If deer season opened up next week, how prepared are you right now? I know, it’s only the first week in July and the opener is 3 months away, but how ready are you? Have you found a buck you are interested in harvesting yet? Do you know where you have the best chance of getting a shot at him once season begins? This is a great time to take inventory and evaluate how ready you are for season, while there’s still time to do something about it! I’m a HUGE believer in the fact that “it’s the little things we do right now to prepare ourselves, that will make the BIGGEST differences later in the year when it will be too late!
I have a very strict regimen of post season scouting and summer observation that I have discussed the past few months, and by now we should begin seeing the big picture develop, we should have a good idea what the bucks we are after are shaping up to be, and where we will need to be come season to have our best chance at success. If you are not ready, don’t worry, there’s still time and I’m going to discuss 3 key elements we need to keep in mind over the next couple months to make sure we are ready.
If you’ve found your buck already, good for you! If you haven’t don’t worry, the next couple months are the best of the year for spotting giants in the soybean fields. I’ve discussed at length in the last couple weeks the best areas and days for spotting these summer giants, but you have to get out and find them. But remember, even if you have located your buck, DON”T put all your eggs in one basket! There are so many things that can happen between now and the season opener, you should really have a back up plan, (or back up buck) and it wouldn’t hurt to have a few. I like to go into season with three or four bucks I’m interested in shooting, you just never know. The giant your chasing could get poached, hit by a car or another hunter, you could loose your permission at the last minute, any number of things could go wrong. So make sure to keep looking even if you have a monster on the line!
Watch and Learn:
It doesn’t matter if you have one spot to hunt or one hundred, get out there and observe what the bucks are doing and how they are doing it. We can’t hunt them right now, but 3 months from now when we can, they will be using the same trails and corresponding wind directions they are using right now and you need to know this! If you are after a monster buck that has survived 4,5 or even 6 seasons, he doesn’t make very many mistakes! You have to know what he’s going to do and how he’s going to do it before he ever does it! How do we know this? Through our observation! Keep a journal or mental notes on what trails he uses and what the wind direction was when he used it, this is very important information to have for season! If you have multiple locations with multiple bucks to hunt, you can’t watch all of them every night so get your mineral sites established in these areas and keep an eye on them with your trail cameras. Also remember, once the beans turn brown chances are these bucks are going to relocate to another preferred food source like corn or acorns, so start looking at the big picture and where they will go, and be ready for it because it will happen!
Stand Site Preparation:
With season still months away, this is a great time to begin trimming and hanging your stands. I always like to keep my trimming to a minimum, you don’t want it to look like the power company came through, a big buck will pick up on that every time! But most stand sites need some trimming and now is the time to do it. Make sure you have a quiet way to get to your stand also and that can mean trimming a walking path to your stand. It doesn’t matter how great a spot it is if you can’t access it quietly, so clear whatever you need to to get to that stand quickly and silently! When season rolls around, you will have to be ready to change things up at the last minute and maybe hang a stand a couple days or even a couple hours before a hunt. But, it never hurts to have some stands prepared months in advance for spots you know could produce a shot opportunity!