We are nearing the time when you should stay out of your hunting spot. The scouting and any improvements should be complete. Be like the A-Team. “Love it when a plan comes together!”

Stand upgrades    Hammer any final nails, screw in any hooks, and add any camo. Check for insect nests. Waking up a hive of bees on opening morning could get nasty. Check all your connections and contact points. Change the ratchet straps and secure. Make sur that your safety gear is ready.

Food Plots    Food plots work best when planted early. The best results will be discovered later in the fall. Deer will target the late grasses, beets, and other treats as it gets cold. Any licks or mineral blocks should have also been placed earlier and should show use. Additional products will not help your area now. Wait until next Spring.

Travel Routes    Plan the paths you will take when getting to your stand. Consider the wind. You may need different routes depending upon the weather. Place your brite eyes so you can find your way at night. Use a red, green, or blue light. Remove any limbs or obstacles. Prune any branches so you do not leave any scent.

Shooting Lanes   Prune your shooting lanes. You may need a pole pruner, saw, and loppers. Get into your stand and have a friend do the cutting. Remove the debris from the area. Use it to block a trail that leads away from your stand.

Stand safety    While you are in your stand, check for bees’ nests, rotten wood, rusted bolts, or anything that will make you hunt unsafe. Secure a hoist strap to pull up your bow, gear, or weapon. Test out and practice with your safety harness and clips.

Trail Cams    Position your trail Cams and make sure your batteries are fresh. Trail Cams that can be checked remotely are more expensive, but you can check them from your camp or home. In this way, you can avoid tracking more scent into your area.

Final look around     Tour the area. Are there any new hunting stands? Any fresh sign? Plan your exit with a critter. Maybe stash your deer dolly. Confirm permission. Put out any fires before they start.

You want the stand or hunting site to be scent free. No interference of the area is required. You are hunting in the deer’s living room. They know every smell, sound, cut branch, footprint…Wouldn’t you? If someone comes in and disturbs something, the danger light will come on. Leave well enough alone. Plan to make your next visit a stealthy opportunity.

Deer have memories. If you bust them while scouting too many times, they will move to another area. Even during hunting season, don’t over hunt the stand. Try different areas based on the weather, rut, and deer behavior.

Everyone needs to “go” when hunting. Consider how you plan to address this. If you are on the ground, dig a hole and use it. Put the dirt back and cover it with a rock. If you are in a tree, have a pee jug handy. Carry it out with your pack and dump it away from your area. Also consider how to address any deer guts, rubber gloves, and harvest evidence when it happens. Maybe stash a shovel nearby to deal with this mess. Is there a stream nearby? Stealth will lead to more and bigger deer.

Now some hunters say that this is too drastic of a choice. They love driving their wheelers through their areas a few times a week. Seeing deer routinely is a thrill. Peeing and pooping freely makes them feel closer to nature. These hunters rely more on luck than true hunting skill and sense.

Take your time and energy from ruining your hunting area to practicing your shooting. “Pity the Fools” that are too lazy to do these things.

Organization    Consider what will happen and you will react. These are the things that cross your mind when you are trying to go to sleep and can’t. Write down the ideas and address them.

Get you gear scent free.    Wash your clothing and gear in baking soda or a hunting wash detergent. Dry them outdoors and store them in a dedicated scent tub. Use a container that you can put your clothes and boots in. Try scent wafers or scents that match your hunt site. Apple trees, oak leaves, acorns, or just dirt.

There’s plenty to do to get ready for a successful hunt. Try these tips and see if they help you bag a bigger buck or see more deer. “The one best thing about hunting” is that there is not just one thing!


Montana Grant

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