shooting range at cub hillHunting next year’s Big Buck starts now! Spring and Summer are wonderful hunting seasons. Hunters always are hunting. My wife is amazed at how I can drive down the highway at 60 miles an hour and point out deer in the adjacent fields. She could care less but as a hunter, I am downloading every bit of data.

Offseason is the perfect time to prepare and plan to fill your next tag. There are many things that you can do to hone your skills, find new locations, and scout big bucks. Don’t tell your spouse, but deer season never really ends.

Practice makes perfect! If you are not practicing your shooting skills, shame on you! Whether it is a bow, gun, or rifle, you need to be a practiced marksman. Shooting skills are a perishable thing. With routine practice, you can keep your marksmanship at the highest level. This not only helps you to tag a deer, but it also respectful for the harvest.

Timber Stand Improvement will help you to improve habitat. Hinge trees create habitat and bedding sites. Big bucks do not like open woods. Forests with more deadfalls, brambles, and shrubs, are more comfortable for smart deer. Ask permission from the landowner to help with this task. Local state Foresters will assist and mark appropriate trees for removal to improve the forests overall value.hinge cutting for deer

Food Plots will attract deer. Most deer feed upon native plants, even if other crops are available. Food Plots are like fast food restaurants. They are good for a quick fix, but not a full year buffet. Manage the native food sources like greenbrier, poison ivy, wild grapes, acorn producing oaks, and other deer preferred food sources. Plant your seasonal food plants along the trails and fire trails. The deer will keep them mowed for you.

Take a hike! Learn from every hike that you take into the woods. Leave with fresh knowledge and information. This data will help you to pattern and become more familiar with why and where deer will be. Look for sign, food sources, trails, and behaviors of your deer population.

Preparation is essential for success. Check out your gear, and hunting clothing for wear and effectiveness. Discard or pass down any old gear. Research new products that are available and always upgrade your garments, and equipment. There are so many choices.

One product to consider is HECS! This unique concealment garment changes your electromagnetic signature. During spring turkey season, I shot one of 5 gobblers that I had called in. The other 4 stood there, not knowing what happened. I walked toward them and they still did not know what I was. Finally, at just a few yards, I waved my arms, and yelled at them, before they flew off. This is just one example why I wear HECS! Check this product out.

Have fun being a Prepper! Hunting season never ends, so celebrate and support your craft year around. Look for new hunting spots, fresh partners, new gear and technology. Have these new hunting partners explore, maintain, and manage your hunting sites together. Teach them the hunting craft and what you expect of them.

Many hunters just rely on Luck! On opening day, they wander into the woods and hope a deer will come by. Hunting camps are full of these hunters. Folks hunt a spot where Uncle Joe shot a deer 5 years ago. Knowing your area, and having a plan based on current information ensures an opportunity rather than just luck. For those unfilled tags kinds of hunters, hunting is just the excuse to be with friends and to enjoy hunting camp. That’s fine if you do not plan to bring home the bacon. Real hunters hunt with the purpose of filling their tag.

Keep your hunting spirit alive and begin to plan for the next Big Buck Adventure now!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, visit his website at