you think they would appreciate it.) Whatever you do, wherever you go — remember that you ALWAYS need to ask for permission in order to hunt on private land.
A third option for finding your hunting grounds this season is to lease land, or pay a landowner for the hunting rights to their property. This agreement can be a casual exchange of a few dollars and a verbal contract or it might be a formal legal contract between your hunting club and a large nearby farming operation. Regardless, remember to discuss everyone’s rules and expectations — are you allowed to install a permanent tree stand? Do you plan to install food plots? Having these discussions beforehand can save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Scout Your Options
Whether you’re limited to a parcel of public land nearby or you have several options to choose from, you should scout your hunting territory well before the season opener. If you have the opportunity to go in person, look for signs like droppings, deer trails, rubs, scrapes, and bedding to know where to start looking once the season opens. (This is also a good time to see if you can predict how popular this area will be with other hunters and outdoors enthusiasts.)
If you can’t access the territory beforehand, then look at topographical maps and aerial photos to have a better understanding of the land. Try to spot rivers and creeks that might attract traveling deer, travel corridors like low land between two hills, and open fields that may operate as prime feeding areas. Looking ahead means that once the season begins, you can spend less time strategizing and more time hunting.
Are you ready for the season opener? Make sure you’re prepared with the outdoor hunting supplies you need from Copper Ridge Outdoors. Start with our hunting collection for portable hunting blinds and ladder and hang-on deer stands, and expand your search to find more equipment you can trust, including hunting targets and ATV gear. Place your order today!