Many hunters are such diehard enthusiasts that they are unwilling to come after a successful Saturday hunting deer, and would rather stay over in the wilderness to get first shot at them in the morning. If you want to stay overnight while deer hunting, planning is absolutely essential. Here are a few tips for staying safe and comfortable outdoors.
Bring a Tent
I know that many of you hunters fantasize about sleeping under the stars after a long day of deer hunting—get over it. The reality simply won’t measure up to the reality, and overnight stays can be uncomfortable as it is. Bring a tent and a Cuisineart and whatever else might make you feel more at home, because your bones will creak and your muscles will be tense when you wake up in the morning.
Pack a Change of Clothes
Aside from the simple politeness involved in packing a change of clothes so your deer hunting buddies don’t smell you from twenty paces, this will also improve your game in the morning. Your odor will build up through the evening and overnight, which will help the deer smell you coming, and might cost you that trophy you’ve been eyeing through your sights since this afternoon. If you’re going to stay overnight, make sure you can change.
Stay Away from the Fire
If you and your buddies build a fire during your overnight stay, make sure you stay upwind from it. Smoke is an extremely strong scent, and will get not only in your clothes but also in your hair. If you go out deer hunting with the scent of the camp fire on you, you might as well be wearing a bright yellow rain slicker and carrying a cowbell. The deer will know you’re coming, and then it’s over.
Split the Load
If you’ll be staying overnight while deer hunting, chances are you’ve brought your buddies. This is great, because the fixings for a camp can be heavy. Split the load amongst all of you and decide in advance what you’ll each bring to the table. That way, you won’t be as weighed down on the hunt, and you’ll also be able to split the cost of supplies.
Know the Wilderness
Even if you’re going deer hunting, those gentle animals probably aren’t the only things in the woods. The light of your camp fire draws predators, so know the wilderness where you’ll be staying overnight. Cougars, mountain lions, coyotes and other predators should be avoided at all costs, so know what to look out for. If you happen to see a less-than-friendly animal, keep your gun by your side and stay near the fire.
Let Others Know
It is never a good idea to stay overnight while deer hunting if nobody knows where you are. Let the game warden know that you’ll be camping out, then tell your spouse or another family member where you plan to set up camp. As long as someone knows you’re out there, you should be safe. If nobody does, they won’t know where to look if you happen to not come home on time.