Not all hunting is based on luck. There are some tried and proven ways of hunting that can improve a hunter's chances of putting meat on the table.

Here are a few:- Big bucks like thick cover. They also like to stay close to ridges so that at the slightest hint of danger they have an easy and quick escape route.

- Deer aren't always in the high country. In fact, last year, in the Manti Mountains, hunters went high and the deer stayed low. It took a couple of days before the two met up, which lowered success figures. Deer, especially at this time of year, will hang out in the low country.

- When hunting in thick brush and trees, stay low and watch for movement. Hunters would be surprised at the number of deer that will sneak around or between them.

- The key to any hunt is to scout an area thoroughly. Get out before the hunt and see where the animals are. This is especially important this year because of the dry conditions.

- When checking out an area, look for signs of deer. The first thing to check are game trails. Trails with little use would indicate few deer in the area, and vice versa. Also, check small stands of aspen at the tops of canyons for signs where bucks have been scraping the velvet from their horns.

- Plan to do most hunting in the early mornings and late evenings. That's when deer travel about.

- When conducting a drive, push down a canyon, not up. Big deer will say under ledges along the ridges so that at the slightest hint of trouble they can be over one side or the other. By pushing down a canyon, hunters can often cut off the retreat. Pushing up a canyon gives deer an avenue of escape. Also, hunters have a less-obstructed view from up higher.

- Hunters will notice that at this time of year bucks are running together. Usually, if hunters see one, and they wait, they'll see more. If the deer aren't spooked, a hunter may want to wait and see what's coming up. If a cold spell hits, bucks will start breaking into smaller groups in anticipation of the rut.

- Don't be too anxious to hike, that's why it's advisable to hunt early and late when the deer are moving about.

- When hunting in the afternoons, walk very slowly and quietly, always being on the watch.