New deer hunter needs place to hunt and be taught the basics of deer hunting


August 8, 2007, 04:02 PM
Does anyone know of a good place to start out deer hunting . I have hunted waterfowl and lots of other game but never deer . I just bought a nice deer rifle and want to find a place to deer hunt. I live in Maryland and just wanted some advice to get started because I live in the city and don't have any land or friends with land to hunt on .

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Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2007, 04:41 PM
First, ask any of your friends if they hunt deer. Finding a hunting buddy is a good way to start.

Next, if you can't find a buddy, get hold of hunting magazines and read them.

Third, scout the National Forests and other public land where you can hunt. Go there now. Just walk around and look for sign -- tracks and droppings now, scrapes (a spot where a buck has scraped away the earth to leave his mark) and rubs (a bare spot on a tree where a buck has rubbed the "velvet" off his antlers.)

Fourth, start putting together a picture of deer behavior in the area you would like to hunt. What are the deer feeding on? Where do they bed down? What routes do they follow?

Fifth, develop a plan -- select a site for a stand (a folding ground blind is a good idea) near a hot spot.

Sixth execute your plan. Get into your stand early and stay put. Try scents -- both coverup and attractants. Make yourself comfortable. Bring a quart milk bottle to deal with the urge of nature.

Seventh, reevaluate your plan. Are you seeing deer or not? If so, persist. If not, try moving it a bit.

August 8, 2007, 05:06 PM
Thanks, I will follow your advice . Don't have any friends that are into hunting but I will do some research and maybe try the public places and National Forests .

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2007, 05:09 PM
I don't know about Maryland, but when I lived in Virginia the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries published a book on all the state hunting lands, including topographic maps, location, types of game, special rules and so on.

You probably will find Maryland has "special" hunts that you can apply for. These often have a class or orientation event before the hunt, and are a great way to meet other hunters.

Debunk Brady
August 8, 2007, 05:29 PM
What part of maryland?

August 8, 2007, 05:36 PM

Located at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge located just on the other side of Route 32 across from Ft. Meade.

Costs $50 for the year, can hunt just most small game there, some waterfowl, but deer is the big one.

If you are located in central Maryland, it's pretty convenient to get to.

Let me know if you want anymore information.

August 8, 2007, 08:42 PM
Thanks Guido2006 that helps a lot because I just moved to Howard County from Montgomery County and I think that is really close by . I might be spelling this wrong but anyone know about seake deer?

August 8, 2007, 09:46 PM
I think its "sika deer," and they are on the eastern shore for the most part. Not sure if there are any in central/western Maryland.

Glad to help with MNHA, they are kinda hidden there at Patuxent, but its 14000 acres right there in the middle of an otherwise suburbanized area. The great thing is that it used to be an army artillery training area back during the World Worlds, so there is too much buried ordnance for the government to sell it to builders.

August 8, 2007, 09:48 PM
The sika deer they are a little smaller then say white tail right ?

August 18, 2007, 02:06 AM
I'm just over the Potomac in Virginia. Send me an I'm. Will be doing some hunting in Maryland this year, and have been scouting around. Your more than welcome to join me.

August 18, 2007, 08:20 AM
I notice your squirrel season opens Sept 1. That is a good time to start going out looking for a good area to hunt, and getting used to being in the woods with a gun.

Art Eatman
August 18, 2007, 09:58 AM
Spend as much time as you can just wandering around in whatever back country you can get to. Spend a fair amount of time at dawn and dusk just sitting and watching. It takes time and effort to develop the skills for stalking; sitting is more productive for a beginner. And learn to imitate a rock or stump; it's a Zen sort of thing that's really and truly important.

Critters spot movement, and anything new and different is by definition "Bad thing; time to leave!"


Loyalist Dave
August 19, 2007, 08:42 AM
Sir, I'm still in Montgomery County, and know of a couple of public areas that have no fees near to Howard County. Sika deer btw are rather nocturnal. Contact me by private message and I will fill you in.


August 21, 2007, 10:51 AM
Bullseye, going solo will be difficult but it's possible. First, get a compass and learn to use it. Even if you carry a GPS, get a compass and learn to use it!

If you are a new hunter it is likely you never ventured far from an established trail or road in unfamilar, dense woods. Getting disoriented (aka, LOST!) in unfamiliar game woods is easy and almost a certainty on misty, dark-sky days. I've never been really lost myself but there have been many times I had no idea where my truck had gone. My compass always saves me from the humiliation of being the object of a seach by others.

Hunting is best in the early morning and late evening, low light times. (During the rut, young bucks have just one thing on their minds so a good one is a potential at any time of day.) Scouting is better left to the mid-day periods, learning to look for signs of deer use, food sources, trails, etc. If you are hunting public lands, forget setting down to watch over large forest openings, the deer will avoid them in daylight, so hunker down in more dense areas that have deer trails located up-wind of your position.

Get yourself a small back pack or large fanny pack, one made of a soft, noise free material is best, for neccessities and safety items. Carry some water and a bit of food (I like "Kudos" snak bars, they are odor free until opened and the wrappers can easily be buried), insect repellant, first aid supplies, a few feet of small diameter rope or nylon webbing (for pulling deer or tying limbs back), water-proofed matches and a short, fat candle for a fire starter, toilet paper, spare batteries (for your GPS and compact FRS radio and flashlight, etc.), a LOUD plastic whistle (if you are sick or injured, it's easy to whistle but hard to shout much), a large plastic trash-can bag and some large size latex, medical type gloves (for deer meat AND as an emergency raincoat/wind breaker), small brush cutter, etc. Most of this stuff is rarely needed but it's important to have when you do need it!

Have high hopes but don't expect much for the first several trips afield. We are "smarter", but deer are pretty smart too. We are looking for them in their home areas and that's not an easy thing to do. Reading will give you lots of info for what to look for but nothing can replace hard-earned experience!

Good luck!

Vern Humphrey
August 21, 2007, 11:39 AM
First, get a compass and learn to use it. Even if you carry a GPS, get a compass and learn to use it!
Let me add to that -- get a topographic map and learn to use it. A compass without a map is virtually useless. At the same time, a topographic map is an invaluable tool both for navgation and for learning the terrian. You can learn as much about the area you're hunting from a map in an hour or two as you can from a day of walking the ground.

December 2, 2007, 05:16 PM
Hunted Thursday, Friday and some Saturday at MNHA. I was wondering if you got out there and if you had any luck. I only saw a few deer and a fox. Nothing that I had a chance to shoot at.

December 2, 2007, 10:08 PM

Since you've hunted waterfowl, you're familiar with the hunting reg book - check it out, the Maryland firearm season for deer has started and runs through December 8. Congrats on the new rifle! Be sure to check the regs for the area you plan to hunt, many areas of Maryland are not open to traditional rifle hunting for safety reasons (too populated and not enough open space), and only allow deer hunting with shotguns (with slugs) or muzzleloaders during rifle season.

December 3, 2007, 07:59 AM
Wow, I have to say that I'm impressed....

bullseyes76 asks for help and the people in here tell him that he is welcome to come hunting with them. That really is being on The High Road!!!!

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