Open Mic, Spotlight

Open Mic: How to Hunt for Whitetail Deer by Eli Hedstrom

Disclaimer: These hunting tips are written by an inhabitant of Minnesota. If you live in another state, you may have different laws, and different hunting tactics may be needed.

Every fall, when the leaves are golden and the days are shorter, some people spend hours outdoors in bright orange clothes, sitting in strange boxes on stilts and carrying guns. These people are likely whitetail deer hunters. Hunting for whitetails is a rich and rewarding experience. It gives you time out in nature, supplies venison for the freezer, and if you are lucky, provides a sizeable set of antlers to be displayed as a trophy in your home. In this article, I will give a few tips on how to hunt for whitetails in a safe and legal manner.

First, buy a permit. If you are under eighteen, you can buy a youth permit, which means you can shoot either a buck or a doe. If you are over eighteen, you can buy a buck permit. You can also buy a bonus antlerless deer permit. Make sure to check out the rules and regulations concerning where you tag the deer. You will have to successfully complete a gun safety class before you can buy a permit. Always go hunting with an adult until you are at least fourteen. However it’s always good to have an experienced adult with you to watch for deer and help you pick which one to shoot.

Second, pick a gun. If you live in the regions where you can use rifles, I would suggest a .243, a .308, or a 30.06, as these are good deer hunting rifles. If you live in an area where you must use a shotgun, I would use a 20 or 12-gauge. You can also use a longbow or crossbow, but these have limited range. Later in the year, you can use a muzzleloader, but these are single shot and create a cloud of blue or black smoke. Remember to always treat your gun as if it is loaded and to control the muzzle. Always be sure of your target and what lies beyond.

Third, pick a stand. Maybe this idea is unfamiliar to you, but it is important. By sitting in a stand and waiting for the deer to come to you, you don’t have to tire your muscles as much. It also makes it so that if you shoot at a deer and miss, the bullet or arrow goes into the ground so no one else gets hurt. For optimum comfort, I would suggest a box stand, as tree stands are exposed, and when it’s windy, they can be downright frightening and chilly.

Fourth, choose your clothes. You will need lots of layers. Wear coveralls, warm hunting boots, and a coat that will keep the wind from freezing you. Finally, on top of all these, wear a blaze orange vest or coat and a blaze orange hat. This is required by Minnesota law and makes you visible to other hunters so they do not mistake you for a deer and shoot you.

Fifth, take a shower. You probably have never heard of this one. You should take a shower almost every day of your hunt and use a special soap and shampoo that erases human scent. This keeps the deer from smelling you and moving away. Wash all your clothes in laundry detergent that erases your scent. You can buy these items at outdoor stores and farm stores.

Finally, be patient! Go out in the stand before dawn and before sunset. Sit out there any time you can during hunting season. Stay out there for several hours to increase your chances of getting a deer. If you get one, make sure to fill out your tag and tie it on the deer. Field dress the deer. Take lots of pictures, and post them everywhere! Get your antlers mounted, and show them to everyone who visits your house. Good luck!


Meet the Author

How old are you?
I am fifteen years old.

Where do you live?
I live in Lakefield, Minnesota.

What classes are you taking with TPS?
Currently I am taking English 3. I plan on taking more next year.

What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love writing because I love telling stories. It’s especially fun to write fantasy, because then I can make up my own creatures and characters and design my own story.

What is your favorite memory about hunting?
My favorite memory about hunting is probably shooting my first buck. I hit him with my first shot, and it was a perfect setup. He was standing broadside to the stand, so it was very easy to aim. It turns out that he had in total three points on his antlers, or in other words, he was a “spike buck.” That was the largest buck I have shot yet. Maybe one of these years I will get a more mature buck with a larger set of antlers!


  1. WOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks Jansen 🙂