Deer aren’t out much in the summer, and it most certainly isn’t the time for you to go hunting for bucks. However, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything for you to do. Summertime is the perfect time to prepare for actual deer hunting season. If you don’t take this time to prepare, you could be caught off-guard when the cooler weather comes around and it may cost you a good buck, or two, or three.
So, with that being said, here are 10 things you need to do this summer that will have you ready to go when opening day of deer season rolls around:
Take the Time to Sight in Your Rifle or Bow.
If you want to ensure that you’re able to make solid, clean shots when you close in on a deer this season, then you don’t want to procrastinate getting your bow or gun sighted in. This is not something you want to wait to do until a week or two before deer season begins. Otherwise, you will be waiting in some long lines trying to get some practice in at the shooting range. It won’t be nearly as crowded during the summer. Plus, you will need to figure out the right arrow and broadhead combination or determine the right load. So, get this done now, during the summer, so that you have ample time to make sure your bow or gun is shooting right.
Spark Some Relationships with a Few Local Farmers.
When it comes to the local hunting area, the best people to speak to are farmers. Farmers spend the majority of their summer baling hay, planting, and spraying, so they generally have a decent idea of what deer are up to. There’s also a good chance that they may have intel on where the bucks are feeding, and you could get your foot in the door for some prime hunting ground. After all, farmers are hit up later in the summer and early in the fall to use their land for hunting. But, if you’re already talking to them early in the summer, chances are you’ll have first pickings.
Get Some Trail Cameras Set Up.
When it comes to hunting deer, it is particularly important to keep track of any and all deer movement. You need to be able to collect photos – and lots of them, so you need to set up your trail cameras. Rather than waiting until closer to deer season when the deer can catch your scent from being out in the woods, get out there this summer and get them set up. You will be able to catch onto their movement patterns, get an idea of their home range, and possibly even catch a buck early on in the hunting season.
Inspect Your Hunting Gear.
One thing that many hunters fail to do before hunting season begins is to inspect their gear. This is just asking for trouble. There is a good chance that some of your gear needs to be replenished and some of it may have been damaged last season and needs to be repaired or replaced. For example, a mouse may have decided to munch on your safety harness or your tree stand could have taken a beating from winter and/or spring storms. It’s better to check everything during the summer so you have plenty of time to take care of everything rather than waiting until the last minute, which will cause you to dig into the hunting season in order to ensure everything is up to par.
Make Sure to Clear Out Some Travel Paths.
During deer season, you want to make as little noise as possible so that the deer don’t hear you. This can be quite difficult if the area is overgrown, and the last thing you will want is for noise to be want ruins your hunt. So, use the summer to clear some paths to the area where you will be hunting. Due to varying wind conditions, make sure that there will be multiple paths routes to your hunting area.
Figure Out the Pattern of the Does.
You know that old saying, “Follow the does to find the bucks.” Well, don’t ignore it as you spend some time scouting this summer. The travel patterns of does tend to remain the same year-round and they are much more visible than bucks. So, if you can figure out where they spend the bulk of their time, you will be in prime position to land yourself a buck when the rut comes later this year.
Stop by for a Visit to Landowners.
As a general rule, hunters will only come around when they want to request permission to hunt on your land or once the season actually begins. While this is fine, it can be seen as rude. So, be kind and visit the landowners who have given you permission to hunt on their land. The best time to do this is during the summer when you’re not busy hunting. Maybe you could offer to help them around their property. When they have that many acres, there’s a good chance that they could use some extra help every now and then. This will show them that you actually appreciate them allowing you to use their property for your hunting grounds.
Get Yourself in Physical Shape.
While there are things ore physically demanding than deer hunting, it doesn’t hurt to get yourself in shape before hunting season arrives. After all, bucks aren’t exactly what you would call lightweight, and you never know how far exactly you will need to drag one back to your truck. The last thing you will want is to be able to hold up under the strain of it simply because you failed to do a little bit of cardio over the summer. Plus, if you’re going to be using a bow, you need to make sure that you are able to draw and hold your bow without shaking, so make sure you focus on your arm muscles.
Establish Some Food Plots.
Before hunting season arrives, one of the most important things that you need to do is get some foot plots planted and then maintain them for your deer. This is normally done in late spring and early summer. By getting started early, you will be ensuring that the deer that you hunt are getting all the nutrients that are necessary to grow large antlers. And, remember, this isn’t a quick job, as the soil needs to be tested, the area needs to be plowed, seeds need to be planted, and more. You will also need to keep a close eye on your food plots for any signs that deer have been in the area.
Collect Some Intel.
Thanks to the longer days, summer is the perfect time to get out there and scout your hunting area. So, make sure that you are actually spending some time out in the woods looking for movement and feeding patterns. Keep all of this intel in one spot on your computer so that when it gets closer to hunting season you can develop a game plan that will increase your odds of success when it gets time to get out there with your rifle or bow.
If you need new equipment for this upcoming hunting season, check out Full Draw Archery or give us a call for any questions that you may have regarding your current setup.