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Do you hunt deer during the daytime? Do you want to hunt deer at night? Hunting deer at night is similar to hunting deer during the daytime but it is slightly different. Additionally, you will have to find out if it is allowed in your state. In this article, we discuss how to hunt deer at night to help you take down more deer during the night.
Table of Contents
How To Hunt Deer At Night
- State’s Law
Hunting deer at night is rewarding but is also very dangerous. It poses a high danger to others who may be hunting or in the area you are hunting deer at night. Additionally, hunting deer or other animals at night may not be ethical with the methods or equipment you use. Hence, not all states allow hunting at night. The first thing you need to do before you hunt deer at night is to find out if it is legal in the state you want to hunt in. You can research it online at this website.
- Scout the Area
Before you go night hunting, it is always good to scout the area. You can use Google Earth or hunting apps like HuntStand or onX to locate food sources, possible travel routes, water sources, bedding areas, transition lines, funnels, and access points to monitor the deer movement. Deer are nocturnal and you will gather more information about their movement and behavior during the night.
You can set up trail cameras to collect information about deer at night. Learn their movements and behaviors in the area and track them for quite some time before the hunting season begins. Deer have a set of routines they carry out day and night. They will continue with those routines in that area if they are not interrupted. Learn their routines and find a way to set up in a position to take advantage of their night routines.
- Scent Control
Whether you hunt deer at night or during the day, one of the important things to pay attention to is controlling your human scent. Deer have a very good sense of smell. Along with their good eyesight, their sense of smell also helps them avoid predators and danger.
A couple of days before you go hunting, “de-scent” all of the clothing you will wear. Spray them with a scent killer and store them in a scent-proof bag. Use scent-free bathing soap on the morning before the night that you are going to hunt. Use a scent-free towel and get dressed in scent-free sweat pants, socks, and a t-shirt.
Do not wear your hunting boots while driving to the hunting area. Instead, wear rubber clogs when driving and getting your gear out of the car. All of these precautions may sound too much, but it works.
- Camouflage Clothing
These may be beaten-down words but you must wear the appropriate clothing for hunting. From scouting the area, you should have a pretty good idea of the area. Wear the right camouflage clothing that will conceal you in that area. Safety should also be taken seriously and wear any safety color to identify you to other hunters that might be hunting at night in that area.
- Hunting Buddy
It is better to have a hunting buddy when you go deer hunting at night. For safety reasons, you will be better off with a hunting companion when hunting deer at night. It is also very important that the two of you stay together when hunting at night and don’t get separated or one partner goes missing. There are dangers from wild animals as well as from other people.
- Sit Still & Be Quiet
Deer have a sense of hearing and big bucks have the ability to pick up high-frequency sounds miles away. It is very important that you remain quiet all the time you are deer hunting at night. Make sure your cell phone volume is off or the cell phone is off. If deer pick up noise in the vicinity of where you are located, it may take many hours before they come near that area. They will only come that way again after they are convinced that the danger is no longer present.
- Dress Warmly
You will need to dress warmly to protect yourself from the cold weather by maintaining your average body temperature. Avoid wearing any cotton as it absorbs moisture and it would be difficult for you to stay warm if it rains. Instead, wear synthetic or wool fabric that will retain the heat and prevent moisture absorption. Dressing in layers will help keep you warm. Additionally, it must be stated once again, that all of the clothing you will wear must be scent-free for best hunting results.
- Hunting Over Bait
Setting up a bait pile and positioning yourself with a clear line of sight to the bait pile is one way to deer hunt at night. You can also set up bait a couple of yards from the bait pile and lead the bait back to the bait pile. This method has been used effectively by many hunters but many mature bucks have come to be wary of bait piles.
They usually stay far away from the bait pile and observe the area for weeks, and maybe months for any human activity before making any movement toward the bait pile. Always verify if it is legal to set up a bait pile to hunt deer at night.
- Predator Calls
Predator calls can be used to deer hunt at night but it is not being widely used. Using predator calls will take away the “no noise” aspect of hunting in the night. Some bucks may be wary of the calls if they don’t hear calls during the night on a regular basis. This is where your scouting findings can be helpful.
If you scouted the area and heard calls from deer and remembered the times you heard them, then you can use predator calls, but it is not widely used for hunting deer at night. If you are interested in getting a predator call, then read our review of the best predator calls on the market today.
Deer Night Hunting Strategies
There are basically two strategies for hunting deer at night. They are stand hunting and stalking the deer.
- Stand Hunting
Stand hunting involves patiently waiting for the deer to come in your direction while standing, or sitting. It is a popular hunting method used by many hunters, especially when you hunt in open terrain. With stand hunting, you have to locate the pathway of the deer and wait for it to come. You can use a ground blind or a treestand to implement stand hunting. Reviews of the best hunting ground blinds and the best climbing treestands can be read through these links.
- Stalking the Deer
After spotting a deer you will have to move very quietly and follow the deer until you can get a good shot. With stalking the deer, you will have to have to know the terrain very well and avoid noise as much as possible. Stalking the deer is very hard to implement during the night as deer have better night vision and can easily detect movement.
Items For Hunting Deer At Night
- Night Vision Binoculars
Night vision scopes can be effective when you hunt deer at night as it helps you get a clear view of the area. However, before using night vision scopes to hunt at night, make sure that it is allowed in your state. A review of the best night vision binoculars can be found at this link.
- Thermal Scopes
Thermal scopes can also be used to identify deer when you hunt at night, but you must be sure that it is legal to use them to hunt deer at night.
Spotlights can also help you while hunting deer in the night and also verify that it is legal to use them.
Always carry a fully functioning compass with you when you go hunting and especially when you hunt at night.
A high-powered, pencil-thin flashlight is always good to take along with you when you hunt in the night.
- Trail Cameras
Trail cameras can be set up in the area you want to hunt and collect information on the movement and behaviors of deer in the area. If you want to read a review of the best trail cameras on the market today, click this link.
- Green Lights
Green lights can also help you while hunting deer during the night. However, it may cause the deer to move away from where you may be located.
- Laser Sights
Laser sights can also be used to hunt deer at night but may cause the deer to move away from your area.
The Bottom Line
Deer hunting at night has become popular in the last few decades. Not many states allow hunting deer at night but there are a few that do. It is exciting and rewarding as it is dangerous. Hunting deer at night is similarly to deer hunting during the daytime except you have to factor in the darkness and plan for it. In this article, we discuss how to hunt deer at night to help beginners and more experienced deer hunters be more successful when they hunt deer at night.