We all have our favorites. Whether you’ve found success at a certain hunting site, or you just simply love the view from a particular knob, it’s enough to keep you coming back. Factors like easy access, forgiving winds, being in the middle of picturesque country and a high success rate help cement that love affair.

Unfortunately, playing favorites can hinder your success rate and create hunting pressure. With repeated exposure to a specific area, wild game can pattern your actions with incredible proficiency.

Use these tips to develop a strategy that will help you:

  1. Sustain hunting success
  2. Never give up the freedom to enjoy your favorite hunting sites.

Nix your routine to leave fewer clues

Avoid leaving clues behind for wild animals to pattern. This can include vehicle activity and its residual scent. Photo: John Hafner

Animals focused on survival are acutely aware of their surroundings. Despite taking great precaution to eliminate scent, reduce noise and cloak your movements, you will undoubtedly leave evidence of your presence, like vehicle activity and residual scent.

Use various access routes to avoid leaving scent trails and to accommodate wind variables. Doing so will make it more difficult for wild game to identify a single pattern.

Embrace rotation

The simplest answer — rotation — may not be the easiest depending on your property situation. Ideally, you simply have to hunt different areas.

That’s easy if you live in a state like Nevada where more than 80 percent of its acreage is public land. On the other hand, if you’re hunting midwestern big game, there’s a solid chance you’re limited to a couple hundred acres of farmland. And this makes repeat visits inevitable.

To ensure the big game you’re pursuing can’t pattern you or your favorite vantage point, consider the following:

  • Work hard to secure another location or two so you can rotate between them.
  • Leave a site alone for a weekend.
  • Visit the different properties on a rotational schedule or simply based on what site works best for the day’s wind.

When all else fails, keep changing your strategy

In certain public areas, hunters are forced to park at marked access gates, causing wildlife to pattern the hunting flow going to and from these areas. Find at least two routes (if not more) in and out of your favorite spot.

If you must hunt the same area over and over again, vary the sounds you use to call animals. Vary the use of decoys. You can mix up approach too. For instance, go from calling to stand hunting.

There’s nothing wrong with playing favorites, unless you do it with such frequency that every wild animal in the area knows your playbook. Mix it up, and your success will increase exponentially.

Featured Photo: John Hafner