Gun Season Tips and Strategies for Whitetail

Gun season means more hunters in the woods and increased pressure on deer herds; be prepared to relocate stands to a few key areas to increase your harvest success odds

Gun Season Tips and Strategies for Whitetail
This deer gun season hunter set up a stand in a secure-cover location to increase chances for success. (Jeremy Flinn photo)

With many states’ deer gun seasons soon to open or already open, it’s important to consider the proper strategy to be successful during this type of deer hunting.

During this time, bowhunters will cling to a strategy based on what they have been seeing all season. But with changing deer behavior – again – and the dramatic increase in hunting pressure, those strategies could turn cold with the arrival of gun season.

As a hardcore bowhunter myself, it’s hard for me to get away from the stands and spots I have put so much time and effort into. My gun hunting spots are areas I never visit leading up to gun season. If I have used the spot before, it would be from past gun seasons.

Regardless, there is a reason for this. My bow spots are not favorable for gun hunting. Private or public land, it doesn’t matter, I set up a bowhunting spot for bowhunting opportunities. These are usually tight areas and somewhat away from other hunters.



As gun season opens, the pressure from other hunters will drive deer to more secure cover. Now this doesn’t mean all your gun spots need to allow for shots of 100 yards or more, you may be in tight quarters, but the distance or ease of getting into these spots is likely more challenging than your bowhunting spots.

Let’s say you don’t have to worry about other hunters on your land as much, there is still pressure on neighboring properties. With that in mind, think about how deer will travel when pushed from surrounding lands. My go-to spots are often thick, secure bedding areas or travel corridors. These spots tend to have many deer move through during gun season and will likely give you the best chance for a harvest.

Though patience is always a plus when on the deer stand, if you are hunting a large tract of timber, don’t rule out on-the-ground still-hunting. For me, it’s like fishing. I’d rather wade through a stream or river over sitting on the bank of a lake.

Why?

It’s constant action and I need to constantly be evolving to changing conditions. The same goes with still-hunting. The slow movement through the woods, stopping, observing and analyzing can be pretty exciting. Not to mention you cover a lot of ground, and likely will see a lot of deer. At the very least consider it a scouting mission, and getting some of the best information possible on the land you are hunting.

This gun season, look to spots where deer will move to as they get pressured. Break out an aerial and topographical map, and come up with a strategy to tag a buck. The more effort you put in prior to the hunt, the more likely it will all pay off.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

It's not over after the deer rut, and your best whitetail hunting may still be ahead. Whitetail

Make Late Season the Great Season

Mark Chesnut

It's not over after the deer rut, and your best whitetail hunting may still be ahead.

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter. Whitetail

Make Bad Weather a Deer-Hunting Bonus

Terry Madewell - November 27, 2019

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter.

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting. Whitetail

Baiting Deer Continues to Dwindle in Midwest

Patrick Durkin - December 11, 2019

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting.

Winter is here. Focus on these frozen food sources to improve your chances of scoring a giant buck. Whitetail

Focus on Frozen Food for Winter Deer

Bob Robb - December 27, 2019

Winter is here. Focus on these frozen food sources to improve your chances of scoring a giant...

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.