Deer Hunting Tips

Deer Hunting Scouting Methods

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Scouting For Deer Hunting - A Summary

Most hunters agree that the best time to scout for deer is right after the close of the season. At this time of year, the sign that you find will be fresh, you will not push deer out only to be bagged by your next door neighbor, and deer that you do push out will have nearly an entire year to return to their normal patterns. Many hunters also scout in the winter, spring, and early summer. Most shy away from scouting too much in late summer or early fall, or if they do scout, they are more careful about it. And it should be noted that summer deer behavior may be far different than fall or mid-winter behavior in big-snow areas. Many hunters will set up game cameras, but others warn against overuse resulting in deer being pushed out.

Deer hunters that are scouting look for the following sign:

  • Deer daytime bedding areas (find these well in advance of the next season).
  • Trails used by deer, especially well-worn trails.
  • Deer droppings. Take note of the size, quantity, and how fresh.
  • Antler rubs and ground scrapes. Great for planning hunts during the rut.
  • Food sources, both natural and agricultural.
  • Find a creek and follow its edge - you will quickly find the trails at the crossings.
  • Natural characteristics of the land that will funnel deer. These include streams, narrow strips of cover connecting a feeding area with a bedding area, and hills & ridges.

Deer Hunting

How to Scout for Deer and Keep Other Hunters Away - This article covers basic scouting methods and also gives some tricks on how to keep other deer hunters away from your spot. Identifying Funnels and Bottlenecks from Topo Maps - Describes how to read a topo map in order to identify funnels and bottlenecks from the map. Map examples are given. Scouting For Whitetail Deer - This article covers preseason scouting tips such as use of topo maps, looking for sign, and use of game cameras.
8 Whitetailed Deer Scouting Mistakes - This article outlines 8 things you should NOT do when scouting for deer. Some of these are things not discussed anywhere else so this article is worth the read! How To Use Google Maps To Scout for Deer - Very nice article describes how to use free Google Maps for scouting. Gives an example with illustrations. Scouting and Finding Deer Sign - A video that discusses how find deer sign with actual footage in the woods. Great video!
Using Maps To Quickly Scout - This article and video presentation gives great tips and examples of how to scout out an area for deer using the maps he presents.

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Hope this helps you in your deer hunting scouting!

Mike

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