There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and certainly more than one way to bag a whitetail deer with bow. The biggest problem with most of us is that we get stuck in a rut, hunting the same old stands, doing nothing to actively change our luck even when we only see a few deer. Sometimes you need to change gears, think outside your current thought processes and try something different to get the job done.
It’s not that the tried-and-true methods for earning bowhunting success aren’t still valid. It’s just that the most successful bowhunters are also those who are the most flexible and dip from the deepest bag of tricks.
With that in mind, here are a handful of offbeat methods, or at least a few tricks of the trade to help you solve difficult whitetail hunting dilemmas.
<h2>Hunt Inside Cover</h2>Our automatic tendency is to hunt edges, as we are continually reminded whitetail deer are edge creatures. So we set up our stands predominately on agricultural field or meadow flanks. This is a sound approach much of the time, unless you’re dealing with ultra-savvy bucks or those with nocturnal tendencies. <p></p> Even the sagest of bucks typically arrive at major feeding points later than smaller bucks and does. In other areas hunting pressure is such that most of the herd waits for nightfall before emerging into open areas. You can beat this tendency by hunting deeper into cover, especially looking for staging areas deer use to await darkness before emerging into open fields. Follow conspicuous trails 200 to 300 yards away from field edges and set up there. Doing so gives you the jump on evening deer arriving late, or morning deer departing early. Most importantly this allows you to slip into morning stands and out of evening stands with less chance of detection. <p></p> You’ll be coming in from behind the lines in the morning—preferably using a ditch or creek bed for cover—and across completely vacant fields to access evening stands, avoiding deer feeding areas on your way into stands. Another deadly ploy is to create staging areas consisting of postage stamp food plots well inside cover, giving deer quick check-in points on their way to bigger food sources.