Don’t wait til the last minute to scout your spots. Nothing puts deer on alert like a bunch of hunters doing a lot of last minute scouting right before the season starts. Start in August by glassing fields and putting up a few trail cams on the perimeter of your hunting spot.
Once you’ve located the deer, move in, put up your stand, clear your lanes, and relocate your cameras at the treestand sight. A couple weeks before the season, retrieve the cards from the cameras. The pictures on the cards will tell you where to hunt.
Now that you have an idea on what stands will produce, don’t mess it up by hunting them with bad winds. The whitetail deer has over 200 million scent receptors. If you think you’re going to fool a mature whitetail with the wrong wind, guess again. Hunt smart. Hunt with the right wind. Check out our section on scent control for more info.
The tarsal gland scent, hands down, is the best attractant we have ever used. Last year, my brother had 9 deer in one evening walk right past Code Blue doe in estrous just to get to his mock scrape and the tarsal juice he sprayed on it. This stuff works. Read more about it on our tarsal gland page.
If you took a detailed hunting log last year like you’re supposed to, then you have some info to revisit before planning this year’s hunts. Which stands saw the most action? Which stands produced more deer with certain winds or temperatures? After locating common success factors from last year, you’ll increase your odds this year by choosing the right stand to hunt.
Whether its due to the fact that the big bucks are really active at night, sleep and get up midday for feeding/browsing or because deer know when hunters are in the field (mornings and afternoons), midday hunting has proven to take some giants. From my and my brothers experiences, between 10:30 and noon has been a great time to be in the tree. I have even met some accomplished hunters who only hunt between 9:30 and 2:00 during the rut. Try staying in the tree longer to see if its a difference maker in this year’s hunts.