I want to tell you that I am not a hunter. I only take pictures. If you're hunting deer there is probably another set of rules. This is for deer that are roaming slightly populated areas and are already a little used to humans. I'm sure many of you have seen these in your area. This is also for animals that are not aggressive or are not predators. Remember that being close to any wild animal can be dangerous. So be careful!
This is a simple list. It's not meant to be the ultimate answer to getting closer to a deer. It's meant to get you started as a beginner. I've done all of these things myself, and they work. I use this for deer and many other types of animals. So here is my list of how to get close to a deer. Let me know how you like it.
10 Tips To Get Close To A Deer
1. Be Quiet - This is the first thing you should know. You probably don't need me to tell you this. Deer are already nervous, and the slightest noise might send them galloping away from you. So keep quiet. Don't talk loudly, and try not to step on anything that would make a noise.
2. Walk And Move Slowly - This might be the most important thing to remember. Take your time, and don't make any sudden movements. If you move at a slow pace, they won't be as quick to run away. What would you do if something came running towards you? It would obviously startle you. You're not in a hurry anyway, are you?
3. Move With Your Back To Them - This is one of the first extra things I learned. I watched a man do this while taming wild horses. The trick is, if you have your back to them, they think you're walking away. It helps them think you are leaving. Now they'll be less inclined to be afraid and run away.
4. Don't Look Directly At Them - If you look off to one side, they won't think you're interested in them. When you look at them, look out of the corner of your eye. You can still see them. You don't want them to see you watching them. To a deer, it's only predators that watch them. If you appear to be looking somewhere else, they won't think they're about to be your next meal.
5. Walk At An Angle To One Side - This one is a continuation of the last two, but it's equally important. You don't want them to see you moving directly toward them. Again, they think only a predator would come right at them. If you move at an angle to the right or left of them, they won't realize when you slowly move closer.
6. Keep Your Arms Down - Another thing I learned from the horse guy. If you keep your arms down, you look a little smaller. If you raise your arms, a deer doesn't see just arms. A deer sees a pair of claws, and a big cat ready to pounce. It's an instinctive thing for a deer to think of raised hands or paws as a danger sign.
7. Periodically Stop And Examine The Ground - This one helps to slow you down, and it helps you look as if you're uninterested in them. When you do this, you appear as if you're slow and stupid. Think about the way a grazing cow might behave. What does it make you think? Slow and stupid means you're not a cunning predator looking for a meal. Try to see if they're getting more panicky and ready to run. Stop and do this whenever they look like they're going to run. You'll get better at judging when to do this, the more you do it.
8. Keep Your Head Down - The things on the list before already cover this one somewhat, but it's important to remember. If your head is looking at the ground, it's not looking at the deer. That puts them at ease, and you can get even closer. Remember, you can look at them out of the corner of your eye and see them just fine.
9. Try To Look Small - Everything above will help make you look smaller. I have actually gotten down on my knees to get pictures of a deer, and it worked amazingly well. The deer calmed down and started grazing on the grass in front of me. I was only ten feet away.
10. Hide - This last one may not always be compatible with the others. But if they can't see you, they're less likely to run. I've used the cover of trees to get close enough to walk right out among deer so many times I've lost count. Then I applied the other techniques to keep them from running away as I revealed myself.
That's how to do it. I use all of these tips on a routine basis, and they all work well for me. I have actually had a few deer walk up to me and try to coax me closer to them. These tips are all mostly common sense, but if you keep them memorized in your head it will help you to remember what to do when you find a deer or any other nonaggressive wild animal nearby. Try my tips out, and when they work for you, come back and tell me about it.
If you'd like to see some proof that these tips work, then you can go to my blog The Everyday Adventurer and do a search for "deer". The stories and the pictures should show you all you need to know.