how to hunt deer using modern tools and old fashioned hard work | Keefer Brothers

How to Hunt Deer Using Modern Tools and Old-Fashioned Hard Work

How to Hunt Deer with This Powerful Combination

Gone are the days of wearing a red flannel shirt to the woods to hunt. This approach worked well for many of our grandparents on the farmstead. And it’s an amazing, nostalgic piece of history we always keep in our minds as hunters. But that was a different time and we have many better options available to us these days. If you’re wondering how to hunt deer in today’s world, you need today’s technology and yesterday’s work ethic on your side.

When we say hunting deer with technology, we don’t mean sniping them with a drone from a couple hundred feet. We mean using the latest technological advances to help us find the hit-list buck we’re after, put us in the right location, and help us stay undetected and comfortable until we get the job done. To the Keefer brothers, that also means hunting intelligently and using certain kill factors to help inform the best time we should hunt. That laser-focused approach is what separates Rival Wild from so many other hunting shows. Casey Keefer and Chris Keefer, both survivalists and TV hosts, are passionate about chasing whitetails and dedicate a lot of time and effort into being successful at it.

How to Hunt Deer with Modern-Day Technology

As mentioned earlier, the modern technology we can use these days for whitetail deer hunting is phenomenal. It really separates any hunter using it from those that are not. And if you’re looking to put a truly mature whitetail buck on the wall, you really do need to pay attention.

Trail Cameras 

Our grandfathers definitely didn’t have these at their disposal. Trail cameras are our eyes in the woods when we can’t be there. They provide valuable input about the habits and locations of the deer on your property. You can pinpoint when a hit-list buck typically moves through a certain area and start to piece together a pattern for that deer.

how to hunt deer using modern tools and old fashioned hard work | Keefer Brothers

And if you look through historical photos, you may also start to see that certain weather patterns or time periods produce more buck movement, while others put them down. Use these clues to tell you the best time you should be in the woods. If you’re wondering how to find whitetail deer, look no further than Reconyx trail cameras. They produce amazing quality pictures and videos, which you can download wirelessly to your phone or a tablet.

Aerial Imagery

As you see in Rival Wild episodes, the Keefer brothers heavily rely on aerial mapping software to pinpoint the best locations they should hunt. It’s no wonder! You can easily find hidden water sources, ridge top saddles, and topographic or terrain funnels you didn’t know were there, all without setting foot on the property.

Deer Hunting Property Breakdown| Rival Wild EP3
(Video) – Welcome to the Beast. This hunt takes place on a 700 heavily wooded acres. This deer hunting property breakdown covers 10 Millennium tree stand sets, a number of strategically placed reconyx trail cameras, and 1 major Killer Food Plots food source.


Before any hunting trip, study the land on aerial imagery to see what you can learn. Plot your trail cameras on the map, and use the clues in the pictures to estimate deer travel patterns. For example, if a certain buck always enters a picture from the east, use aerial imagery to find out what habitat lies to the east of your camera. It might be that a hardwood island in a cattail swamp is his main bedroom. Then figure out where he goes by using trail cameras to estimate his intended path. You can then set up along that route to intercept him.

how to hunt deer using modern tools and old fashioned hard work | Keefer BrothersComfortable and Effective Clothing

Learning how to hunt deer is one thing. But putting in the time to stay in the Millennium tree stand all day for multiple days is a different story. Staying concealed and comfortable is of utmost importance. Today’s clothing options offer superior camouflage patterns and materials to keep you in the stand longer. Cabela’s has outdoor clothing of almost any kind to match the weather you’ll be hunting in.

ScentLok clothing combines amazing scent control with realistic camouflage patterns to help you through any hunting season.


How to Hunt Deer with Dedication 

While our forefathers certainly knew about dedication and hard work, that’s only part of the puzzle. Yes, it does take some mental grit to put in day after day in the woods when all you’re seeing are opportunities for doe management. But it’s also about not taking the short and easy route if it could jeopardize your hunting success.

Access Trails

If you find the most perfect hunting location that’s filled with deer sign, but you can’t access it without spooking deer, you should just walk away. Some of the best buck hunting tips there are involve smart hunting techniques and restraint. Most hunters are too tempted by their new “spot” that they throw caution to the wind and risk hunting it in unfavorable conditions. Some even jump on the first deer trail they see and call it good enough for an access trail. But that’s not how to hunt deer, particularly big bucks. Just one hunting trip where you get busted could be enough to ruin your chances. It takes a lot of willpower to stay out of these locations, but it’s better in the long run.

how to hunt deer using modern tools and old fashioned hard work | Keefer Brothers

Instead, find a way to access the spot without alerting deer (using ditches, creek bottoms, a line of thick cedars, etc.). It might take you a mile out of the way, but it’s useless hunting a spot if you can’t hunt it the right way. If you just can’t find a way in, hunt a different area that you can enter and exit without walking right by or through a bedding area or other deer hot spot. You shouldn’t let your scent drift into these areas as you’re walking either, so always pay attention to the wind and use Dead Down Wind products at home and in the field. Remember, it’s better to hunt a marginal spot flawlessly than a great spot poorly.

how to hunt deer using modern tools and old fashioned hard work | Keefer Brothers

Herculean Effort

As we mentioned above, sometimes it simply takes a lot of work to put a big whitetail on the ground. Many people will hunt for their opening weekend and maybe another weekend after that, but then call it quits. Sometimes it takes a little more time than that. As whitetail guides, the Keefer Bros. know it can literally take weeks of time in the woods to get a truly big buck. It takes a lot of personal and family sacrifice to dedicate that much time bow hunting whitetail deer. Some popular hunting videos don’t show the whole picture and may make it look easier than it really is. But Rival Wild lets you in on these deer hunting secrets so you’ll be more prepared.

Keep Your Options Open

If you’re going to spend weeks in the whitetail woods, you run the serious risk of burning out your good spots. If you were to hunt the same tree stand every day, you would find a noticeable drop in deer activity within a few days, even if you were being very careful about accessing it. Inevitably, deer are going to start to notice your sign or you’ll spook a deer that shouldn’t be there. It happens.

To prevent this situation, you should have a few locations to hunt that you can rotate through. For example, after hunting in one spot for a day or two, move to another tree stand located elsewhere. This helps to let the area calm down from your human intrusion before you go back. Meanwhile, you can be hunting other fresh stands. Since the best time to surprise and kill a deer is usually the first time you sit in it, you increase your chances tremendously.

How to Hunt Deer This Season 

While some still prefer to take the same old-school approach to hunting, others are way more successful using the deadly combination above. True, sometimes people just get lucky. But those who use modern tools and know how to hunt deer smartly make their own luck. Which would you prefer?

1 reply
  1. Harry
    Harry says:

    Thanks for sharing! Great guide and tips!
    Any chance we can have a great guide on choosing and setup the trail cameras for various terrains?
    Again, thank for sharing.


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