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Luck or Skill

settle this argument...a friend of mine says deer hunting is mostly luck (he is an experienced hunter). i believe luck favors the prepared. We were trying to put a percentage on it. he says 30% skill 70% luck. i think just the opposite. who is right??.
Hunting is preparation, scouting and alot of time out.there is some luck hunting is 85% your effort and 15% luck
Consider it this way.

How many first time hunters on plublic land (no guides, no food plot setups) kill a deer their first time out. Sure, it happens - but not often. When they do it's luck because the experience factor isn't there.

So, if 30% of those hunters kill a deer on their first hunt, deer hunting is 30% luck. If 70% kill a deer on their first hunt, deer hunting is 70% luck.

Now the question is - how many of you guys out there killed a deer on your first hunt? (Being set up by someone else or using someone else's stand doesn't count.)
my luck went way up years ago when i started scouting more and quit hunting areas unless the deer sign was there.if your hunting public land you wont have consistent success without putting in the time.luck wont fill your freezer.
I think it greatly depends on how you hunt . 'hunting' has gotten crazy ! All the game cameras and range finders . It's basically gone military . Not to mention baiting !

I've seen what looked to be inexperienced hunters kill nice bucks right of the edge of a road on a wma , and more than once . I've even tryed it without much luck . Lol

So if you use corn and game cams ... Where is the luck or skill in that ? I quit hunting in Mississippi basically because my son had killed a few deer and got a little experience under his belt and he can pack a climber now by himself . So I've been trying to teach him the skill of deer hunting , without all the high tech equipment .

If you scout and find a buck and determine his movements and kill that deer , that would be a high skill rate , maybe 70% skill ? But if you are hunting over corn and taking pictures with a game cam I don't really consider that luck or skill .
I think the only luck i have in deer hunting is I'm lucky if I don't fall from my climbing stand. I'm lucky if my alarm clock doesn't fail and i'm lucky if my wife allows me to go hunting.
I've been deer hunting for 50 years and have found that planning, scouting and knowing when and where to hunt leads to success.
don't know.......I belive that a deer does what it darn well pleases!!!! no way to know 100% what it will do at all as a hunter we get to where the odds are in our being able to get to the place that tilts the odds in your favor,be undetected and make a kill shot is all skill....and as we all know even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes....know some folks that have hunted for a long time but don't know a white oak from a red oak....
You can use all the bait you want and.cameras but if you don't scout , study the deers habits , the.effects of the weather then it's for nothing . And I dare my wife to tell me I can't hunt why would she want me to stop something I love doing
i killed a nice 8pnt this year 21' wide wieghed 230 # this wasa a 31/2 year old deer that came off our lease n i do hunt miss. i learn to hunt from my dad an others didnt kill my first time out either but the lesson i ve learned from many have all been valuable in my growning part of deer hunting. i saw this deer this year after my friends hunted all weekend on the place with no deer sightings i went up that sunday evening an hunted till wed. saw the deer late sunday evening after all have left. it took me 3 weeks of staying on top of this deer an moving my location 2 xs to finally get him he gave me this slip 2 xs before that 3 times a charm . so a old man i used to hunt with years ago told me a lazy hunter kills no deer . well thats whwere luck plays its part . i can say this i work my but off to hunt for big deer i see alot of deer but being disaplined to let the small ones walk and by small i,m talking 16' inside spread deer or better if you know there is a better buck to be had . now thw guy that has the lease im in has camreas on the place this deer was at the oppsite end of the proerty during bow season from the pictures taken but changed once the rut started . so do your home work . put the wind in your face an goodluck . trust me the exsperience is so much more to you when u invest the time for just one bid deer when you kill it. not just killing any deer that walks in your sights.
A good hunter will scout and look for signs to hopefully setup on a good spot to take a nice buck. I own my own property that consists of 600 acres of pine and hard woods with annual food plots located in North East Louisiana. Also have cameras out year round to monitor deer growth from year to year. We only take Mature Bucks off of our property. I have pictures of Bucks that came off of the property that are from 130 to 180 class deer. Just because you know there around doesnt mean you will ever see them when it comes season.

With that being said yes you need to scout your area well before hunting season is begins to hopefully setup on a good location.

BUT, the main point is no matter where you hunt or how you hunt when its your time to kill, its your time. I call that all luck........
i do believe there is more luck involved on public land hunts. many variables are taken out of your hands. All the scouting you did could be for nothing, the buck could have been killed by someone else without you even knowing. Deer could become strictly nocturnal from pressure. someone could bump the deer out of your area...and right to another hunter that has never even set foot on the property. Private land has more controll of some of the variables.
A good hunter creates his own luck BUUUUUTTT...when it's your time to kill a deer, it's just your time. Luck plays a part just as much as skill plays a part.
A skilled Hunter will harvest deer, year after year. A lucky Hunter, every now and then. However if you hunt where you see tons of deer a day, then your success rate will be much higher than the guy who see very few deer. The old saying is I'd rather be Lucky than Good, but I disagree.
I do say, You can never judge a hunt or the hunter by looking at a mounted deer, just enjoy the deer. Good luck and Good Hunting
i think its about 60% skill and 40% luck
I think it depends on what kind of hunter you are.

If you are only going out to shoot 'A' deer, all you need is luck.

If you are going out to shoot a particular deer, it will take a bit of skill.

Apparently that's why I haven't killed a deer the past three years. Been hunting for particular bucks and waiting only on them. Just when I think I have them patterned and figured out, their patterns change.

Had a 10 pointer that would show up every night about 10-30 minutes after shooting hours. I stopped hunting my stand and started trying to intercept him from every direction I could think of, carefully approaching the spot I would hunt with wind in consideration and all. Would never see him, but would get pictures at my feeder 10 minutes after shooting hours everytime.

Only saw him once with my eyes and it was as I was walking back to my truck about 30 minutes after shooting hours. Could see his silhouette in the scope and the outline of his rack. He outsmarted me everytime.

Now I could have shot a number of nice bucks, but they weren't the 'ones' I was looking for.

So just to shoot any deer, I think you don't need much skill (90% luck, 10% skill). To target a specific deer, requires a little more skill, with a little luck as well (maybe 50/50).
There is an old saying that 10% of the hunters kill 90% of the deer. Luck surely is a factor but there is NO substitute for scouting etc.
in 1986 my dad and i each killed our first deer together on our first deer hunt. it was on public land in louisiana. that day 5 deer were killed on the wma with 100 hunters in the woods. we started squirrel hunting for the first time earlier that season and started noticing some deer sign in an area. i convinced my dad to take me deer hunting when it opened up. we knew nothing about deer hunting but wanted to give it a try. we set up in the area we were seeing the sign. about an hour into the hunt we heard gun shots nearby and within seconds had 3 deer 30 yrds in front turned broadside looking back the other way. my dad dropped a large doe and i a button buck. the hunter who shot nearby walked over and explained he had 6 deer cross as he was walking down a trail when he shot at them and missed.

looking back at that hunt and how much more knowledge i've gained about deer and deer hunting since and how hard i've had to work to get shots on deer, there is no doubt in my mind that we just happened to be in the right place at the right time = lucky.

if i had to put a number on it i would put it at 75% and 25% favoring luck. there's just too many factors out of your control to be able to predict with certainty the movements of a wild animal, other hunters, weather, farmers, logging operations or what all those other factors will be on your only days off. how many of us just go no matter what because its our only weekend off?

skill might put you in the right place, but being there at the right time is all luck in my opinion

good luck!!