How to Become a Better Whitetail Deer Hunter - Or At Least Marginally Better

Tips to Become an Okayer Hunter in 2024

Published January 9th by Will Bowen, Okayest Hunter Contributor

How did 2023 pan out for you? Was it full of great hunts, big harvests, and top-notch experiences? Or would you describe it as just an okay year? I would bet that many of you wished it would have been a little bit better. As hunters, we are prone to never being satisfied; maybe there was a good buck that needed to take two more steps for a shot or you choked on your mouth call and scared that gobbler away. It happens that way some years. And I would bet that we all have the goal of having a better 2024. 

In order to have a better 2024, it is apparent that you need to become a better hunter, or least a slightly okayer one. It’s important to remember, however, that this needs to be based on your own standards. Don’t compare yourself to others or use some famous hunting influencer as your benchmark. Being better for yourself is way more rewarding than bettering yourself for others. 

Have you decided to have a better hunting year in 2024? Follow these to tips to become an even okayer hunter:

Get Back to the Basics

There are thousands of articles out there just like this one telling you what you should do. Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 and BOOM…you’ll fill a tag. We all know that it doesn’t work that way very often. These experts are often preaching the newest, most complex techniques known to hunters. They are great and definitely hold value for hunters, but sometimes we need to get back to the basics. Don’t be afraid to go backwards a bit and retake that 101 course. Give yourself a refresher in areas like woodsmanship, finding fresh sign, and just hunting your butt off. You’ll be surprised at how far you might have strayed. 

Hunt a New Spot

Hunting areas can become stale. I can’t count the times I’ve heard other hunters say things like “man, the family farm just doesn’t have deer like it used to” or “I haven’t heard a gobbling turkey since I started seeing all those new trucks at the trailhead.” It happens to all of us. While a good hunting spot has the potential to produce year after year, it also has the major potential to fizzle out. Maybe you find yourself in this situation. Try some new spots this year. Of course, it’ll take you some time to learn the new area before you will be able to hunt it efficiently. But this is good for a hunter. An old stale spot might just lead to a brand-new honey hole. You might learn something along the way too!

Hunt a New Species

Nothing will make you grow as a hunter more than trying a new challenge. You wouldn’t believe how many single-species hunters there are. There is nothing wrong with this at all! But if you are a hunter striving to be the best you can be, you need to try some new ventures. It just like sports. The best athletes are often the ones that played multiple sports in high school. You know what would help your deer stalking skills? Squirrel hunting. What would help create patience in a turkey hunter? Waiting on a deer. There is crossover everywhere, and you never know, you might discover a new passion. 

Mentor a Brand-New Hunter

In my opinion, you never truly learn something well, until you teach it to someone else. Try mentoring a new hunter. Answering all the basic questions will help you solidify your own foundation. The attention-to-detail attitude that you will need to possess to teach someone else will also come in handy in your own hunting. This relates to my point earlier about getting back to the basics. We overlook the basic things that every hunter needs to know, but yet we find them important enough to teach to new hunters. If you ask me, there is definitely a reason for that. When you teach someone else, you learn as well. 

I can safely say that I’m making the journey myself to become an okayer hunter this year. From trying new places, chasing new critters, and meeting new people, I expect 2024 to be one for the books. I hope this year brings nothing but fortune and fun for all of America’s hunters. Buckle up friends, it’s going to be a good one!

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