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Preparation is The Key

By Greg Burns

The question begins to rise in December for most and January for others, what could I have done better to gotten a shot on the big one. For me it begins with pulling all of my game cameras to make sure all of the batteries are a full power and the memory card pictures are pulled off storage and study. Take all of my gear in and clean it , wax my Bear compound bow, clean my Remington 30-06 rifle and make sure my Realtree clothing is zipped up nice and tight in my Scent-A-Way bag.

Food plots & Game Cameras

It is time to plant you food plots and hang game cameras. I always try to plant my food plots in mid-August if we get a lot of rain fall during the summer. I have found a food plot product that has a special blend of fertilizer along with fall and winter blend all in one bag. I have a location near our small stock pond that is on the edge of a tree line and just inside a sleep area. It is the perfect location, food and water along with cover. I call this my sweet spot. I shot one of my first deer in this exact area. I have also placed a Wildgame Innovations game camera in that same area in the tree line where I saw a big buck last year. I have three more game cameras that I put out in known deer trails where I have seen several big bucks. I was able to shoot one a few years ago, Hercules a big eight point. Like I said before, I make sure the batteries are new and the memory card is empty.

Tree Stands and Blinds

After planning food plots and putting out my game cameras I then begin to make sure all of my Ameristep tree stands are set sturdy and along with making sure my shooting lanes are cut back to help with vision in the upcoming season. The lanes will have to be cut again, but cutting them so early will help me with my cutting in September. I have a Game Winner hunting blind that I use when sitting on the ground to help with my camouflage. I will put the blind out under a known good tree stand, to help keep me hidden.

Rifles and Bows

There are many different rifles and bows you can use to hunt whitetail deer. One of the most common rifles are the 30-06, .243, 30-30 and the 7mm. I know some people that hunt with a .22 rifle and they do just fine. I like the Remington 30-06, it has great feel, great weight and the recoil is not that bad. When it comes to bows, I have a Bear Charge that I bought about 7 years ago and a Barnett crossbow. I have only used the crossbow a couple of time. I prefer the compound bow. You need to make sure that your rifle and bows are sighted in and on the mark before going out. If you store them all year until deer season, it is more than likely they are fine, but you still need to take them out and shoot them a couple of times to be sure. Last thing you want to do is get in the stand and the biggest buck steps out and you miss because you weren’t sighted in. Believe I know, my cousin did that last year and shot 7 times and missed every time. Come to find out his sight was off big time. He was shooting way high. He will never live that one down. 

Scent Away

Make sure that you remove all the human scent that you can from you clothing, boots and weapon as much as possible. I use Scent Away clothe wash, spray and place everything in a zip lock bag to help keep other scents from getting to my clothes. I also use the Hunter Specialties scent wafers to help with the removal of my human scent. I will spray down my clothes, boots and equipment before entering the woods. This helps animals to not smell you when you are hunting.


One of the most important things in preparing for hunting season is the purchase of the hunting license. In Texas we have to take a Hunter Safety Course for anyone born after January 1971. The course teaching you all the different types of rifles and hand guns. It also teaches you about the different caliber of bullets there are, for those that do not know.  Once you pass the hunter safety course you will receive a card stating that you meet all the requirements to hunt by yourself safely.

As you can see there is a lot that goes in to hunting. It is not just the shooting and taking pictures you the nice animal you just shot. To be successful you have to spend a lot of time getting ready and sometimes studying the animal you’re going to hunt to know what they may do and how to call them to get them in range to shoot. Have fun, be careful and shoot a big one.