Blueprint For Off Season Whitetail Reconnaissance
Many excited hunters eagerly await the whitetail-hunting season in the fall. Some even create virtual maps of several areas where they are likely to get mature deer.
Following these seven reconnaissance tips in the off-season will help any hunter find what he is looking for come hunting season.
1. Wind Patterns
Analyze current wind flow patterns in your desired hunting spot. Often, wind follows the path with minimum resistance. However, several factors such as terrain may alter wind direction. Predicting the direction in which wind will flow during the hunting season is crucial.
Old coalmines are ideal places to hunt bucks. When you check them on applications such as Google Earth, you’ll see several symmetrical lines that resemble steep hills. They have cedar trees and tall elephant grass. Also, such places are ideal bedding sites for deer. They are warm and safe. However, at times it may be tricky accessing a rugged mine. You may have to develop scouting funnels to link it to a primary food source.
In a typical mapping program, a hunter usually starts by covering a vast area. They later narrow down to a precise spot. You can start by selecting secluded land with adequate vegetation cover. It, ideally, should have few human entry points. Moreover, an ideal hunting ground has harsh terrain, hidden plots, and orchards.
4. Adjacent Land
After finding a suitable hunting spot, it’s crucial to assess the adjoining land. If it has large tree plots, deer can easily escape if you’ve been spotted. As the season advances, it is typical for deer to follow secure corridors to reach a secluded place.
If your target area has scarce plantation, it’s necessary to be considerate when hunting. The deer currently occupying such a place may not migrate to other sites. If you use aggressive hunting techniques at the start of the season, you might scare them off thereby terminating your expedition.
5. Key Features
After evaluating a potential hunting area, search for vital details including fields, lakes, and ridges. It’s easy to see them online. Often, they create great funnels for dear to travel. You should also check them out on foot.
6. Late-season Food Sources
Skilled hunters recommend searching late-season food sources to get clear deer signs. If an individual is in an agriculturally productive area, it’s advisable to look for deer where there are corn and soybeans. If they are hunting in woody regions, deer are likely to occupy spots with new thick wood growth. Carefully walk near the edges of such food sources and follow any visible deer trails. They might lead you to the animal’s bedding ground.
As a hunter walks through woods, it’s possible to stumble on many rubs. Often, bucks rub on trees to remove the velvet that grows on their antlers throughout the summer and intensifies as they go into ‘rut’. However, having numerous tree rubs doesn’t necessarily mean that the area is an excellent hunting spot. Male deer are known to rub on many trees due to hormonal changes. Consider setting up a trail camera in a spot with old and new rubs.
You need to adequately prepare for your whitetail hunting expedition to succeed. Having the proper and necessary hunting clothing and equipment is essential, and studying your target area well before the deer season starts will ensure a productive season.