REAL EARLY SCOUTING   Leave a comment

Early Scouting

If it is your goal to finds that records class buck then look to the record books for just what areas produce them.  Records of big deer and press stories about hunter success are available online.

Scientists tell us that there are three elements in deer growing big antlers.  They are genetics, nutrition and age.  You might also add isolation.

Deer growing up in isolation tend to reach their genetic potential at younger age.  Pressured bucks never get that chance.  Not only do they die at a younger age but they also live their life under stress.  Stress seems to retard natural antler growth.

Study of the record books shows that if you can find a place where all these conditions exist, you stand a good chance of harvesting a great deer.

Once you identify an area it is time to find a landowner there who will allow you to hunt his property.  You might need to pay a trespass fee.  Or do some work in exchange for gaining permission to hunt.  Other land owners will allow you to hunt their property with no strings attached.  But, they are getting fewer each year.

Landowners are hearing that wildlife is another crop that they can harvest to help pay the bills.  As agricultural profits decrease, the need for money to pay the mortgage and taxes become more of an interest to the landowner.

Once you secure a good location for the hunt, it is time to go out and check the land.  It is helpful to interview people who work and live in the immediate vicinity.  They see those big deer in their daily activities and often can tell you where the big guys are living, feeding and traveling on a regular basis.

Do not spend too much time scouting as you can cause deer to change patterns to avoid you.  Just go out enough to locate a place to set up your stands and/or blinds and then stay away until hunting season.

One way to find out just what deer are using the area is to use a trail camera.  Deer are photographed without being aware of the process.  The camera operates in complete silence using the solid state technology.  It uses a memory card that digitally stores hundreds of images.

You then view the stored images either in the field or downloaded to a computer at home.

Scouting has arrived in the computer age.  Still there is no substitute for good old hard work and study.  Doing your homework prior to the beginning of hunting season greatly increases your chance of a successful hunt this fall.  It also enhances the experience and expands the time spent scouting that big buck.

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