Learning the Area you Intend to Hunt


By this time of year, bowhunters are just starting to think about the upcoming deer season. This is good in that you have started to think about the season early and do some serious shooting practice. This will also get you to go over your hunting gear and see to it that all is ready and working ahead of time for hopefully chasing that white-tailed deer.

On the negative side, you have unfortunately missed a few important times already. You could’ve gotten out earlier in the year to do some shed hunting, a great time to do some preseason scouting while you’re looking for sheds. If you had found some nice sheds, that also would’ve set the stage as to where you could be in the fall. Knowing that there are nice-sized bucks in the area you plan to hunt can be a real bonus. You also could’ve put up some trail cameras and hopefully recorded some bucks in the area for the fall. And if you’re hunting a new area this would’ve given you a workable plan of how you could get in and out of your site without jumping any deer or making the area too hot with scent.

This is a problem many archers have difficulty with, as they simply cannot get to their blind or stand without making a lot of noise, alerting deer in the area as to their presence. Doing this will usually not move the deer out of the area, but they sure will avoid the places where they heard your sounds.

But there are still a few things you can do to up the odds in your favor this season.

If you have trail cameras and can get them set up now, you still have a great chance of getting some good pictures of what the deer look like and their paths, and on just which ones you would like to concentrate your efforts on. This data can ease the work ahead as fazr as which particular buck you want to have a chance of harvesting.

You can be among the first to get the latest info on where to go, what to use and how to use it!

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Always remember that the white-tailed deer is a creature of habit. If you had a good location last year, you can return to that same place and have a pretty good idea of what to expect. There are sites that will yield good shots at deer, year after year. All that’s left then is your ability to succeed when the opportunity presents itself. Not always the easiest thing to do, as nerves and adrenaline will enter the picture. If your shooting practice has not strongly reinforced your form, you just might miss the shot in the fall. Still, you’ve had the opportunity, and that is what hunting deer with a bow and arrow is all about.

If you are hunting newer areas or public lands, then a lot of this preseason work does not apply. Under those circumstances, you have to use your quick decision-making skills on that day of the hunt. This is not the easiest way to be successful. Learn all you can about the land before you’re forced to do some quick thinking. Go to Google Earth or similar online sites and see what you can learn about where you’ll be hunting so you can form a plan easier. Talk to all the people who might be familiar with the land you’re hunting this fall and glean all the information you can about the deer there.

Next, try to work out the best way into the site you intend to hunt well before you’re afield. You don’t want to jump deer in a public hunting area, or anywhere for that matter. You will have to live with the fact that other hunters may spook these deer. Or, if they are spooked from another area they just might be spooked into your chosen hunting location. If you have an ideal way in and out of your spot, try putting a small amount of doe scent on your boots before you head into that area. This will leave a trail that a buck just might follow, which will bring him right into your shooting area. It may also do some good in hiding your scent from the deer as well.

If all this preseason work is simply not your cup of tea or you do not have the time to do all the work, then your best bet is to hunt leased land where you can work with a guide who has already done all the work for you. Under this scenario, again, you have to be able to make the shot when it presents itself. And once again we are back to practicing now in August with your equipment. You have to learn to be deadly with your bow. And you owe it to the quarry you’re hunting to be able to make a clean kill.