Today we’re discussing some of the Texas deer hunting mistakes we at Nine Bar Ranch see frequently. With the rut of 2022 behind us, it’s time for each of us to take a look back and analyze our whitetail hunting strengths and weaknesses. With consistent refinement, your success rates in 2023 will be even better, and you’ll learn a few more valuable skills and strategies to pass on to your friends or even the next generation of hunters.

1. Not Watching the Wind and Weather

Unless it’s the height of the rut, deer are influenced by the weather. When there’s a cold snap or a storm has just passed, that’s a great time to head out early and stay out late hunting. Anytime it’s too cold for your neighbor to hunt is the perfect time to gather your gear and get going!

Once you’re out scouting where to set up your blind, pay close attention to the direction of the wind. Even if you’ve masked your scent, making sure you’re downwind is still important. We often see both new and seasoned hunters alike forgetting how sensitive deer are to the scent of humans on the wind.

2. Not Wading Into the Thickets

When hunters flock to the forests and fields, deer are naturally going to be more reclusive. By heading through thick brush until you find a clearing that offers a clear shot and setting up your blind along the edge early, you’re increasing your odds of being in a place deer will wander through.

For your very best chance, choose a clearing that is peppered with plants known to be preferred by whitetails. Even a shy buck gets hungry!

3. Failure to Use Calls and Rattles

Nearly every deer hunter we know has calls and rattles, and they’re probably going to bring them on a hunt. Still, when they’re out hunting, we see our hunting friends leave their calls and rattles stashed away in their packs.

Deer are social animals. If you’re hunting during the rut, this is four times as true! Make use of your grunt calls and your antler rattles to encourage does and bucks to wander your way.

For more pointers on hunting deer, boar, or wild game, schedule a hunt with us here on the ranch! Your guided hunt will be a great opportunity for us to work with you one-on-one to optimize your hunting skills and strategies for the coming year.