How Much Do You Know About Deer Hunting?

By: Olivia Cantor
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

From bedding areas to tracking techniques, you need to learn quite a few things if you’re going to be hunting during deer season. Give yourself a refresher course with this deer hunters' quiz to see how much you know about hunting deer.

When you're out hunting deer, you should know what a deer looks like. It's easy to figure that a deer isn't a moose, but how do you know it's not an elk?

The various kinds of deer do include the elk and the moose, but those are the big boys of the family. Anything around 300 pounds or less is a deer. If it looks like it's 500 pounds, that's an elk!

When you're hunting deer, one strategy is to stay put in one place and let the deer cross your path. That means you have to hide, though. What do you call a hunter's hidey-hole?

Deer blinds come in all shapes and sizes, from camouflaged tents to do-it-yourself mini-shacks. The basic idea is that, visually, you won't spook the deer.

Even animals as jumpy as deer usually have a resting place. What is the term for these places?

Deer usually choose many areas in their territory as resting places or bedding areas. If you know where these bedding areas are, it can be an easy waiting game.

Deer are crafty animals when it comes to food, but they're also practical. How do you know if a major food source in the hunting grounds will attract the deer?

Deer can and will take the long way around to a food source, even if it's close. Still, many deer will take the closer food source, if they can.

Now, in a perfect world, we wouldn't have assigned hunting seasons. For practical reasons, though, we need them. What is the most important reason for assigned hunting seasons?

Deer population is the key behind hunting seasons. Sometimes some states will have a longer assigned season (or variations in their rules), depending on how many or how few deer they figure are in the area.

It's important to use your ears when you're hunting for deer as well. They usually sound a bit sheepish and angry at the same time. What are their usual sounds?

Deer usually communicate through bleats and grunts when using their voices. This is why you should know how to make those sounds when hunting, too.

If you're sticking to the same happy hunting grounds, why is it a good idea to map the area?

Hunting isn't just setting up a shooting line and waiting for the deer to walk into your sights. What you need to do is study the whole area. Who knows - there may be better places to set up shop for a shot.

It may be surprising, but what are common weapons for hunting deer?

The major weapons used by deer hunters are bows and rifles. Aside from being quite possibly the only legally allowed weapons, both have their special advantages (including range) when hunting deer.

Deer are known for their keen sense of smell. Because of this, what is one good piece of advice for would-be hunters?

A deer's sense of smell is so good that some hunters go to great lengths to make sure their own smell doesn't stand out from the surroundings. One way to do this is make sure not to bathe with scented soaps before going on the hunt.

Deer, just like humans, are always looking for that perfect mate. How do hunters hit this weakness on the nose?

Some experienced hunters use scents taken from female deer in heat. This can attract male deer, particularly during the mating season. Do take note that some states or counties may not allow this use of female pheromones.

Deer are fidgety by nature. Their sensitivity to noise makes this even worse. What is their average maximum range for hearing something, on a good day?

Deer are known to hear a noisy footstep from a quarter-mile away, on a good day. This is why some hunters practice strict rules of silence and slow movement.

There are many terms for deer behavior. In the spirit of that, what the heck is a "deer shed"?

Deer seasonally shed their antlers, and, depending on the weather, this can happen at different times. If you're a hunter that likes collecting shed antlers, it's important to know "deer shed" spots in your chosen areas.

Like people, deer have a time of day when they're at their least-guarded, for one reason or the other. Often, these times can make you and I yawn. What time of the day is best for hunting deer?

Deer usually are on the move or foraging at sunrise and sunset. Do take note that this means you should be camped out at the right place and time to take advantage of this common deer habit.

Deer are lovely, majestic animals, but they can be hard to track at times. Given that, when you do find animal tracks, how do you know they are deer prints?

Deer have heart-shaped tracks. This is useful information, especially if you're seeing these tracks near a watering hole. From there, you can set up your waiting spot.

If you own the property where you're hunting, it's sometimes smarter to provide deer with areas of cover and safety. Why is this a good idea?

If it's your property, it's a good idea to shape the hunting area to your advantage. That way, you'll know the most probable paths and places to find deer.

If you're on a deer hunt, some of the gear may sound funny. For example, a call is an item you may really need to bring deer closer. What is a call?

Deer calls are small noisemakers that make deer-like sounds. Some of them make grunts, others may do bleats. In any case, this gadget can make deer curious enough to get in range.

Some people may think that hunting deer means hanging out in one spot for a long time. However, some hunters have a base camp. What's the use of that?

Some hunters or hunting groups create a base camp a good distance away from their actual hunting spots. This is because deer can smell and hear stuff hundreds of feet away. It's a good idea to have the comfy campsite away from the hunting spots, so you won't spook the deer.

Why are rainy days sometimes the best days for hunting?

Rainy days during hunting season may sometimes be the best time to be out in your favorite spot. Rain can hinder sight, smell and hearing for a deer in a bigger way than it does humans.

Some hunters may think that wearing orange gear is just so the deer gets some fair play. What's the real reason for regulations requiring orange gear?

Let's face it - when a hunter is ready to shoot at deer, he or she may also be ready to shoot at anything that moves. That's what the orange gear is for; it can help prevent accidental shootings by giving people visibility.

Deer can feel the seasons, just like us, and this includes temperature changes. What's a better temperature for hunting deer?

Even if deer have fur all over, they can still feel the cold. Thus, they are more likely to roam around on warm days.

Some hunters clear dead wood and branches out during the summer. Why do they do this?

Veteran hunters clean up their shooting areas in the summer. Some deer get suspicious when they smell freshly-cut wood during hunting season.

Using a bow may sound primitive, but when you're hunting deer, it's actually very useful. Why is this simple weapon so perfect for hunting deer?

A bow, by nature, is very simple. It's basically a string at tension, launching arrows. It's definitely quieter than a rifle.

Sometimes, not pulling the trigger is a better idea. Why is it sometimes wiser not to take the shot, even if the deer is in sight?

Sometimes, a hunter makes the choice not to shoot. Some hunters won’t shoot smaller bucks so they can grow to be bigger ones. It's all about a better hunt in the future.

Male deer love rubbing their antlers and leaving marks for their territory. When out in the woods, where do you look for these marks?

Deer love rubbing their antlers and leaving marks on trees. If you want to get the feeling for where deer are traveling, look for scratches and peeled bark on trees in the forest.

Everyone gets hungry, even when they're hunting. Why is it important to bring trail food when you hunt?

Hunting deer can mean a lot of time waiting in your favorite hiding spot. It's a good idea to have some food with you, just in case the deer decides to make its move during lunch time.

Some people have said that it's a good idea to stay still when you make a noisy footstep. Aside from being good training for musical chairs, what can this hunting tactic do?

If you stay still immediately after making a noise -- even if a deer looks in your direction -- you have a good chance of it not being spooked, because nothing is moving. Some people suggest waiting up to 5 minutes.

Now, this sounds like a nasty, stinky idea, but some hunters will use scented stuff from a different male deer. Why would this attract other deer?

Scent from a male deer works two ways. For males, they can get curious because they may have to protect their territory. For females, they want to find out who a possible mate might be.

Now, most deer have a thing for using mineral and salt "blocks." Why is it a good idea to use these when they are allowed?

Deer need certain minerals for antlers, and female deer need the salt during pregnancy. However, it's important to find out if the use of salt and mineral blocks is allowed in your hunting area. In some cases, only specific kinds of blocks are allowed.

For outsiders, the term "four-point" deer may sound like deer have some sort of scoring system. However, it's a bit more literal. What does the point system for deer refer to?

When you talk about four points for a deer, for example, that means that one antler has four end-points. Local hunting guidelines will define what "makes" a point, and even how many points are needed for an allowed kill.

Are dogs allowed when hunting deer?

Hunting deer with dogs has become a debate lately, but there are states that allow it. If you plan to hunt with dogs, be sure to read up on all the guidelines and limitations for each state.

When hunting, a lot of old-timers avoid leaving a carcass near a body of water. Aside from not tainting the water, why is this considered a good idea?

Most forest animals survive by staying away from what they think is a hunting ground. A dead body near any watering spot definitely marks it as dangerous.

If you've made a shot, why is it important to be cautious when the deer drops immediately at the first shot?

Some deer merely fall to the ground in shock after they've been shot at. It's a good idea to wait a bit to see if they'll get up and try to make a run for it.

For those who are new to hunting, the terms downwind and upwind may seem confusing. Why is it you want to be downwind from a deer?

When you are downwind, that means that the wind is coming toward you, from the direction of the deer. As a result, your smell will not be carried by the wind toward the deer. Better to be downwind!

Hunting deer was so important in the past that a term we use for money comes from hunting deer. What's that term?

Way back, skins from male deer, called buckskins, were used a lot in trading. When the deerskin trade faded, we ended up calling a dollar a buck.

If you've heard of a tree stand, then you know that some people prefer it because they feel it gives them an advantage. What exactly is a tree stand?

A tree stand is basically a hiding spot that's high up in a tree. It can be as simple as a camouflaged floor built around a few branches or a trunk, but it can also be a full tent that's permanently maintained.

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