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So by now most of the country is out there chasing thunder chickens… Did you know that you could be improving your deer season while you are trying to put the smack down on a big old Tom? Most of us don’t get to spend countless hours in the woods scouting and preparing for hunts so utilizing every chance you get is imperative to getting your deer game to the next level..
So what can the scouting spring woods do for us in the fall?……
Locating usable sign: One thing that I have done in the past that has been literally killer for me is locating old scrapes and rubs, particularly scrapes. And more to the point primary scrapes… Scrapes that are used year in year out. How do you determine if a scrape is a primary scrape or not? A good indication it looking at scaring on roots to see if there is multiple layers where the root healed and was reopened, same goes for the chew branch. Also size and depth of the scrape, often scrapes used for multiple years will have been dug out quite a bit more than your typical field edge scrape.
What else can we learn from scrapes this early in the season…well I got new from you a primary scrape with a licking branch is not only use for communication in the pre-rut and rut but often in summer those scrapes located next to feeding areas will begin being used by bucks and does, to begin laying down the foundation of pecking order. I will often set up a trail camera on these in mid summer to get and idea of what bucks are using the area.
Another thing I find very useful I during this time is with the vegetation growing in everywhere you can see more clearly how deer are moving through an area, because they have to disrupt more vegetation to get from point A to point B. I typically spend my time looking in funnels that are 100 yards or less wide and look for heavily beat down trails, because come Nov. the does will still be using these trails and you know Mr. Big will be in hot pursuit.
I also take the time to do some minor preparation midday when the turkeys aren’t gobbling I will take time to build brush blind or trim trees for a set. Making sure my disturbances are at a minimum in season and plus build brush blind now lets the deer get used to a structure being there, then when you put in a pop blind during season you can use the branches etc you build the blind with to brush in a pop up.
So don’t let the time you have in the field go to waste…. This turkey season put a little work in to better your deer season…