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Friday, October 23, 2009

Ten Steps for a successful Whitetail scouting trip. (Part 1 of 3 Tips on how to get a deer this season with a busy Schedule)

image credit Zachary Airtraps

Some of us have very busy schedules and don't have a ton of time to get ready for deer hunting like we would like to or use to so this little guide should help you out in those time crunch situations.

1. First make sure you are out in the woods at least five days before you plan to hunt. At five days you are very close to pushing your luck, but for the most part you should be ok.

2. Start out by identifying a food source then and work your way back into the woods. A corn field, bean field, clover, or even hay fields are all ideal places for deer to feed.

3. Find the major trails to and from the food source and follow them into the woods. Deer will travel a long way to get food. We have shot deer out in the middle of a 30,000 acre WMA and the deer have corn in their digestive system, so be prepared to have to walk a long distance.

4. There will be many trails that intersect the trail you start out on. My suggestion is to find the one that looks like it has first been used most recently and second looks like it has the most traffic.

5. Keep your eye’s open and look for the tell tail signs of deer.

6. Droppings will tell you how often deer frequent the trail by the amount of droppings. They will also tell you if the deer have used the trail recently. Fresh droppings are usually shiny and will squish if you poke them with a stick. Old droppings will look dry and crumble when you poke them.

7. Rubs are sign of a buck being in the area. Typically you will find them on trees that are about two and a half inches in diameter to about four inches in diameter. They will be anywhere from two feet to about three and a half feet off of the ground. You will know that the rubs are fresh if there is still moisture seeping out of the tree or the rub looks greenish in color.

8. Scrapes are another good sign of Bucks being in the area. Most often you find these by a tree that juts out further than any of the other trees in to a field or open area in the woods. This tree will typically also have lower hanging branches on it, but not always. A scrape basically looks like a deer cleared a bunch of grass out of a small area from a foot in diameter and can be up to four feet in diameter.

9. Eventually you will have walked far enough to find out where the deer are bedding. These areas can be quite different form one to another. Here are a few good places to look, really tall grass, thick brush, dry swamp, pine trees with nice sized open areas underneath of them. Basically you have to think like a deer what would keep you out of the wind, keep you some what dry in the rain, and allow you a good place to stay away from predators.

10. Pick the best place for your deer stand.

To find out more on picking the best place for your deer stand check back for part two of Tips on how to get a deer this season.
Let me know any steps you might have added to the list or even expand on some of the steps I posted.

~ Ben G.

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Good read


TackleBoxTalk said...

Hi Ben,

While I have never actually hunted deer, it is something I would like to get into. This post had some great ideas. I look forward to reading the rest of the series as I learn more about deer hunting and get prepared for next year. Any tips on how to talk my wife into a deer rifle for Christmas? Now that would be really helpful!

Have you gone deer hunting at all this season? I would be interested to see how it goes. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Ben, those are some very good tips indeed and the picture could not be any better.
I look forward to reading the rest.

Marian Love Phillips said...

Thanks for the tips Ben and will be back to read more. Like the picture also of a deer trail! Goodhunting to you this season! :)

Ben G. said...

TackelBox, First of all thanks, second good luck on talking the wife into getting you a rifle for christmas, the best I've done is a pocket knife. Finaly I haven't been out deer hunting yet this season, but I plan to go out scouting this weekend for the up comming shot gun season.

Rick, Thanks and Thanks

Marin, Your welcome, And good luck to you too.

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