Preparing For Deer Hunting Season
It’s an exciting time of year: the seasons are a changin’ and the beginning of hunting season is upon us. You go through the motions of pulling out your camo and restocking needed supplies, but some small details may get overlooked in your excitement to get out in the woods. To ensure you fill your tag, be a smart and prepared hunter.
That starts with making sure you take care of your vehicle by getting an oil change, putting on a fresh set of tires and filling up the windshield wiper fluid. After all, you’d hate to find yourself stranded with your prize catch loaded up in the back of your truck. Here are several other precautions and actions you can take to set yourself up for a successful deer hunting season.
Know Your Zone
Many hunters enjoy the solitude of being in the woods and not having any human contact for days on end. It’s easy to forget in the off season that hundreds of other people in your area are seeking out the same thing. To avoid having your hunting spot being overrun with other hunters, do your research beforehand. Hike and drive the roads around the area you plan on posting up and see how many other hunters you run into. Look for fresh ATV marks, boot tracks and, of course, deer tracks. If you see a lot of human activity in the area, it’s likely you won’t see many deer hanging around, either.
Know Your Elevation
When scouting hunting areas, you’ll want to take note of the elevation your deer frequent. Depending on the time of the year and weather patterns, these locations could change each year. Don’t make assumptions that your previous year’s post will reap the same benefits.
A great tactic is to start at a higher elevation and work your way down into the valleys. Not only will it flush the deer into valleys, but it will also give you a good sweep of the area to make sure you haven’t missed out on any game.
Shift in Shut Eye
Start changing your sleeping patterns well in advance to the hunting season. Most of those big bucks that you’re after are active during the wee and early hours of the morning. By the time the sun has risen, you may have already lost your chance at your potential prize.
Preparing your brain to be up during those hours beforehand will better prepare you to be on point when the opportunity arises. Do some of your scouting during these hours, too. It will help to train your eyes to see better in the dark, so that you feel more confident when the season opens.
When scouting for this season’s hunting grounds, start with seeing where your deer frequently eat. Most of the time food is more plentiful on south-facing mountainsides. If you find a south-facing slope and fresh deer tracks, it likely means the deer will be moving on from that spot before too long.
Visit your hunting area often to make notes of where these animals eat, what food and foliage remains, and if the game have potentially moved on to another area that you will need to then explore. The better you know your deer, the more chance you have of taking one of them home with you.
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