Top Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

If you are a new hunter or a seasoned hunter, these 8 mistakes are common and can be avoided easily.  Avoiding these mistakes can increase your odds of success. During the season grind when it gets tough, I must remind myself of these common hunting mistakes and change my tactics.  Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.  Keep these things in mind to stay on top of your game throughout the season. 


  1. Not paying attention to the wind and relying on a gadget (ozonics or sprays); Staying downwind is THE most important tactic to be a successful hunter. Oftentimes, it’s easier to sit in a stand that is easy to get to, but the wind direction may be questionable. It’s better to sit the stand where the wind is more favorable and increases your odds dramatically. When you’re not paying attention to the wind, deer can pattern you easily. More on that topic later.

  2. Noise – can spook deer 200 yards away; Pay attention to the little things that make noise.  It’s better to be safe that sorry.  If there is any metal on metal contact, that noise can be heard for a long way.  For example, fence crossings can be very noisy as you cross the barbwire fencing. That noise you heard of your bow clanking the wire can be heard far down the line.  Remember the cup and string telephones we all played with as kids.

  3. Using an ATV to get to and from a stand; It’s easier to take the quad or ATV to the stand however, this is not a normal noise in the deer’s living room.  If you must take a quad park a little further away and walk the extra distance to the stand.  It will be worth the effort.

  4. Deer pattern the hunter; One of the biggest strategies I’ve learned over the years is deer will pattern a hunter much easier than the hunter will pattern the deer.  If you are frequently using the same stand, the deer get used to you walking in and out and will avoid that area. Many successful hunters will use a stand only once in a season when the wind and timing is just perfect.  i.e. funnel during rut.

  5. No background for a blind or treestand; treestands and blinds stand out and are not natural in the woods. So, take the extra time to brush in the ground blind.  Keep in mind what the background is while in your treestand. You do not want that big buck to see you draw during the moment of truth. Make sure there is a background to prevent you from being silhouetted against the sky.

  6. Hunting the wrong stand in a morning spot; This useful reminder is key to many successful hunts.  Be aware of thermals in the morning and kicking deer off the field as you walk in. I oftentimes will not hunt in the mornings because it is too easy to kick deer out of the area as I enter the woods. You can only push deer once or twice before they change their habits and avoid that stand.

  7. Sitting all day in the same spot (Most stands are not set-up for an all-day sit); There are a lot of videos and articles saying you should hunt all day in one spot.  There are very few spots that are set-up for an all day sit. If you are hunting a field edge, it is not likely there will be deer cruising or be in the field all day.  Funnel spots in the woods are the most likely spots for an all day sit.

  8. Taking the short route through the property; This is my biggest and most common mistake as the season progresses. I constantly remind myself to be aware of this mistake.  If I plan to hunt our property more than once in a couple of days, I make sure I don’t go directly through the property.  Take the long way around or enter from a different direction downwind if possible.  Planning and creating multiple entries increases your odds for success.  Deer hunting is about the odds. Make sure they are in your favor.
    Back to blog