Were you able to harvest your target animal this past fall? Have a lot of close encounters but couldn't seal the deal on the buck of a life time? Post season scouting is a great way to get a jump start on the next seasons hunting.
If you hunt long enough you will have that moment of "I wish I had my stand over there instead of here" or "If only I had scouted a little more maybe I would have seen more movement this year." Post season scouting can really help with this. Here are some tips.
Game Cameras can be used for more than just trying to capture the biggest buck in the woods. Use them to see what time deer are moving through, which direction they came from and left to, do you see more deer / wildlife in the morning or evenings, and you can even track wind directions deer are moving in front of the camera the most by following the weather. Game cameras can be an extremely useful tool, remember while you can be scouting they are!
Invade areas you normally wouldn't during hunting season. Have a bedding area or sanctuary that normally you skirt around because you know deer bed and live there. This gives you the opportunity to take a sneak peek and look for sign. See where the deer trails are going, look at the tracks to see directions, find beds to confirm it is a hot spot, and look for other opportunities to set stands or blinds to increase success.
Come up with a new game plan or develop one to increase your current one. That can be moving stands, marking trees that you want to add a stand on, setting up game cameras, looking for game trails, find areas where you can plant food, if legal provide corn, protein pellets, etc to help deer with food through the winter. Helping create a healthier herd will only increase your chances the next year.
Post season scouting can be fun and educational as you learn more about deer and other wildlife you are chasing. Let it be a time where you educate yourself and sharpen your skill as a hunter.
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