It’s been said time and time again... Success comes to those who work for it all year, not just during the season. This statement isn’t just about famous football coaches and NBA athletes, it also rings true for us deer hunters. So, now that spring season has snuck up on us as if wearing her best camo, our off-season scouting preparation needs to be in full swing. At Nat Gear, we’ve found that now is the best time to get a jump start in understanding what that target buck did last fall and how to predict his routines this upcoming season prior to getting covered up with vegetation and leaves. These subtle hints are easy to miss and need to be noted now for success later this fall.
We start by looking for shed antlers and rut-related patterns like tree rubs and scrapes in key locations. We also look for primary travel routes, feed zones, field edges, and bedding. We’ve noticed that some of our best hunting strategies center around bedding for both bucks and doe knowing that it’s the center of their summer and fall patterns. This is also a great chance to set up your trusted trail camera so you can monitor these prime zones throughout the year without much intrusion. Be sure to use long-life batteries on those trail cams!
While out scouting this spring, we recommend frost seeding clover in your food plots. We did it here in the south last spring and it brought in a wide variety of young poults including strutting turkeys, fawns and loads of bucks in the summer. We even got a visit from a cinnamon phase black bear. Maintaining a good food plot helps your deer with the nutrients they need to grow big antlers this fall. It also provides a full season of fun trail cam footage for those who are also taking advantage of it.
So there you have it, friends. Prepare now..and celebrate success later. Get out with the family, break in those new boots and Nat Gear jacket you got for Christmas and scout a plan for a fantastic fall hunt.