Deer Scouting
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Deer Scouting

Deer Scouting


Deer Scouting

Contrary to what the name implies, still hunting is the act of walking through the woods, slowly looking for game. It is slow, effective, and very hard to learn to do correctly. Once mastered, still hunting can be one of the most productive hunting methods is the whitetail woods.

PRE-SEASON SCOUTING TIP: Figure out what food source that the deer will be eating during hunting season and locate it! Know your terrain, food sources, bedding areas and funnels. Scouting is a must to locate a big buck's territory.

I prefer to do my pre-season scouting immediately after the bucks have "rubbed" the velvet from their antlers. Remember that while rubbing the velvet from their antlers, a buck will not attack the larger trees and bushes that he will immediately prior and during the rut; however, he will leave evidence on smaller bushes. This activity will tell you where the bucks are and may help you pattern a particular animal.

Determine which oak trees have the most acorns for the upcoming fall by scanning the upper limbs of the trees with binoculars. Set stands near trees with large number of acorns before they ripen and the deer start feeding in the area.

Carry a note pad with you to keep a record of what you find. Acorns, deer trails, natural funnels etc. You may forget some of these hot spots before hunting season.

Start early, at the latest, mid summer.

Scout like you're hunting. Be careful. Don't make much noise and try and leave little scent in the area. Hang your stands early and then leave the area alone until you plan to hunt it. Also note that over scouting an area can have a negative effect on the wildlife and you may end up pushing the animals out of the area or may become nocturnal, not be seen or heard from during hunting hours.

Submitted by Scott Estabrooks

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