With deer seasons closed or closing for the year, we are thinking of what needs to be done this year already. All hunters take notes while hunting. Some do this on paper, while some make mental notes. After three or four months of hunting and scouting, we have come up with a pile of chores to be done to try to improve our hunting next year.
This article will be a summary of things that we could do this year. I’m going to break down this article into more specifics on a monthly basis as well. The things I’m going to list are things that I have learned myself this past season.
Blockades A few of my stand this year were almost too good. I hung a couple sets in spots with three to six intersecting trails. This property is very overgrown, so I am limited in stand placement opportunities. I do not own this property, so I don’t have the liberty to thin out or change the habitat much. With deer coming from all directions at any time, planning to hunt wind directions was futile. I need to hunt these spots. How can I manipulate where they show up? There is all sorts of tree limb debris from past ice and wind storms. This year I am going to use some of this brush to create blockades, if you will. By blocking off a few of these trails, I can get the deer to use only one or two of them. If you have no brush close by to use for this, you can implement hinge cutting. I will go over this in more detail later.
Edges I had one stand that was in a great spot; although it would have been better if the deer were there when I was. TheMoultrie cam showed multiple pics daily. The deer would show up about an hour or less after I left. The problem with this spot is that it has no edge. The timber stopped abruptly right at the edge of the plot. What I’m going to do this year is create a buffer strip. I will use hinge cutting or strip disking or both to create a mid-level buffer. The deer will have to come right to the edge to inspect the plot.
Water holes I have too many plots and stands that are too far from water. We can take plastic barrels and split them to create a water source. Bury them in the ground and wait for rain. Backhoes, skid steers, and yes, shovels, can create great watering holes as long as you line the bottom with plastic sheeting. Something as simple as burying a cheap kiddie pool in the timber will get you closer to your buck. Just make sure that you locate your new water sources in full shade if possible to keep the water as fresh as possible. A breezy spot will also benefit the quality of the water.
Trail cameras Love to check them. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. The surprise I feel when I click on every photo is overwhelming. Sometimes I can’t control it. It’s all that I can do to wait a week. It is best to wait two weeks between checks to keep your intrusions down. When we get a shot of a giant, we do NOT have to see how many pics we can get. Once you get a couple of good ones of a mature buck, pull your camera out. You already know he is in the area. Hunt him only when conditions are perfect. There is no need to keep flashing and glowing at him daily and risk pushing him out of the area. Trail cameras are some of our most valuable tools as outdoorsmen. Don’t overuse them.
These tips are just a few of the things that I pondered upon the perch this year. I hope I have brought a couple of them to your attention that of importance to all of you.
‘til next time,