Ready for Deer Season? 10 Summer To-Do Tasks To Make Sure You Are
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Deer enjoy being lazy during the warm months of summer. Food tends to be plentiful, and the rut is not at the forefront of a buck’s mind. Deer hunters enjoy extended summer vacations and often forget about the chase of bucks until fall weather rolls around.
However, if you are serious about getting that trophy deer, then summer is busy. There is a lot that needs to be done, and you do not want to get caught unaware once deer season catches up to you. So, with that being said, here are 10 to-do projects that you need to ensure are completed well before opening day of deer season. If you end up procrastinating, you will find that your chances of getting that big buck are drastically reduced.
So, take some time in the field throughout the summer months so that once deer season rolls around, you will be ready.
Sight Your Rifle or Bow In
If you end waiting until a week prior to the season beginning to sight your bow or gun in, you may find a huge line at the shooting range. However, if you are truly serious about making good, clean shots—and you should be—then you should spend ample time tuning your rifle or bow well before that time.
Long, summer days are perfect for ensuring your weapon is ready for deer season. Plus, you want to make sure that you have ample time for practice. By getting an early jump on things, you have the opportunity to determine the proper load or arrow/broadhead combination. Plus, the shooting range will likely be less crowded.
Speak to Farmers
When it comes to the area where you will be hunting, your best resource will be local farmers. They spend the majority of their summers spraying, planting, and bailing hay, which means they’re pretty familiar with what the local deer are doing. In addition, they may know where the bucks are feeding, which is invaluable information. Plus, during the late summer and early fall, many farmers are bombarded with requests to hunt on their land. If you get out there early to speak with local farmers, you are able to get your foot in the door.
Set Up Trail Cameras
It is imperative that you are able to track the movement of deer, and the best time of year to set up your cameras is summer. These cameras will allow you to have a clear picture of the movement patterns of deer in the area, and you will have a good idea of the deer that are utilizing your particular hunting area. While you may be able to get a buck early within the season, if you take the time to do your homework early on, you will be able to determine the home range of the deer and can be nearby when the rut’s in full swing.
Inspect Your Gear
A lot of hunters fail to check their gear until opening day arrives, which can cause trouble. Failing to inspect your equipment during the summertime will cause you to spend precious time—and money—at a local sporting good stores when you should be out in the field hunting. The summertime is the perfect time to address any potential issues and determine if there is anything that needs to be purchased or do.
There isn’t much worse than getting into the woods to realize that your stand has fallen apart and a mouse has created a nest out of your safety harness. That is why it’s a good idea to choose to gear up and check out your favorite spot during the month of August to inspect your hunting equipment. You may even want to take the time to improve field accuracy by shooting some targets from your stand. In addition, make certain your rangefinder has brand-new batteries and your broadheads and hunting knife have been sharpened.
Clear Travel Paths
When you are attempting to get to your tree stand quietly and quickly during deer season, overgrown plants can be a huge obstacle. Summer is the ideal time to clear a path to your hunting area. It is a good idea to ensure you have multiple paths due to changing wind conditions.
Don’t forget to clear fallen logs, honeysuckle, etc. so that you don’t trip and stumble as you make your way to your stand.
Pattern the Does
As the old saying goes, if you want to locate the bucks, just follow the does. So, as you take the time to scout during the summertime, don’t ignore the does. They tend to be more visible, and their travel patterns remain similar throughout the year. If are familiar with the location of the does, you will be ready to intercept a buck once the rut comes along later.
Most deer hunters only show up when they would like permission to hunt on someone’s land or once the season is in full swing. While there isn’t exactly anything wrong with that, if you have been given permission by a landowner to hunt, you should be kind and stop by to visit during the summer months.
Maybe you could lend them a hand with some work around their property. When there is a lot of acreage, there is always some kind of work that needs to be done. When you show up like this, it shows the landowner that you appreciate them for allowing you to hunt on their land.
Get in Shape
The majority of deer hunting is not particularly demanding; however, it is imperative that you are in shape once deer season arrives. Take the time to walk, job, and work out so that you don’t find yourself crumpling under the strain of dragging a large buck out of the woods during the fall.
If you are hunting with a bow, make sure that you’re physically capable of holding and drawing the bow. Getting yourself in shape a week before the season starts is not enough to make up for chilling by the pool or being a couch potato the entire summer.
Plant and Maintain Plots of Food
One of the main responsibilities of land managers during the spring and summer is to establish plots of food. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, including testing the soil, plowing, planting, spraying, fertilizing, and mowing—all of which needs to be done well before the start of deer hunting season.
In addition, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on your food plots for signs of deer activity. Maintaining your plots of food throughout the summer months will ensure that your deer have the needed nutrients to grow big, beautiful antlers.
Collect and Organize Data
Thanks to the long days, summer is a great time to scout potential hunting areas, so make sure that you are spending ample time in the woods looking for signs of deer activity. Keep your data organized to ensure that you are ready once fall rolls around. For instance, you may want to create separate folders for the photos from your trail cameras, allowing you to quickly see the deer that are frequenting which areas/cameras.
You should also keep detailed notes regarding movement patterns and feeding. Write down any information that you obtain from landowners and farmers. By keeping all of this information in one spot, you will find that it is much easier to craft a game plan before opening day, increasing your odds of success come fall.
For more information or to get access to hunting equipment, contact Full Draw Archery.