Ya know, this conversation reminds me of one of my pet peeves. A lot of this is ancient history, but it has relevance today.
Waaaay back when I first started hunting, I had all these "Tips and Tricks" garbage floating around in my head. It was from a lifetime of reading outdoor mags. They'd tell you things like:
Smoke Menthol cigarettes
Smoke a pipe with either apple or cherry flavor
Cook your lunch out in the woods
. . . and my all-time favorite: play a radio really low on some easy listening station.
Truth is I think half of this stuff was just detritus made up to make copy and fill the magazine. However, the rest came from guys who were just getting used to the modern era of deer hunting. Remember, there was a good generation or two between the end of unregulated deer hunting and the start of the modern seasons. So it made sense that guys experimented with everything, and if Uncle Fred had been listening to the football game when a deer came out, next thing you knew the whole camp was carrying radios.
How this has relevance today is that we are still relying on this type of thinking. I mean what about the idea of big bucks traveling with their nose to the wind? O.D. and Playing the Wind
It all makes sense that you should hunt the stands that are downwind of where the deer are coming, but that kind of goes out the window when you suddenly realize that that in The Real World, everything is upwind from something else and deer come from every direction.
Or take UV or Scent-proofing or ( I know, don't get me started on UV. It now taking 3 days and heavy medication before I can settle down) . You get ideas that buying something will dramatically improve your hunting. I'm sorry, there isn't much out there that is going to replace putting boots on the ground. Certainly not secret spray to rid yourself of invisible rays or a glorified overpriced rainsuit.
Here are the big tips and tricks I've gleaned from 30-some years:
1) Find a place that has deer; (This is the biggest. I spent many seasons hunting places that had almost no deer.) No poop? No deer. No track? No deer.
2) Find out what they eat, where they bed, and hunt the direct line between.
3) If you complete #1 and #2, study the situation. Scout out similar situations and Wash Rinse Repeat.
4) Deer are completely ruled by their stomachs. They have to get up and move, poop, eat and go back to their bed to ruminate every few hours or they get very uncomfortable. This idea that bucks become nocturnal or that deer stay bedded through a 3 day blow is complete hogwash. They feed 4 times a day: Sunup, Sundown and equally spaced episodes in between.
5) Keep yourself and your clothes clean. (see my weblogregarding baking soda)
6) There is no replacement for scouting. I am with my deer and turkey nearly every weekend of the year except the deepest parts of the winter and summer.
7) Killing deer is easy. You put a bullet in their chest and they die. You can add any sort of challenge to it you want (bow, pistol, ML, blindfolded, one arm tied behind your back), but still you are doing the same thing as throwing up a 30-06 and plugging them. Do not let method get in the way of success.
I can probably think of more, but these are pretty common sense things. If you solve 1 and 2 above, you're probably going to figure out the rest quickly.