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This devoured ear of corn is an indicator of high deer activity

This devoured ear of corn is an indicator of high deer activity

The weather doesn’t remind you much of hunting season, but the calendar states otherwise. We are only weeks away from the early whitetail season and now is the time to be scouting if you want to get the jump on an unsuspecting buck. Here are a couple of ways to get started if you haven’t already.

Trail Cameras – This time of year trail cameras are either telling you everything about the local bucks or nothing at all. With bucks banded together in bachelor groups you may have numerous bucks on your property. They will soon disband, sort out a pecking order, and establish themselves in areas they feel safe. In other words, if you are getting a ton of deer on camera, you can expect that number to decrease, usually, when they shed their velvet. Of course, many will still hang around in areas close to your property. On the other hand, if you are having no luck getting a buck’s photo, just hold tight. You will probably get some on camera after the bachelor group disbands.

Getting Set Up – It’s tough to battle the snakes, ticks, and mosquitoes, but the early bird gets the worm. The sooner you can get your stands situated and then left alone, the better off you will be. You always hear about the hunter who hangs a stand and then kills a deer out of it an hour later…but more often than not the hunter bagging his buck in the fall/winter did his legwork in the late summer. Tough it out now so you can be sitting pretty in a few weeks.

Old Fashioned Scouting – Deer are creatures of habit and if left alone they will eventually repeat themselves. Think back to where you spotted a nice buck last year, or the year before. Go back. He was there for a reason. Scout efficiently and figure it out. Trail cameras are great but don’t rely solely on them. Scouting around field edges, water sources, and funnels can reveal many things, things that cameras sometimes miss. There is no doubt that trail cameras are a huge benefit, but couple that with old fashioned boots-on-the-ground scouting and you will increase your odds of tagging that trophy buck this year.


Andrew Walters