19 Jun STAND READY!!!
Hunting pre -placed stands with feeders, and existing patterns is one way to hunt. Discovering your own spots is another. Choosing the right spot is not about luck. Look at the total picture. Use the best technology and information available. Data is knowledge. Target food sources, bedding areas, travel highways, and choke points. Create a map of these spots and all sign that you see when scouting. Soon, a pattern will emerge.
Keep in mind that some spots are best at certain times. Weather, wind, seasons, rut, and geography will identify when to hunt these best spots. If you are not seeing deer when you are hunting a sign healthy site, you are hunting at the wrong time. Choose several stand locations that enable you to hunt different conditions.
Deer hunting is about hours of waiting and patience for a few moments of intense excitement, that are never forgotten. Understand the conditions and factors of the hunt and hunt when the conditions are right.
Whitetails are amazing critters. Their sense of smell is exceptional. When things go right, hunting deer seems easy. When things are not right, good luck! Understand the strengths of deer, and plan on them. Their olfactory senses are unbelievable. I have seen deer smell my tracks several hours after I walked to my stand, with scent spray, clothes, and lures on my boots.
Hunt the wind! You always want to be downwind of a buck’s nose. Try to smell the deer before they smell you. Once you think like this, you are in the right zone. Keep your clothes and gear scent free and wisely use any other scent products. If you are sweating, you stink!
Pattern and predict movement of deer. Keep a journal or maintain a map of your area. Record observations and data as you scout and hunt. Knowledge is power! Update your data after every scout or hunt. You will be amazed at the patterns that will emerge.
You may need to create a spot to hunt. This means looking at the lay of the land and considering what may attract deer. Food plots, feeders, or choke points can be considered. Pruning, may be in order. Look at the trees available for a stand site. Not all trees are created equal. Never place a stand in a dead tree. Consider trees that may have trees that could crash onto your site.
Prepare your stand site for success. Cut shooting lanes, or windows, and anticipate your shots. A long pole pruner or saw will be useful. Make these changes now so you do not alert the deer. I have watched deer smell, a freshly pruned branch, weeks after it was cut. Anticipate branches that may deflect a shot or block your vision. Practice your bow shots ahead of time. Portable targets are perfect for this. Place a target near your stand and make the shots you anticipate, now.
Don’t overhunt your stand. Deer are not stupid! Scent is critical. The more you visit your stand, the more scent you leave. Minimize any pruning weeks before you hunt. Movement of deer is important. If you are seeing does, that does not mean you will be seeing bucks. Timing is essential. The Rut will be a factor.
Many hunters will hunt a stand because it is the only stand they can hunt. This can contaminate the stand or be a waste of time. They do not consider wind, seasons, or conditions. They rely upon luck! They will need it! Less than 20% of hunters consider the wind, seasons, and conditions. This knowledge is a result of experience and homework. They will hunt a site only when the situation is correct.
Great scouting will also improve confidence. Experienced and successful hunters put in the time, effort, and homework. Those few moments in Rut, when a plan comes together, are the payoff.
Hunt smart and safe!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.