Deer hunting has changed in many ways, not the least of which is the abundance of hunting opportunities that now exist close to almost everyone's home. Hunting in your own backyard offers several advantages, particularly the ability to use precious free time more efficiently.
Another advantage is you will spend more time in one particular area, allowing you to learn more about the deer that inhabit it. Over time, you'll begin to recognize patterns you can exploit.
Yet another advantage is the luxury of picking your hunt days. On an out-of-state trip, you have five or six days you must hunt, rain or shine, hot or cold. Back home, you can wait for the right weather conditions for your hunting area.
On a five-day hunting trip, you feel obligated to stay in the woods longer, often during times most would not consider quality hunting hours. Back home, those hours can be used during the prime times of each day, effectively doubling your odds for success.
But before you get too confident, you need to know what you're up against. Think of suburban deer as someone who lives in a one-bedroom apartment versus a country estate. If someone else comes in and moves the furniture around, the former will notice it a lot quicker, so be extra cautious about minimizing your influence, a process that begins with scouting.
Apex Gear | Covert Pro
The Apex Gear Covert Pro
sight incorporates an adjustable green LED center dot with 11 brightness settings. The aperture housing allows for easy 2nd and 3rd-axis adjustments, and the Gravity-Line rotational adjustment aligns pin movements with gravity for angled shots. Over 60 pre-marked yardage tapes are included.
Browning Trail Cameras | Strike Force HD
One great option is Browning Trail Cameras' Strike Force Sub Micro Series
. The 4.5" x 3.25" x 2.5" Strike Force HD ($139.99) features a 55' detection range, lightning-fast 0.67-second trigger speed, 10MP picture quality, and 1280 x 720 HD video clips with sound and 'Zero Blur ' Nighttime IR photos with a 100' IR flash range.
Controls are backlit for programming in lowlight conditions and allow you to choose between Timelapse & 'Timelapse Plus ' camera modes, up to eight Multi-Shot and Rapid Fire images, and delay settings from 5 seconds to 60 minutes. And the camera comes with Browning's 'BuckWatch Timelapse Viewer ' software.
Conquest Scents | EverCalm Deer Herd Scent
Start with a subtle approach, like EverCalm Deer Herd Scent from Conquest Scents
. They put a collection of buck, doe, and fawn bedding area scents into a waxy substance that's equal parts attractant and appeasement. Apply some to surrounding vegetation, and then insert one of the pencil-thin sticks into a fluted canister and hang it on your treestand or in your blind.
Cuddeback | Long Range IR Model E2
A quality trail camera at an affordable price is what you get with the Cuddeback Long Range IR model E2
. Zone Control lets you choose from a wide view or centered view, and the ¼-second trigger speed and super-fast recovery time guarantee more 20MP images of what you want to see, and less of what you don't. The IR flash range is 100', and motion blur is practically nonexistent.
Day 6 Outdoors | PlotWatcher Pro
Although increasingly more trail cameras are coming through with time-lapse functions, Day 6 Outdoors' PlotWatcher Pro
is the original, and it's still unique. The PlotWatcher Pro uses time-lapse technology to record HD video images using half the memory space and a quarter of the battery power of conventional trail cameras when in time-lapse mode. And with the GameFinder video player software (included), you can watch an entire day's worth of video in just a few minutes
Duel Game Calls | Stretchback
You can't bowhunt whitetails, especially during the rut, without a good grunt call like the Stretchback from Duel Game Calls
. Its freeze-free reed and soundboard, with seven O-ring positions, allows you to produce the full gamut of deer sounds.
HSS | Bow & Gear Hoise System
In addition to their highly touted fall-restraint harnesses, Hunter Safety System also has a line of treestand accessories. The Bow & Gear Hoist
is small enough to store in a back pocket. Its 2" rubber-coated carabiner deadens sound, and a swivel attachment prevents binding of the wind-up ribbon. Now you need a place to hang your stuff. The Talon folding gear hook will support anything from a backpack to a grunt call.
14.95 (Hoist); $
Innerloc | Shape Shifter
Designed for today's ultra-fast bows, Innerloc's Shape Shifter
uses a patent-pending Exo-Cover that snaps over the front of the broadhead, giving it the aerodynamics of a fieldpoint. It shatters on impact, allowing the massive .040"-thick blades to open to a 1¼" cut diameter.
Kodiak Series Cameras
Kodiak Series Cameras
use an integrated Wi-Fi system and free smartphone app that lets you adjust camera settings and access photos and videos on your smartphone from hundreds of feet away, without wireless providers or data plans. Standard features include a 12MP image sensor and 720p HD video recording with high-quality audio, 40 invisible IR LEDs for nighttime shots, a sub-one-second trigger, an optional time-lapse function, and a built-in 2" color LCD display with video and audio playback.
LaCrosse | 4XAlpha
You also want to minimize the scent you deposit while walking to and from your stand. LaCrosse's latest addition to the Alpha rubber-over-neoprene hunting boot family, the 4XAlpha
, provides lightweight, waterproof protection, and contains your foot odor. They're available in 3.5mm and 7mm neoprene levels, plus a 3.5mm snake boot version.
Leupold | RX-1200i
Another essential need is a rangefinder. With Leupold's high performance DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) engine, the RX-1200i
allows archers to obtain True Ballistic Range readings out to 125 yards. This compact rangefinder has multicoated optics, selectable reticles, a fold-down rubber eyecup, multiple display settings, and a Quick Set menu.
Magnus | Black Hornet
And for fixed-blade fans, Magnus' new Black Hornet and Black Hornet Ser-Razor broadheads
offer a four-bladed design with a cutting diameter of 1¼" on the .059"-thick main blade, 7„8" on the .040"-thick bleeder blade, and a knife-grade diamond tip. The Ser-Razor has a chiseled, serrated main blade.
Badlands | Hybrid Series
created the Hybrid Series
with silence, comfort, durability, and scent containment in mind. The Hybrid Jacket and Pants feature a fleece/softshell, water-resistant combination outer with a breathable windproof membrane for added warmth without bulk. A Hex-Lite fleece lining provides additional warmth, while 4-X Scent Containment panels work as intended. Compressible sleeves, ventilated 'pit-zips, ' Kevlar-reinforced heavy wear areas, and a streamlined fit were designed with the bowhunter in mind.
239.95 (Hybrid Jacket); $
299.95 (Hybrid Pants)
You also need clothing that will not only adsorb odors but will kill odor-causing bacteria. NOMAD apparel
incorporates the latest in odor-control technology — silver plus zeolytes — into their SilverZ Scent Suppression System. For mild weather, there's the lightweight five-pocket Sward Pants and Mergence Jacket. For cooler mornings and evenings, there's the midweight four-pocket Syncrate Pants, a midweight half-zip Syncrate Hoodie with two secure front pockets and pit zips, or the Dunn Vest with Primaloft insulation and shoulder and side stretch panels for extra mobility. When you need full waterproof protection, try the Integrator Jacket and Pants.
114.99 (Sward Pants); $
149.99 (Mergence Jacket); $
124.99 ea. (Syncrate Pants, Hoodie, Dunn Vest); $
169 (Integrator Jacket); $
149.99 (Integrator Pants)
PSE | X-Force Hunter
The PSE X-Force Hunter
sight has a vibration-dampening Black Maxx finish, a 1¾" wire-frame housing, five .019" fiber-optic stainless steel tube pins, and a rheostat light. The fixed-plate mount extends from 2½" to 3¾".
Rage | 2-Blade SC
Rage incorporated their tapered aluminum-alloy X-Treme ferrule and Shock Collar blade-retention system into their new 2-Blade SC
. New manufacturing techniques ensure that the .035" stainless-steel blades are even sharper. With an in-flight diameter of ¾", the SC flies like a fieldpoint and opens to a devastating 2" cutting diameter on impact.
Slick Trick | VIPERTRICK 100
Slick Trick's VIPERTRICK 100
offers all the advantages of a one-piece head, plus the ability to replace blades. The Alcatraz Bladelock System keeps the stainless-steel Lutz blades locked into the super-slim steel ferrule. Add features like the cut-on-contact design and a cutting diameter just shy of 2", and you've got a backyard blood-letter.
Stealth Cam | GXW
Downtown deer experience a lot more human disturbance that can change movement patterns overnight. The Stealth Cam GXW
provides real-time updates using wireless technology to transmit 4, 8 or 12MP images or 1080p HD video clips straight to your mobile device via the free Stealth Cam Remote app. The app delivers a highly functional user interface with complete control of camera and wireless settings, as well as instant sharing via text, e-mail or social media, and you can operate multiple cameras with one login.
The GXW integrates 45 BLACK IR emitters with a 100' range, records videos with H.264 compression, and has a time-lapse mode with PIR Override. A GEO-Tag system, 0.4-second trigger speed, and a 2" color LCD screen round out this camera's features.
Summit | Peak
The type of stand best suited to backyard bowhunting varies with circumstances. I favor ladder stands, but if you find yourself needing to adjust locations from time to time, a hang-on stand may be better. Summit's Peak
hang-on has an easy attachment system that allows you to hang it in minutes. It features a generous 25" x 34.5" platform with integrated footrest, and an 18" x 12" Viper Swing Seat with padded arms and 12" x 20" backrest. This 22-lb. stand folds to a small profile for packing.
Tenzing | TZ 721
You don't need a large pack when hunting near home, but you'll still need to carry the essentials. The 2-lb. Tenzing TZ 721 Waist Pack
features a breathable mesh waist, padded hip panels, and a highly adjustable waist-belt system for comfortable carry. Once on stand, it can be quickly repositioned to the front to keep contents accessible and make use of the built-in muff with four handwarmer pockets.
Tink's | B-TECH Total Protection Dry Bag
To keep your clothes from picking up any foreign odors while driving to and from the field, store them in an airtight container like Tink's B-TECH Total Protection Dry Bag
. Its 2,700 cu. in. offers weather resistant and scent-safe storage, including a front-mounted storage pouch and an adjustable shoulder strap in case you prefer to change in the woods rather than the backyard, especially somebody else's backyard.
Tree Stand | Buddy
The Tree Stand Buddy's
bracket system allows you to hang a portable stand on any tree, crooked or straight, with extra space between your stand and the tree for better comfort and mobility. You can mount multiple receivers on different trees and use just one stand.
Wac 'Em | 3-Blade Fixed Blade
Wac 'Em 3-Blade Fixed Blade
heads feature replaceable stainless-steel blades with a 11„32" cutting diameter and a patented Cut-on-Impact tip. They are available in 75, 100, and 125 grains.
Wildgame Innovations | Wild Estrus Doe Squirt
When the rut kicks in, it's time to crank things up. When you arrive at your stand, start the process with an application of Wild Estrus Doe Squirt from Wildgame Innovations
, then set up a Wild Estrus Doe Dripper. Both contain 100% doe urine treated with patented Glo-Cote, an ultraviolet additive that emits a neon-blue glow to further attract deer.
Wildlife Research Center | Scent Killer Gold
The system starts with your body, and Wildlife Research Center
is always coming up with new stuff for this department. New Scent Killer Gold Body Wash & Shampoo removes odor-causing bacteria and dirt from your body and contains aloe to prevent dry skin. Next, launder your clothing with new Scent Killer Super Charged Clothing Wash, then spray yourself down liberally with Scent Killer Gold. The 24/24 Combo Pack ensures you won't run out, as it includes a 24-oz. spray bottle and 24-oz. refill.
9.99/12 oz. (Body Wash & Shampoo); $/strong>14.99 (Scent Killer Super Charged Clothing Wash); $14.99 (24/24 Combo Pack)