• 63°

BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS — Top five mistakes to avoid while deer hunting

Deer season is in full swing in Texas, and just this week I saw a buck chasing does. This means that the rut is in full swing! There is no better time of the year to be in the woods than now. With over 25 years of deer hunting experience, I have made just about every mistake that a deer hunter can make. Today, I am going to share with you my top five what-not-to-do list. Some people only learn from the school of hard knocks. Hopefully you aren’t one of those people and you can learn to avoid the mistakes that I have made.

1). Never take a questionable shot. This is true whether you are hunting with a rifle or a bow. With a rifle you might get away taking questionable shots from time to time, but it will almost always end with disappointment while bow hunting. Make sure that you are shooting at broadside animal and that it is well within a range that you are comfortable with.

2). Never hunt with the wrong wind. We are all tempted to go to our favorite stand even when the wind is not in our favor. Rest assured if the wind is blowing from you to the deer, he will most likely smell you and simply turn around. Many times he will smell you from a distance and you will not even know he was there. You will simply think that they weren’t moving. Always put the wind in your face!

3). Don’t walk to your stand without a plan. Make sure that you walk to the stand in a manner that your scent doesn’t blow to the area you expect deer to come from. Make sure that you don’t walk where deer can see you. If at all possible try to touch as little as possible when walking and wear rubber boots and gloves to help control scent.

4). Don’t make changes to the hunt area immediately before hunting. If you are going to put up a blind or trim limbs then do it several weeks or more before you plan to hunt. If someone came into your house and rearranged your furniture you would notice it instantly. A deer will likewise notice changes to his house. Tread lightly and disturb as little as possible.

5). Don’t focus on you phone! No doubt it can get boring sitting in a stand when no animals are moving. However, I encourage you to avoid the temptation of being on your phone. Enjoy the hunt and text or browse later. This week while I was on my phone, I had a trophy broadside at ten yards. By the time I grabbed my bow, he was gone. Had I been paying attention it would have been a simple kill! The lesson learned was always be ready!

This final lesson applies to life as well as hunting. We need to be ready and alert for what may happen next in life. We also need to be prepared for eternity. When I was nine years old, I trusted Jesus and He took care of my eternity! There are life issues I am still working through, but I know that I won’t get far if I don’t pay attention.
I hope that these tips help and that you can avoid my mistakes and bag a trophy of your own.

Brian Johnson, originally of Winnie, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of DuckDogTrainer.com and outdoors writer for The News.