John's Journal...

Successful Deer Hunting’s Top Secret – Match Tactics to Terrain for Success

Day 3: Mapping Out Your Deer Hunting Strategy After Consulting with the Specialists

Editor’s Note: You know the deer are there – yet you can’t seem to get a buck in your sights. You may be hunting your area all wrong. And, if you do jump a buck, don’t fall for the often-repeated advice that they’ll stop and take a last look at you before they disappear. Most will tear out of a region without a backward glance.

Click for Larger ViewThe conservation officer also will be able to tell you where most of the people who hunt your area are concentrated, and where you can hunt without running into other sportsmen. Ask the conservation officer for the name and phone number of the wildlife biologist for the region you plan to hunt. This biologist has very-critical information that can result in your bagging your buck this season. When you talk to the biologist either in person or over the phone, important questions to ask include:

  • What foods will the deer in this specific area be feeding on during hunting season?
  • When will the deer in this region be going into the rut?
  • What does he believe to be the best methods of hunting this particular land?
  • Where is the best area to try and take a trophy buck?
  • What signs should you be looking for that will tell you where the deer are feeding, bedding and traveling?

Click for Larger ViewAlthough these may sound like relatively-simple questions and ones that any deer hunter should know the answers to, where does a hunter find answers to these questions, if he doesn’t ask an expert? The wildlife biologist and conservation officer should be the most-knowledgeable sportsmen about the deer they have charge over in the region.

Map-Out Your Strategy:

Click for Larger ViewOnce you have a thorough knowledge and maps of the areas you plan to hunt, know the foods that the deer will be utilizing during the hunting season and understand when the rut will occur and how the deer in your region react to the rut, you are ready to begin your on-site scouting.
Look for bedding areas in the woods, and identify the feeding areas. If the animals are using a food source, you should be able to read the signs well enough to determine if twigs have been nipped-off, leaves eaten-off, acorns cracked and the meat forced out in two halves. Although deer tracks and droppings are good indicators, you have to remember that deer have four feet and walk a lot. For that reason they leave many tracks. Deer also go to the bathroom frequently, resulting in an abundance of droppings scattered over many acres. Therefore three deer pellets and four deer tracks may not warrant enough sign for you to judge an area to be a red-hot deer spot.

Click for Larger ViewOnce you’ve located a place where you determine the deer are feeding, bedding or mating, don’t stop your research there. Identify as many of these hot spots as you can in your area. A good hunter will spend more time prior to the season learning his territory and his deer than he will actually hunting during the season. Because once he has a thorough knowledge of the deer and their habits, he is more likely to take his limit of bucks quicker than the other hunters in the region. After you’ve completed this scouting research, you’re ready to put all your knowledge together into a set of tactical game plans. Notice the “s” on game plans and not one game plan.

A successful deer hunter will have more than one method to try during a day of hunting. He may hunt early in a feeding area. Then he may change places in the woods where he hopes to see deer moving from the feeding to the bedding area or from the bedding to the feeding region. Or, he may have a tactic to try and encounter a buck where the deer like to meet and mate. But these game plans must be based on the information acquired earlier to be successful.

Tomorrow: Hunting Thick Cover for Deer

Check back each day this week for more about "Successful Deer Hunting’s Top Secret – Match Tactics to Terrain for Success "

Day 1: Learn White-Tailed Deer Methodology
Day 2: Learn the Terrain and Consult with Specialists to Help You Take a White-Tailed Buck
Day 3: Mapping Out Your Deer Hunting Strategy After Consulting with the Specialists
Day 4: Hunting Thick Cover for Deer
Day 5: Finding Someone Who’s Had Deer Hunting Success on the Property You Hunt

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Entry 637, Day 3