Post Season Scouting


The whitetail deer season is now closed for most of us. Hopefully you were able to fill a few tags and possibly even harvest a deer suitable for a wall mount. However, there is still work that can be done and measures that can be taken that will provide you with another successful hunting season in 2018. Here are a couple reasons why you should hit the woods a few more times during the winter months.

Residual Sign: Deer sign is still evident. Deer are still on a bed-to-feed pattern so it’s easy to find heavily used trails and follow them. Figure out where they go and see if you can stumble across anything along the way that may shed more light on your land or lease. It’s a little early for the bucks to shed their antlers but tree rubs and scrapes under licking branches are still evident. These residual signs are not as visible during the spring months when the foliage beings to bloom. Even if you cause a disturbance you won’t hurt anything. No one likes to stomp all around their hunting area in fear of spooking away nearby wildlife but now is the best time to do it. Like I mentioned earlier, deer season feels like its forever away and there are still a few more months left before the toms start gobbling. Now is the time to burn some boot leather and learn more about your hunting area.

Treestands and Food Plots: Now is also a great time to adjust your treestands. Plus, while you’re perched in a tree you can easily see your shooting area more clearly than during the late summer when most hunters put up stands. Whether you are putting up new stands, replacing old ones, or tweaking them, you can really see how your set up will look during the season. Food plots are a great way to manage your property and provide nutritional year around forage. If you have been thinking of planting a food plot or even establishing a new one, now is the best time to get out there and make notes for the spring. The next few weeks are also a great time to apply lime and fertilizer to any preexisting or newly created food plots as well.

The dead-of-winter months seem pretty dull for the average whitetail deer hunter. Most outdoorsmen turn to small game and waterfowl hunting but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few steps in the right direction and get a head start on the 2017deer season.

Andrew Walters

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