September 01, 2017
In the hunting world of Ralph Cianciarulo, it's almost always about the deer.
While Ralph and his wife Vicki, hosts of Archer's Choice and The Choice, are certainly well known for hunting a lot of different North American big game animals, the white-tailed deer near their Illinois home are always the couple's first love.
Because of that, I turned to Ralph to inquire about whether he would be willing to share his three top deer hunting tips.
In true Ralphie form, he gave us plenty of great information – more than three tips, in fact – including a couple of things that few other show hosts ventured when we asked them the same question.
With that in mind, here are Ralph's top deer hunting tips:
"My top deer hunting tips? Well, my first tip is this – before we manage our deer, make sure that you are managing your children and let them work their way up to being a hunter," said Ralph, a longtime mainstay on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.
"Always think back on how you got started in this great journey and then bring them up with an understanding of the woods, nature and its animals. (And) stop thinking that it has to be a so-called record book buck!"
Good stuff Ralph, now what about your next deer hunting tip?
"Number two, I'd say that we often tend to over think things," he continued. "It's food, cover, and water. Learn all you can about these three important life sustaining things in the deer woods and you can be more successful than ever before.
"Learn what the deer are eating, where they are sleeping, and where they are drinking at any given time of the year, and you will be more successful. In other words, become a better woodsman!"
Well put Ralph, well put, a lesson that we all should learn. Anything else?
"Yeah, another tip would be this – I have heard it so much down through the years, the saying 'There was no rut this year,'" said Ralph. "Really?!? Then how is it that there are fawns the next spring?"
Fair enough, but what's your deer hunting point here?
"My point is this, don't get set in your ways and get tunnel vision," said Ralph. "Learn to be more adaptable (out in the woods) and walk in a bit further, move a bit more often, and pay more attention to the sign that the deer leave."
Ralph continued on, noting that a hunter should be a bit more careful about the pressure they put on the land that they are hunting.
"Glassing should play a bigger role (in your hunting) and learning what you can from afar about the movements and patterns of your deer herd, that is important," said Ralph.
"Remember that reading (books, magazines and on the Internet) and watching (TV) is only a small part of learning (about deer).
"(Actually), field experience is the best teacher of all. You have to get out as much as possible."
Any final thing that you want to add Ralphie?
"Yeah, don't be afraid to screw up," laughed one of the hunting industry's better known comedians. "Remember, it's only a screw up if you don't learn from it."
Put this woodsy wit and wisdom of Ralphie Cianciarulo into practice this fall and see if you don't experience better deer hunting.
And maybe a few extra laughs!