4 Ways To Maximize Spring Deer Scouting

March 26, 2014

When choosing an ideal location to hang a treestand while out scouting on public lands this spring or summer, you can maximize your efforts and increase your odds by keeping an eye out for hot spots that will allow you to hang not one, but two stands at once, ensuring effectiveness with at least two different wind directions. Then—come this fall, and the wind switches suddenly—you can simply climb into your “second choice” stand without missing a beat.

Over the years most whitetailers have been conditioned to avoid “over-pruning” stand sites to avoid spooking trophy bucks that supposedly know every inch of their home range. However, since most of us will likely encounter a whopper buck out traveling during the rut, when they’re seriously distracted by their primary mission to find hot does, it’s often better to cut nice large shooting lanes to maximize shot opportunities. Now is the time to trim out areas with the least impact on fall sets. This may seem a smallish detail, yet likely can be the difference between simply seeing a trophy and bagging one this fall.

Each year even hard-hunted public lands produce trophy animals for those bowhunters willing to pay strict attention to “low-impact” hunting strategies. When the going gets tough, details like wearing ultra-silent clothing, leaving your scents, rattling antlers, and other aggressive calling strategies at home and taking the “long way” into stand sites—while carefully avoiding deer bedding areas and travel routes—will often pay off with increased deer encounters. You’ll become even more deadly by taking the time now to analyze how “most” bowhunters access your chosen public tract, and pinpointing access/exit routes that few if any would tackle. Using waterways as access routes, for example, with help from canoes, waders, or hipboots, almost instantly eliminates 80 percent, or more, of your less-dedicated competition.

Few bowhunters use daypacks for one of their most useful tasks—carrying exterior camo clothing to stand sites to avoid over-heating along the way. If your stand sites require a long hike, or you hunt where it gets truly cold, be sure to buy a pack large enough to handle bulky clothing and in some cases, even your boots. Have a favorite pack you just can’t part with? Take time now to sew on an external nylon “quick-clip” buckle strap or two that will help you tote more gear when needed this fall.