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Suggestions for a successful whitetail hunt in VA

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Debunk Brady, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Debunk Brady

    Debunk Brady Active Member

    I have read up on tips and tricks, but I always like to hear from real people in addition to magazine articles.

    I have been deer hunting enough times that I call myself a hunter, but not so many that I call myself an expert. I have farm that I can hunt in western Virginia. I have three spots in total, two spots are set up with salt licks. One spot is in a spot where a deer trail crosses a little-used human trail. I have a blind set up made of stacked sticks, just high enough to provide be a little cover when I am leaning against a tree. My second spot is where several trails meet, with another stick blind. Third spot is just on a field where I have seen a lot of deer.

    I bought some new camo. I couldn't afford scent lock, but I do keep my hunting clothes in a large tuberware container with some cedar and pine shavings. I am not sure how much that would really help.

    What scents, if any, do you guys use? I have read that different ones work during different parts of the season.

    Should I give rattling a shot?

    Any other suggestions?
  2. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Art wuz here: <Not pertinent to thread>
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2007
  3. Stinger

    Stinger Well-Known Member

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  4. gdvan01

    gdvan01 Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2007
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2007
  6. Debunk Brady

    Debunk Brady Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2007
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    First of all, I like to be comfortable -- I bring insulated boot covers and slip my boots off and put them on when I'm on my stand. I have a closed cell foam pad to sit on.

    I like a scent that is dispersed by heat. Get an estrus scent for the rut. I also like to put scent on my boots (they make pads to attach to the instep, but you can just tie on a bit of rag.) Be sure your stand is cross-wind, if possible, and put the scent dispenser at the optimum shooting spot -- I've killed more than one deer sniffing at a scent dispenser.
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dunno 'bout elsewhere, but in Texas, rattling is most successful when it's very cold and the air is very still. I've not tried it on warmish days, nor when there is more than just a light breeze.

  9. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Well-Known Member

    I guess whitetails here are not much different than other places, but the terrain is. You say your hunting in the western part of Virginia, so that probably means you will be in the mountains. You need to be aware that the wind can swirl in the hollows, shifting from one direction to another in a heartbeat. Instead of sitting down low in a hollow, it is better to sit up higher where the wind will be more steadier.
    Rattling and calling works, but remember that your calls will not carry as far in the mountains as they will in a flat area. I personally don't fool with rattling too much, though a friend of mine does, and he says it works occasionaly. But grunt calls are a must have, and I will go back to get mine if I forgot it. It is the most important item I carry except for the weapon. I won't go into using one here, but it can make the difference in having a deer come your way or not. Not every call you make is going to be answered or even payed attention to. It is just like you being in the grocery store. There are people all around talking. Just because you hear a voice doesn't mean you have to go to it. But if they say something interesting, or the voice is sexy, now you might have to go check that out. If I heard a woman say, "They are giving out free samples of fruit loops on aisle 5", then I would be interested in that.
    Now, the clothes in the pine shavings is a good idea. The main thing is play the wind right. Know the predominate wind direction in your area. It is probably going to be from southwest toward the northeast or west to east. That is what the wind will be doing most of the time. Have stands set up for that. But sometimes you are going to get a cold front from the North. Better have a stand set up for that so you will be facing into it. Realize too, however, that having a ladder or climbing stand up high will help you to beat the wind if it is blowing the wrong direction. I have a stand that is only 10 feet high. There is a hill on the southern side which I face. Because the prevailing wind comes out of the southwest, I am in a good spot windwise. Sometimes though the wind comes out of the north. I've had it happen when deer were south of me. But because I am up at that level, and I imagine partly because of the terrain's effect on the wind at that place, I have never had a deer smell me, even if they are downwind up on the hill infront of me at the same height or higher. So what you need to do, if possible, is really get to know the place. That is going to take a while. Maybe a couple of seasons or more. Know what you have to do to remain undetected, but just as important and often overlooked is to know what you can get away with. That means with the wind, with certain movements and sounds, etc. Knowing what you can get away with gives you ability to react in a freer manner giving you an advantage.

    As for scents, in the past I used scent eliminators on my shoes and clothes. It may cover your trail going to a stand if you put it on the bottom of your shoes. Now, I don't use anything. It can be argued I should, but I don't waste my money any more. I always get 2 or 3 deer every year, and often with a bow on the ground while I am still hunting. I just hunt the wind. But if you feel you must, the most I would do is the scent killer on the shoes. Heck, if you cut a fart, how are you going to elimate that? In other words, there is always something. Remember there are exceptions to any rules, but you have to understand why.
    And lastly, but most importantly, get rid of those salt blocks. It is illegal in Virginia to bait deer. You can plant a crop for them to eat, but you cannot place any thing that attracts them like corn, apples, salt etc and hunt over it. Good way to lose your license for a year. I'd hate for that to happen to you.

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