White Tail Deer Hunting – Tips For Scouting a Trophy White Tail
Most successful deer hunters know that there are several primary keys to a successful campaign.
• The first requirement is to start early. This does not mean getting up at 3 a.m. on the first day of hunting season and driving out to some randomly chosen spot. It means that you have to start looking for deer many months before opening day. When engaged in outdoor activities throughout the year, take a little time to scout for deer sign such as obvious game trails, discarded racks, or rubbings that indicate the concentration of deer in a general area.
• The next part of the plan involves learning to think like a deer. Deer spend their entire lives being pursued by something. It may be a mountain lion or a pack of coyotes. Contact with humans also represents an obvious survival risk to deer. Since they are flight creatures rather than fight creatures, deer tend to hang around in places where they are either under cover or able to rapidly retreat to safety. As a result, white tail deer are often found on the boundary between forest and field, rather than out in the middle of an exposed area. Deer are not cows with fancy horns. They are far more alert to their surroundings and have excellent ears and nose to warn them of approaching danger.
• Despite their craftiness, however, deer still have their own favorite places to hang out. They still need water and often have a preferred spot to fill up. Like most other creatures, white tails also have certain foods they like better than others. Old abandoned homesteads frequently offer a remnant of deer delicacies such as a still-producing apple tree or an old bed of perennials to browse upon.
• Once you spot a likely place which deer are inclined to visit on a regular basis, you need to plan how to take up a good firing position without alerting the target to your presence in the area. Smart hunters keep an eye on the prevailing winds in their area and select stands that are usually downwind of the kill zone. Choose your spot months in advance and maybe do a little judicious pruning away of any unnecessary foliage that could get in the way of a clean shot or possibly make unwanted noise at the moment of truth. Do this early so the deer have months of time to forget about the presence of armed bipeds lurking around their favorite snack bar.
Scout early, select your stand with care, and take a clean broadside shot. As in any other field of endeavor, proper planning and a little elbow grease provide their own eventual reward.