John's Journal...

Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting

Two More Keys to Successful Scouting

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting succeClick to enlargess.

Key No. IV:
Determining a deer's key food sources and locating them during pre-season scouting will help you see deer once the season starts. Deer, browsers that eat a variety of foods, often may change, even weekly, the foods they prefer, depending on the availability of that food and the deer's need for that food. For instance in the South where I hunt most of the time, deer love white oak acorns. But if you pinpoint an area with 100-white oak acorn trees on 2,000 acres, you’ll find the deer very dispersed. Also if because of drought or floods the white oaks don't produce acorns, then you need to know what else the deer will eat.

Contact the wildlife biologist for your hunt club’s area. Ask him to name the deer's top-five food sources during the time of year you plan to hunClick to enlarget. Also inquire about what the deer will eat after they’ve depleted the number-one food source. Hunt around a particular food that's highly preferred and in short supply for the most success.

Key No. V:
Studying travel trails in the pre-season aids you in understandinClick to enlargeg where to set up tree stands. Every property has good travel trails, better travel trails, morning travel trails, afternoon travel trails and all-day travel trails. Unless you determine on which trail to set your tree stand near at the proper time of day, you may waste your time hunting a travel trail. The most-productive travel trails have deer tracks going in both directions. You’ll have more success hunting in a funnel area where deer constantly move back and forth between two woodlots. You also need to learn the times of day to hunt the stands. Set up on a trail that leads from a feeding area to a bedding region early in the morning in a spot with high hunter pressure. The deer will feed at night and return to bed down just at daylight before the hunting pressure becomes heavy. This same trail may produce a deer closer to the feeding area in the morning if you’re hunting a region that doesn’t receive hunting pressure, which means the deer will feed during daylight hours.

Tomorrow: More Keys to Successful Scouting

Check back each day this week for more about "Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting"

Day 1: Keys for Successful Scouting
Day 2: Two More Keys to Successful Scouting
Day 3: More Keys to Successful Scouting
Day 4: Successful Scouting Tools
Day 5: Scout When You Sleep, and Lay Your Hunt Plan Out by the Stars



Entry 417, Day 2