By David Bigelow Jr.
1. Locate several areas with good deer sign in spring and summer months, and especially just after hunting season ends, but don't hang a stand yet.
2. Use trail cameras first! They take the guesswork out of what's happening in the areas you've scouted. (Wildgame Innovations trail cams are my personal favorite.)
3. Once you've found desirable deer images on your camera, hang a stand at least one month before the season opener. Give smart old bucks time to get used to your stand.
4. Have a plan for quietly getting to and from your stand by clearing a path downwind from your hunting area.
5. Resist the temptation to hunt a promising stand if the wind isn't right. The highest probability of taking a big one is on your first sit. You'll want to be on full alert and with the wind in your face.
On another note, to get the most enjoyment from the outdoors, I also highly recommend taking a child hunting, investing in the best safety vest system available, and subscribing to Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine so you can hone your craft!