Want to tag the buck of your dreams? First, you have to find him. Take these scouting tips to heart.
The main purpose of scouting is to find the best place to put your stand or post up for opening day and beyond.
Preliminary scouting should be done in the winter so you can place your stands in the spring. If you get things ready by then, the deer will get used to stands being in certain places, and likely won’t be spooked by this new object in the forest.
Even if you have or have not placed your stands yet, here are some last minute scouting tips as the season draws near that will help you land that trophy buck.
Find Food and Water Sources
Some people think deer stay in one place all the time. This is not true. If there is no food or water source in the area, deer will move on.
When deciding where to set up, look for a spot where deer can find either water or food, or move between the two. Deer usually visit the water hole around midday, so plan accordingly when you want to visit and approach strategically.
Locate Bedding Areas
A good sign that deer are around is when you see bedding areas. This means deer have been in the area, and if there are fresh beds, they are almost surely still there.
Try to avoid them as much as you can until the seasonal pressure starts to mount.
Find the Trail
Once you have found a source of food and water for the deer and their bedding areas, there is probably a trail, used by many deer, leading to and from one another. This is a good area to set up your stands.
Assess Wind Direction
Wind direction is important when deciding where to set up your stands. Once you have found the trail the deer travel, it is a good idea to set up a stand on both sides of the trail.
With stands on both sides of the travel trail, you can pick which stand to sit in depending on the direction of the wind each day, and therefore always be downwind of the deer.
Take a Drive
One simple scouting tip is to scout from the front seat of your vehicle. Designate several days a week before the season starts to drive to as many different spots as you can to watch open fields. The best time to scout like this is at dawn and dusk.
Take a map with you to mark what you find so you can use it as a reference when the season starts.
Stay Out of the Woods
When all is said and done and the only thing to do is wait, wait in your house. Try and stay out of the woods several days before the season actually starts. This way you will not trounce in there and spook the deer you worked so hard to find.
If you must enter into the woods to check a trail cam or to tweak/fix a stand, go in the early afternoon and try to stay away from any bedding areas.
It’ almost here! We all can’t wait for deer season to begin, but make sure you are ready for it. Use these last minute scouting tips to help you set up your stands in the perfect spot to land the buck of your dreams.
Image via Cabelas.com