IMB Outfitters on FacebookIMB Outfitters on TwitterIMB Outfitters on YouTube
Toll Free: (866) 855-7063  
Phone: (660) 385-1800 

Trophy Deer Hunts in
ILLINOIS

Trophy Deer Hunts in
IOWA

Trophy Deer Hunts in
MISSOURI

Trophy Deer Hunts in
KANSAS

COMBOS

    

BOOK ONLINE

Ready to Go? Click Here and Book Your Hunt Now

Book Now

Or Call us Toll Free at
866-855-7063




 
 


Keys to Scouting for Successful Deerhuntin
 

Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting
Keys for Successful Scouting
Editor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting success.
Key No. I:
Finding a place where deer live may sound academic, but numbers of hunters spend thousands of hours each season hunting sections of land with few if any deer on it.
Key No. II:
Studying the land, its terrain and its topography will help you scout successfully. You can save hundreds of hours of walking through the woods by obtaining aerial photos and topo maps of the land you plan to hunt from several places, including the U.S. Geological Survey. Studying the maps helps you learn the locations of roads, the creek bottoms, the river bottoms, the agricultural areas, the clearcuts, the rights-of-way and the closest houses. You can gain volumes of information about the region you want to hunt before you ever set foot on parts of the property.
From the aerial photos, you also can spot funnel regions, small necks of woods bordered on either side by terrain breaks. Often large numbers of deer will funnel through these small necks of woods to move back and forth through woodlots, making these ideal places for setting up a tree stand. By examining maps, you can locate several tree stand sites before you ever enter the woods and know from which direction you need to approach each stand and how to place those stands to hunt them with different winds.
Key No. III:
Going to your hunting-club property will allow you to see if the land remains in the same condition as during the creation of the maps. I once found an ideal location on a map to hunt my hunting-club lands. However, when I arrived at this spot prior to the season, a timber company had clearcut the entire area. My ideal stand site had become plywood on someone's wall. Another time I discovered on a map a place where two creeks ran together to form a bottom that had three ridges funneling into it. The site looked ideal for taking deer. But when I went to that location, I learned the maps hadn't shown me that beavers had backed-up both creeks, putting the region under 4 feet of water.
John's Journal...
Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting
Two More Keys to Successful Scouting
Editor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting success.
Key No. IV:
Determining a deer's key food sources and locating them during pre-season scouting will help you see deer once the season starts. Deer, browsers that eat a variety of foods, often may change, even weekly, the foods they prefer, depending on the availability of that food and the deer's need for that food. For instance in the South where I hunt most of the time, deer love white oak acorns. But if you pinpoint an area with 100-white oak acorn trees on 2,000 acres, you’ll find the deer very dispersed. Also if because of drought or floods the white oaks don't produce acorns, then you need to know what else the deer will eat.
Contact the wildlife biologist for your hunt club’s area. Ask him to name the deer's top-five food sources during the time of year you plan to hunt. Also inquire about what the deer will eat after they’ve depleted the number-one food source. Hunt around a particular food that's highly preferred and in short supply for the most success.
Key No. V:
Studying travel trails in the pre-season aids you in understanding where to set up tree stands. Every property has good travel trails, better travel trails, morning travel trails, afternoon travel trails and all-day travel trails. Unless you determine on which trail to set your tree stand near at the proper time of day, you may waste your time hunting a travel trail. The most-productive travel trails have deer tracks going in both directions. You’ll have more success hunting in a funnel area where deer constantly move back and forth between two woodlots. You also need to learn the times of day to hunt the stands. Set up on a trail that leads from a feeding area to a bedding region early in the morning in a spot with high hunter pressure. The deer will feed at night and return to bed down just at daylight before the hunting pressure becomes heavy. This same trail may produce a deer closer to the feeding area in the morning if you’re hunting a region that doesn’t receive hunting pressure, which means the deer will feed during daylight hours.


Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting
More Keys to Successful Scouting
Editor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting success.
Key No. VI:
Finding traditional scrapes and rubs before the season tells you where a buck lives. Although scientists don’t know for certain what rubs mean, they have learned that bucks often mark their territories or let other bucks in the region know of their presence by rubbing the bark off small trees and bushes. You can differentiate scrapes from rubs, because there's often pawed-up earth under a low-hanging limb where the buck leaves the scent from his eyes and mouth on the limb and urinates in the scrape to signal to an estrous doe that he's in the area and will return to this same place to search for her if she needs to be bred.
Key No. VII:
Identifying sanctuaries by studying aerial photos while scouting will help you predict where and when the hunters will apply the most hunting pressure to the property. A deer will respond to hunting pressure by holding in thick cover or hiding out in a site where no one hunts. Some sanctuaries include islands in the middles of creeks or swampy places that require a hunter to use a boat to reach them, impenetrable thickets andclearcuts, areas behind a clubhouse in a plum thicket no one ever checks, off the shoulder of the road on the way to the clubhouse where few people ever stop, near a farmhouse with a barking dog chained to the back steps that lets no one get close, in the middle of a cotton field where you never expect to see a deer, in a fencerow between two large fields that don't appear to have enough cover to hide a deer and in the middle of a sage field.
Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting
Successful Scouting Tools
Editor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting success.
Key No. VIII:
Choosing the best stand involves several variables. Onany day if you have 10-stand sites chosen from which to hunt, generally one or two of those spots will pay off for you. Try to determine which way the wind blows most of the time at that site, and record that information with waypoints in your GPS. No matter how good a stand site you think you have, never attempt to hunt from that stand site with a wrong wind. Also when pre-season scouting, make sure thestand site you plan to hunt will have deer feeding there for some time plus enough food on the ground for deer to continue to feed there. If you plan to hunt a sanctuary, be certain you can get to and from that sanctuary without any other hunters seeing you moving in or out.
Key No. IX:
You’ll harvest more deer by scouting effectively. The more you scout, the more you learn about the land, the deer on it, the hunting pressure and its effect on the deer. Then the easier you can determine where and when a deer will show up once the season starts and make appointments with those deer for a confrontation in the woods.
Keys to Scouting for Successful Deer Hunting
Scout When You Sleep, and Lay Your Hunt Plan Out by the Stars
Editor’s Note: No matter how expert the hunter, how much he knows about deer, or what type of terrain he hunts, fate always can deal him a hand that will make him unsuccessful. But a consistently-successful hunter sets up in a place when and where deer most often will show up. To pinpoint such a place, you need to learn the keys to scouting success.


When you scout for deer pre-season, you can learn everything about the deer except when and where they travel. But pre-season scouting doesn’t account for hunting pressure, although you can learn the information during the first week of the season when bucks will change their travel patterns. Two hunting aids will help you scout before the season begins and afterwards—motion-sensor cameras and a hand-held GPS (global positioning system) receiver. During the pre-season, by using a motion-sensor camera like Moultrie Feeder’s Game Cam II, you can photograph the deer moving down trails and determine the times the deer use the trails.
Once you’ve photographed the buck you want to take, use your hand-held GPS to follow the deer’s trail, mark possible tree stand sites, and stow them as waypoints. When the season arrives, move your motion-sensor camera away from the green field where you’re spotted the bucks in the pre-season and closer to the buck’s bedding area. The photographic record the trail camera gives you enables you to learn at what time the buck moves down the trail and goes to its food source.

John Phillips

Back to the Hunting Articles