John's Journal...

How to Detect Deer Movement

Day 4: Scouting for Deer Movement at the End of the Season

Click for Larger ViewThe more you look at deer tracks and the harder you search for tracks, the better you should be able to interpret what the deer are doing when they've made the tracks. So far we've found the deer at his primary food source, which we have designated as a field. We've backtracked him through what we've called a staging area where several deer crossings meet and is where he seems to wait for the cover of darkness to enter the field. Now we have to go even further into the woods and find the holding area where the deer stays during daylight hours when the hunting pressure is intense, which is the most-difficult pattern to try and interpret. Click for Larger ViewBut if you can follow a deer track and find some type of thick cover – a briar thicket, a pine thicket, a cut-over field or some kind of heavy foliage where the deer have plenty of cover to hide in during daylight hours – then you have located a region to scout for your end-of-the-season hunting.

Scouting thickets is much like the scouting you did in the beginning of the season when you've scouted the fields. Just because you find tracks coming into a thicket or leaving a thicket doesn't mean you have enough information to set up a tree stand or a ground blind to try and take a deer at that particular point. Instead. walk all the way around the thicket. Find tracks that are going both into and out of the thicket at the same place. If the thicket is large enough, and more than one deer is utilizing this cover during daylight hours, you may be able to find several places on the edge of the thicket where the tracks go both into and out of the thicket. Place a tree stand there, or designate a tree or a ground blind site for a stand. Click for Larger ViewTake your compass out, and determine which way your stand must be facing and which way you will have to approach that stand with a favorable wind. Then you can plan your hunt and decide which stand you will hunt out of according to wind direction on the morning of your hunt.

The advantage to these stands is you can catch your deer in the mornings coming from the food source and going into the thicket or in the middle of the day if they have been spooked by another hunter coming into the thicket. These late season thicket patterns may be your best, all-day hunting. All of these patterns work well during bow season and in areas during the gun season with little or no hunter pressure.

Tomorrow: Pay Strict Attention to Detail to Bag an End-of-the-Season Buck

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Detect Deer Movement "

Day 1: Understanding Deer
Day 2: Learning Deer Movement Before the Season Starts
Day 3: Learning about Deer Movement During the Season
Day 4: Scouting for Deer Movement at the End of the Season
Day 5: Pay Strict Attention to Detail to Bag an End-of-Season Buck


Entry 590, Day 4