Pre-Season Whitetail Deer scouting is one of the most important activities of the year in preparation for the upcoming season. Scouting is easy, and we have so much technology to help us compared to our parents and grandparents had.
Also for clarity sake…by “pre-season” we aren’t talking walking in the woods two weeks before season opener either!
Scouting for Whitetails should really never end:
- Post-Season (Jan-Mar) scouting you can learn about which deer made it through the season as winter sets in.
- Early-Season (April – June) scouting you can see bucks start to develop antlers, compare bucks to last year, and establish some mineral sites (check out @whitegold).
- Pre-Season (July – September) scouting you begin to identify and name your target deer. Work hard to understand routines, schedules. Identify bedding areas, bachelor groups, and make a plan and set stands before the normal “public land” pre-season scouting begins to disrupt the deer.
As Public Land Hunters we have two goals:
#1. Find Mature Deer
#2. Avoid other Hunters
What to do?
July scouting is the easiest time to spot giant bucks and determine what bucks you have to look forward to for the fall. Glassing local crop fields and food plots is the easiest ways to locate mature whitetails. These bucks can be found most evenings filling up on the nutrients they need to continue to grow their antlers and bulk up for the winter months. During this time of the year is the easiest time to locate that hit list buck for the season. Paying attention to the entrance points to these fields, the time of day they enter, and the consistency will all play a factor to how close these deer are bedding to the food source and bedding. Hanging trail cameras on these trails can help narrow down the exact path they are using and times they are coming. Spending the time scouting and preparing now can drastically change the effect of your upcoming season, less time spend weeks before the season trampling around the woods trying to find these bucks ruining your season before it begins.
Final Thoughts…. Go Scouting!