The most successful hunters begin their preparations now!
Hunting season is not just a fall activity. There is plenty of work to be put in once the season ends. From scouting, to food plots, and everything in between. The work is never over if you plan on harvesting an animal next season.
After hunting season ends, checking trail cameras to see who survived and which animals are still in the area can help get a game plan for next year. If your food plots are done producing you can always put out a salt lick or some other type of bait, just be sure to check your regulations for your area. The idea is to keep the animals where you want them. If there is food year-round then there will be animals year-round.
Once spring hits and the antlers start dropping, gather those bad boys up! Antler drops are a good indication that the area is still good and that the animals feel safe there. It also gives an idea on where they travel for food and water. It also gives a good idea on the area they run; you may have one particular buck on a camera on your food plot, but you could pick up his shed a half mile away. You can use the Game Tracking feature in the Hunter Tracker app to help map out the coordinates of your finds.
Now springtime is also the time to start thinking food plots and bait areas. Some food plots require you to plant Spring or early Summer and work them until fall. Get a game plan early on what type of food you are planning on using for the season. If you decide to go with a bait pile be sure to put enough out that you can set a camera and only check that camera once every week. Keeping your scent out of the area is key to success all throughout the season. You can use the Hunting Log feature in the Hunter Tracker app to keep logs of when you checked your cameras or when you started your food plots.
Once the middle of summer hits it is time to start scouting. Trail cameras are great but there is nothing more exciting than seeing a buck in velvet through the binoculars. Keep tabs on previous years animals and start looking for signs of them this year. Plan a few days and go sit, whether it be in your blind, tree stand, or if you are hunting a particular hill side. Go sit and watch during prime movement hours. Remember to minimize scent and don’t forget the snacks.
Picking out a target animal seems to be the easiest part of scouting, but making it happen come hunting season is the trick. Remember that being successful come fall all depends on how successful you are after the season ends. Don’t give up and keep working because when it comes to deer hunting, the work never ends.