Scouting For Whitetail Deer
As the whitetail deer season approaches, avid hunters begin to plan and prepare for their hunts. Part of this preparation includes scouting for deer. By spending time in the woods observing deer behavior, hunters can increase their chances of success.
There are a few things to keep in mind when scouting for deer. First, pay attention to the deer’s daily patterns. You need to understand where deer bed and where deer feed.
When and where do they feed?
Where do they bed down?
Successfully punching a deer tag will require that you know that basic information about the bucks pattern. Killing deer season after season will certainly mean that you have zoned in on at least a portion of the pattern.
Setting up over a food source can be very productive. A farm field crop like soybeans or corn is a deer and deer hunter favorite.
White oaks in mid October are also famous for being big buck hot spots.
Main trails from bedding to feeding areas are also big buck hot spots. Many hunters choose to set up on trails fairly close to bedding areas to catch deer in legal shooting light while on the way to the food sources.
Using Trail Cameras to Scout
One of the best tools in scouting deer is the trail camera. It can record hours upon hours of data that will help you locate deer in the area you will be hunting. The best points to place your cameras are along trails, but feeding areas are also good. This will help you determine where deer are traveling and what deer are present in the area.
Using Aerial Maps to Scout for Deer
If you’re looking to scout for deer in a new area, the first step is to get your hands on an aerial photo map of the property. Once you have the map, take a look at it and identify potential bedding areas, trails and feeding areas. Then, mark the most promising destinations on the map and start your scouting there. As a general rule of thumb you should start with about a dozen spots in a general area. OnX is a good mapping tool and app.
Use a Spotting Scope to Scout Feeding Patterns
A spotting scope is a valuable tool for scouting deer activity. By setting up on a high point and scanning the area, you can get a broad picture of where the deer are active. Take detailed notes on the activity you see, so you can focus your closer scouting efforts in the most productive areas.
Put It all Together
Knowing these things will help you plan your hunt around the times when the deer are most active. Second, take note of the type of terrain where you see the most deer activity. This will give you an idea of where to set up your blind or stand. And finally, pay attention to any other factors that might affect deer movement, such as weather conditions or hunting pressure from other people in the area. Scouting is an important part of successful whitetail deer hunting.
By taking the time to observe and learn about deer behavior, you can increase your chances of bagging that trophy buck this season!