Tips for the Rifle Deer Hunt

Utah's most popular hunt — the general rifle deer hunt — begins Oct. 19.

Tips for the Rifle Deer Hunt
Being prepared before the hunt starts is the key to a successful deer hunt. (Kirk Gardner photo)

If you're one of the lucky hunters who has a permit for the hunt, getting prepared now — by gathering materials and gaining knowledge — is the key to a safe and successful experience. And while taking a deer is usually the highlight of any deer hunt, make sure you take advantage of all the experiences deer hunting has to offer.

"There's so much more to deer hunting than taking a deer," says Kirk Smith, hunter education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Being in the mountains with your family and friends, enjoying the beautiful fall scenery and the variety of wildlife Utah has to offer, can make any deer hunt a memorable experience."

Smith provides the following tips for a safe and enjoyable hunt:

Personal preparation

  • Be familiar with the area you're going to hunt. If possible, scout the area before the hunt. "Scouting before the hunt is absolutely vital," Smith says. "You need to know the current conditions and how deer are responding to those conditions. The better you know the area, the better chance you'll have of taking a buck."

  • Put a survival kit together. The kit should include:
    • a small first aid kit
  • three ways to make a fire (e.g. matches, a cigarette lighter, fire starters)
  • a cord or rope
  • a compass or Global Positioning System unit
  • a flashlight
  • an extra knife

Preparing your firearm

Firearm safety

While in the field

Your physical well-being

If you get lost

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