Category Archives: Bowhunting

Prevent Nakedness: Pick The Perfect Tree

A bowhunter should never feel ‘naked as a jaybird’ when sitting in his or her treestand. Now that post-season has arrived, it’s time to prevent nakedness by picking the perfect tree.
During the late summer and early fall, foliage can seem to offer substantial and lasting cover. While the leaves are green and the canopy is thick, it’s easy to think your stand is located in an ideal tree.
It’s easy to forget what your treestand will look like from the ground once the leaves fall off. And if your tree doesn’t provide some form of cover, you’re likely to stick out like a sore thumb, which can result in those wary whitetail rubbernecking your setup.
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While there are several ways to prevent being silhouetted or sky-lined, the most important is to pick the right tree. Now that trees are bare and hunting season is over, it’s the ideal time to see what trees offer the best cover when hunting later in the season.

Take Some Pictures

Especially for those bowhunters who hunt field edges, post season is an excellent time to pick what tree will offer the best cover. And there’s no better way to put this puzzle together than by taking a few pictures.
By simply kneeling in the food plot or food source, in order to keep the camera angle low, point the camera in the direction you are considering placing your stand.
By analyzing the photos, you’ll immediately see what trees offer the most cover. By showing the darkest and densest places within the timber, the photos will help identify the most ideal places to hang a stand.
You’ll be surprised how a few photos will highlight both the sparse and dense areas within a group of trees. This simple process will give you an idea of what deer see when approaching your setup.
Photos can also be used to pick the perfect tree if hunting deeper in the timber. After you’ve located the general location for your setup, walk down the main game trail that heads past the prospective tree. Stop periodically to take a few pictures of the sky-line. Keep the camera low, angle it upward and make sure you capture a variety of trees throughout the process.
As crazy as it sounds, these photos will present a detailed blueprint of the best place to hang your stand.
picking the perfect bowhunting tree

Look For Limbs

My personal preference is to find two trees with just enough space in between them to hang a stand. (Especially, if either of the two trees has large branches below the 20-foot mark.) These additional branches will break up my silhouette, and offer additional cover during early fall. Given I have a 20-30 yard shot to a main travel route, these two-tree setups are ideal.
If a two-tree setup isn’t possible, a single tree with large limbs stretching out under my stand will also be a preferred choice. The large limbs underneath the setup will break up my silhouette and allow plenty of cover.
When analyzing photos as mentioned in the first tip, look closely to see how large overhanging limbs break up the vertical pattern of the hardwoods. Hanging a treestand behind or above these vertical/horizontal intersections will offer a 3D affect, which helps break up the hunter’s silhouette.
picking the perfect tree for a treestand

Tree Before Travel

If you can’t find the perfect tree within reasonable shooting distance of a travel route or game trail, don’t panic. Post season is unique in that it provides several months for deer to get accustomed to change.
If you locate the ideal tree and can change the deer’s travel route, than focus on the tree first. Deer are constantly making slight changes to their travel routes, due to fallen trees or natural debris. Deer will also take the path of least resistance even if it’s man made.
Making a ‘new’ game trail by manipulating brush, limbs and/or logs is a great way to get deer to travel closer to your setup while being able to stay concealed in the ‘perfect’ tree.
While every area does not offer an absolute perfect tree, spending a little time strategizing how to best avoid being sky-lined will pay big dividends next season.

Cody Altizer Outdoor Writer

365 Whitetail Welcomes Cody Altizer

Cody Altizer is no stranger to the ways of the whitetail. His inordinate passion for quality deer management has qualified him to be a perfect addition to the 365 Whitetail team.
In considering persons who could help us fulfill the vision of 365 Whitetail, Cody Altizer was chosen to help us accomplish the goal of providing quality content that both educates and encourages. And we couldn’t be happier that Cody has agreed to share his vast knowledge of whitetails with us.
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Cody Altizer is a passionate 25-year-old bowhunter that hails from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Having shot his first deer at 6 years old, Cody brings 20 years of whitetail experience to 365 Whitetail. His articles have been featured in the The Quality Deer Management Association’s Quality Whitetails, Pure Hunting Journal, Whitetail Institute of North America’s Whitetail News, and the Whitetail Times. On the World Wide Web, Cody’s work can be found at,, and
Cody Altizer Jim Shockey
In addition to writing about the way of the whitetail, Cody is a freelance outdoor photographer and filmmaker, working primarily with outdoor industry juggernaut Jim Shockey. Cody has filmed for Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, The Outfit, and Uncharted TV shows.
Cody Altizer Outdoor Writer Welcome
From Cody you can expect comprehensive and practical posts regarding Quality Deer Management (QDM), habitat manipulation and enhancement, and how to tie it all together to help you more successfully hunt the mature bucks living on your property.
We are certainly excited to have Cody on the team and know you will be too. Feel free to comment below and give Cody a warm welcome.
Cody Altizer QDMA

youth bow hunting

Dad, I Feel So Unworthy

Six bucks and three does surrounded his treestand. With his Indiana buck tag already filled, he picked out the largest doe, settled his sight pin, and sent a razor sharp broadhead where it needed to go—just behind the front shoulder.
The doe would make his third bow kill for the season and our family couldn’t be happier. It’s evident he’s becoming a proficient hunter, and as a dad, I feel a sense of fulfillment in knowing this young man is embracing traditions others have shunned.
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While a trio of perfect shot placement is impressive, I’m more inspired by my son’s attitude. (I suppose some will say I’m biased and you’re probably right—so be it.)

I’ve tried to teach my kids to view hunting as a privilege. It’s not to be treated as a video game or a Hollywood production. As hunters we respect life and at the same time understand all life is sustained by death. Hunting is taking the life of an animal.

In a world full of make believe, the realities of life and death are not always easy to pass on to your kids. So when my boy knelt beside the doe and said, “Dad, I feel so unworthy,” it had meaning.
Yes, he was excited to have made a clean kill. But there was also a side of him that realized this is not a game. Hunting is an honor granted to us by our Creator. Therefore a healthy dose of respect is also part of the experience we call hunting.
To some it’s just five words out of the mouth of a teenager, but “Dad, I feel so unworthy,” meant as much to me as another bow kill meant to my son.
bow hunting with youth

late season staging areas

Hunting Late Season Staging Areas

It was the unmistakable sound of deer, not just a couple deer, but several. No more than 20-yards from my stand were a number of deer walking on the outside edge of the cornfield.
While the lack of light prevented me from seeing anything but silhouettes, what I could see was these deer had staged a considerable distance beyond my stand—the setup was ‘20-minutes’ too far South.
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Late season bowhunting normally takes place near prime food sources. And while it’s easy to think of deer making a beeline from bedding to food, in most cases deer ‘stage’ before feeding.

These ‘staging’ areas are where deer transition to after they exit a bedding area. Think of staging areas as a safe and secure area where deer loiter, and then move through while on their way to a preferred food source.

So if the deer you’re hunting are arriving after dark, the trick is to locate and hunt staging areas. This might mean moving your stand beyond its current location. And while no bowhunter wants to move a stand this time of year, if the deer aren’t visible during legal shooting hours, you might not have a choice.

Weather, Terrain and Pressure

Depending on the weather, the type of terrain, and the amount of hunting pressure, staging areas can differ from location to location. I’ve seen bucks use a cedar thicket, a grassy field, a small but secure food source and even a fairly open oak flat to stage in.
It’s important to remember late season staging areas will usually correspond with the three aspects we’ve already mentioned— weather, terrain and pressure.
When hunting late season whitetails there are things we know positively, other things we’re pretty sure of and a considerable amount of things that take time to figure out exactly. Late season staging areas fall into the last category—it takes time to find the exact location where a mature buck is staging.
Preferably, staging areas should be located post season, however, that’s not always possible. As Bill Winke says, “Picking the perfect tree is really an evolution that occurs over the course of several seasons—at least two or three seasons.“ So don’t get discouraged, learning where deer stage can take time.


Whitetails are known to bed with their back to the wind. When a whitetail, especially a whitetail buck, leaves its bedding area it will normally travel at a 45-degree angle to or directly into the wind. As a buck exits his bed, and begins moving towards the food source it will then ‘stage’ in an area downwind of the food source until last light.
If a buck cannot enter the feeding area with the wind completely in its favor, it may stage at a vantage point where it can visually scan the field before moving into the open.
Finding late season staging areas begins by studying aerial maps and researching prevailing winds. This research will assist in giving you an understanding of how and where a buck might enter the food source using the wind to its advantage. Now that bucks have been pressured for several months, and are very wary as a result, they are much more likely to stay on the downwind side when entering a food source.
After researching terrain features and wind movements, draw some conclusions. Then carefully go in during an afternoon and backtrack on the main trails leading to the food source. Staging areas are often found 50-100 yards off a primary food source and may not be all that far away from your current stand location.
late season staging area

Thermal Cover

During extreme cold deer will often stage in adequate thermal cover. This cover, such as a cedar or pine thicket, will provide some form of protection from the severe winter weather.
Due to whitetail needing to conserve energy during extreme cold, I’ve seen them stage in thermal cover for a considerable amount of time, especially if it’s windy. Winter winds are known to subside as darkness falls and during the late season deer will take advantage of staging areas that offer a wind break.
When searching for staging areas in thermal cover, take note of any prior signpost activity, such as rubs or scrapes. Also pay attention to any fresh droppings or a significant amount of tracks, these can be telltale signs you’ve found where a buck stages before moving to a food source.


If hunting in an area with ridges and valleys, bucks will either stage on a vantage point, such as a knob or bench, where they can view the feeding area before entering it, or they will stage in a low area where they can remain completely out of sight.
Several years ago I hunted a staging area that was located at the back of a large wheat field. At the back of the field was a deep depression that prevented anything or anyone from seeing the deer as they entered the field.
Each evening up to 40 deer would pile into that depression. They would wait until dark then move into the open field. The issue for these deer wasn’t necessarily cover, but security.
Currently I’m hunting a farm where the bucks move from bedding, up the ridges and then stage on various acorn flats. These flats are relatively open but surrounded by young saplings, which provides a type of sanctuary.
Each hunting area will have its peculiar differences and must be hunted accordingly. Whatever the terrain, staging areas will be unique places where deer feel secure.
Hopefully these tips will get you started in the right direction, but nothing can take the place of firsthand observation. Sometimes you have to set up and observe in order to pinpoint the behavioral characteristics of the bucks within the terrain you’re hunting.
staging areas


Depending on where your hunting property is located, you may be hunting heavily pressured bucks. So far they’ve survived archery season, the rut, firearms season and they’re keyed in to one thing—survival.
When hunting pressured bucks during the late season, bedding and staging areas can seem impossible to locate. If they could, these bucks would wrap themselves in an invisible cloak. They’re not taking any chances.
I remember watching three late season whitetail bed in a small patch of grass located smack-dab in the middle of a harvested grain field. Later in the day I watched three hunters walk within 10 feet of that little patch of grass. I shook my head wondering if the deer had moved without me seeing them. But, at last light all three deer stood up and made their way to the food source. This was a perfect example of how late season whitetail react to pressure.
Hunting pressured whitetail requires us to think like one. Where would you go to escape hunting pressure, yet be within proximity of a prime food source? Again, this is where satellite imagery and topographical maps can help you figure out where a buck might be hiding.
Often these pressured bucks will head to a small patch of cattails, a deserted pasture, an abandoned orchard, a small bench, a point off the end of a ridge, or a small island in a body of water. Wherever they locate, it will be impossible for any predator, human or otherwise, to approach without being detected. These bucks know that locating and staying in an out-of-the-way sanctuary is their only means of survival.
This is where a trail camera can assist in locating a pressured buck’s staging area.
Although I would be very careful in taking anything into a staging area that might make a buck uncomfortable, you can consistently relocate a camera farther down a main trail leading to a food source. Continually moving the camera toward the direction a buck is coming from will give you a good idea where the buck is staging.
Be sure and hang the camera off the trail (I like to hang the camera high so it is inconspicuous) and if possible stay off the trail when entering and exiting the area. The same goes for when you hang your stand in or near the staging area—always stay downwind and off the main trail.


As always, be extremely careful when locating late season staging areas. Remember, scent control is paramount and never hunt a staging area unless the wind is perfect. These staging areas are like a ‘safe house’ for whitetail and if you’re not careful about scent and sound, that buck may not return this season.
While we’ve touched on only a few aspects of locating and hunting staging areas, once found these magical places can hold the secret to late season success.

persistence hunting late season

Late Season Requires, ‘Persistence Hunting’

In the mid-90’s I read a lot of Dwight Schuh. I was so enamored with the guy I even ‘invested’ in a Dwight Schuh hunting pack—I hoped a little of Schuh’s bowhunting mojo might rub off.
I saw Schuh as an authority on the subject of bowhunting and learned to respect his insight. So it’s no surprise that anytime I see a Dwight Schuh article I still take the time to read and ponder his advice—especially if it can be applied to whitetail hunting.
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I recently stumbled on to one of Schuh’s articles that reminded me of what a hunter’s perspective during the late season should look like. And while this challenging insight should be applied to late season hunting, it certainly can be applied to life in general. Schuh wrote:

“Essentially, persistence hunters run down their prey. That’s possible, anthropologist theorize, because humans are built better for long-distance running than four legged animals are, and they can carry food and water. They also sweat over their entire bodies, enabling them to cool down on a run in the midday heat, while mammals have to stop and pant in the shade to cool down. Men working together can keep pushing their prey to the point of exhaustion.
Perhaps, above all, humans have a will. They can will themselves to persist—even past the point of exhaustion. They can will themselves not to give up.”

And what you might ask, does ‘persistence hunting’ have to do with late season? Everything! With only a few weeks remaining in the hunting season, this is no time to give up or quit. Schuh concludes:

“While modern hunters might not literally run down game, we have the tools to outlast them—the clothes, the gear, the foods, and the training to persist under any conditions.
Above all we have a will. We can will ourselves to never give up. More often than not, that decision will dictate the outcome of the hunt…”

Discouraged? Don’t be, dig deep and find some bulldog tenacity. Put your heart and soul into every hunt. Give it all you got until the last sunset of the season.
Become a ‘persistence hunter.’ For “More often than not, that decision will dictate the outcome of the hunt…”

indiana urban archery

After School Bowhunting Success

The ‘thump’ of book-filled backpacks sounded throughout the vehicle. Another school day had ended and the three boys I had just picked up couldn’t have been happier
“Dad, I’d like to go hunting. Can you drop me off?” It was more than a question. The young man’s inquiry was the result of his passion for bowhunting and derived from deep desire to be in the outdoors.
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His question brought back a dozen memories. When I was his age, after school meant checking trap lines, shooting squirrels and exploring what was beyond the next bend in the trail.
I delayed my response until I had checked the wind direction. “It’s a perfect wind, son! And with the approaching storm it should be a good evening.” A bad head cold meant I wouldn’t be able to join my son, but I had the confidence he would be just fine by himself.
This is the first year we’ve hunted the farm my son was wanting to go to. It’s located in an urban area and the farmer wants as many deer taken off the property as possible. The urban deer population cost the farmer a significant amount of money each year, and with a lack of hunting pressure, there are few checks and balances for herd management.
Since we can hunt this farm until the end of January, we have been trying to save it until the late season. With several bucks and does on trail camera, it should provide plenty of opportunity.
As we drove through the countryside my son and I discussed different outcomes of the hunt and how he was to respond to each scenario.
“Check it out, there’s a buck!” I came to a complete stop for a better look. Standing in a freshly picked cornfield was a young buck who paid us little to no attention.
“That’s only a few hundred yards from the blind.”
I was hoping this was a sign of good things to come. Although, when hunting Indiana’s urban archery season each hunter is required to ‘earn a buck.’ Meaning the hunter must kill an ‘antlerless’ deer before he or she can fill their buck tag—this young buck was safe.
Hardly an hour had passed when my phone rang. An excited voice on the other end of the line said, “I just smoked a doe.”
He was elated and so was I.
The ‘doe’ ended up being a button buck, but I couldn’t be happier for my son. His shot placement was perfect, the meat will be delectable and the farmer will be happy to have us back again.
Thank you, Lord for another successful bowhunt.

Missing a deer

Can’t Let A Miss Get In Your Head

“Dad, I missed!”
I swallowed hard and nodded.
“Shhhh… it might come back, it can’t smell us and just walked away. Be patient, we might get lucky.”
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The cold snow pelting my face wasn’t the only thing I was feeling at that moment. This was the second deer my son had missed this season. This was unfortunate on several levels. My stomach was in knots.
“What did I do wrong?”
“Dad, how much are Elite bows?”
Yes, I wanted him to be quiet but I had to think about what he needed me to say at this crucial moment.

A Traditional Challenge

Traditional archery has to be one of the most challenging forms of bowhunting. My son knows this. I’ve watched him practice for hours every day. At 15-yards he can easily put three arrows in an apple sized target. I have no doubt about his proficiency.
Both misses have been identical. The shot windage is perfect, but in both cases he has shot a couple inches over the back of the deer. Whether it’s the angle of the shot when shooting from a treestand or his adrenaline is getting the best of him, one thing was for sure, this was not an issue of “What did I do wrong,” this is an issue of him making a course correction and continuing to focus on what he knows to do right.
After packing up our gear, we walked in the darkness together. Neither one of us said anything. As we neared the truck I turned to my son and placed my hand on his shoulder.
“Can you consistently hit the target at 20-yards?”
“But Dad, I missed!”
“Can you consistently hit the target at 20-yards?”
“Yes, but…”
“Are you a good shot?”
“Are you a good shot?”
“Well, I…”
“Son, in life you have to keep on believing and live on what you know to be the truth! Learn from your mistakes and move on. You can’t let a miss get in your head and keep you from being your absolute best. At one time or another everyone misses. You have to keep your focus and believe next time will be the moment. Understand?”
I watched the silhouette of his head move up and down, affirming he understood.

Keep Believing

My number one goal this year was to help my son harvest a deer with his recurve. The last thing I want is for him to get so discouraged he quits altogether. The challenge of the recurve is his choice and it’s my job to do whatever I can to keep him encouraged as he pursues the goal.
As a father, I recognize these moments go deeper than hunting or killing an animal. They are life lessons we take with us. My son needs to learn how to press on in spite of life’s misses. Berating him would have only led to frustration and frustration has never helped anyone solve a single problem.
It’s very likely there are some adults who missed this season. I‘d like to say the same words to you that I said to my son, “…in life you have to keep on believing and live on what you know to be the truth!! Learn from your mistakes and move on. You can’t let a miss get in your head and keep you from being your absolute best. At one time or another everyone misses. You have to keep your focus and believe next time will be the moment. Understand?”
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

bowhunting skinny three

Murphy’s Law And A Buck Named ‘Skinny’

Ole’ Murph and I have never got along. As much as I enjoy visiting with people, Murph’s not one of them. I genuinely try to befriend everyone, but Murph doesn’t quite make the ‘everyone’ list. Ole’ Murph has made my life downright miserable one too many times, therefore I ignore him like the plague.
But Murph hasn’t caught on.
He still shows up at the most inopportune times. And he always wants to slow me down, stall me, irritate me, or break something of mine when I need it most. Murphy is an expert at being a pain in the gluteus maximus. In case you haven’t caught on, being an absolute nuisance is the only thing Murph is good at.
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I have no idea where Murph came from. All I know is he’s been around for a long time. My grandfather is in his mid nineties and he had a few run-in’s with ole’ Murph over seventy years ago.
Unfortunately, I ran into Murph again this year. He got as close as I’ve ever seen him—15-yards to be exact. And today I despise him more than ever. If he wasn’t so good at appearing and disappearing, I would have made sure he got a good education on just how unwanted he is.
Over a week ago I had an encounter with a buck we nicknamed ‘Skinny.’ This buck earned the name from being tall but lacking mass. I had decided early on to put Skinny on the hit list. Only because if I didn’t the shotgun hunters would and I don’t have control over the other guys who hunt this same property. So when Skinny showed up and bedded only 20-yards away, I knew we were in for a good day.
bowhunting skinny two
bowhunting skinny four
But then my archenemy showed up. I couldn’t believe it. That old codger hiked three quarters of a mile just to pester me. First, Murphy convinced Skinny to lay down behind three trees. What a nemesis! If Skinny had walked just a couple yards in either direction I would have had a shot.
But that’s not all.
For over 40-minutes I had to watch Skinny’s shadow. Every time his antlers moved it looked like 300-inches of bone stretching over that bed of leaves. And while Murph kept tantalizing me, (he can drive you nuts) I tried to remain positive knowing Skinny would certainly get up and move to where he could scent check for does—but he didn’t.
Ole’ Murph had slipped in behind those three trees and convinced Skinny to go the opposite direction when he left the bed. Furthermore, Murph got in that buck’s head and told him to circle behind my stand instead of going the direction I had expected him to go.
bowhunting skinny
By the time I could discreetly turn around, I had one small hole to shoot through. And you guessed it, Murph stood there thumbing his nose at me as two small limbs rested right over Skinny’s vitals.
The only thing I have up on ole’ Murph is eyesight. Must be due to his age, but he didn’t notice my trail camera was right in front of where Skinny bedded. So I have all the proof I need that ole’ Murph is the culprit.
So here’s my offer. If you’re lacking excitement or disappointment in your hunting season, invite ole’ Murph to hang out with you for a while. I’m sure he would be happy to spend time with a new ‘friend.’

rattling big bucks

Rattled And Rewarded

“Dad, I want to move my stand. I’m not seeing any deer.” Those words reflected a mixture of teenage enthusiasm and boyish impatience. As a father, my response was simple. “Son, every main ridge on this farm leads to your stand. Just be patient, you will see deer.”
But as anyone who’s raised teenage boys knows, repeating oneself is a necessity. So there have been a multitude of conversations that revolved around moving my son’s stand and if he relocated, would he have a better chance at killing a buck?
These debates usually ended with me saying what I had already said a dozen times or more. “Be patient. It’s the rut and the bucks will be cruising those ridges in an attempt to find a receptive doe.”
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On November 8th, the wind direction prevented us from hunting in the morning. Anxiously waiting for the wind to switch from it’s southerly direction to a more westerly one, I quietly wondered if this day would end in a bust. A bright moon had illuminated the previous evening and the deer had no doubt been very active throughout the night. “Would we even see any deer at all,” was the nagging question as I walked to my stand.
Around 2:00 in the afternoon, almost at the exact time the moon was underfoot, I saw a button buck feeding in the nearby corn. Not long after I heard deer running and saw a flicker of tail. The deer were moving. This was a sign of good things to come.
Meanwhile an impatient teenager was sending his father regular inquiries and asking if I was seeing deer or not. “C anything,” seemed to appear every five minutes on my phone.
Knowing the timing was right and all things were in his favor, I texted my son and told him to try rattling and grunting.
rattling whitetails
Literally in a matter of minutes, my phone was ringing.

A shaky voice on the other end of the line said, “Dddaadd, I jjjusst shottt the biggesttt buckk of my life!”

The rewards of a rattling sequence and a well-placed arrow had him rattled (in a good way). Matter of fact we were both a little excited, to say the least.
As a father, my emotions were sky high! I couldn’t help but think how 400-yards away from my stand was a boy who had practiced shooting his bow nearly every day. He eats and sleeps archery. He doesn’t play sports—he hunts. He’s never been interested in video games—but he has watched dozens of educational videos on whitetail hunting. He lives to be outdoors in God’s creation. And today he was rewarded with a respectable whitetail that he rattled in himself. My son had just been rewarded for his dedication and persistence. Rewarded for doing what he loves to do even though others may not understand.
As I walked up to a grin that stretched from ear-to-ear, we hugged and shared the moment together. Sharing this experience with my son was the ultimate reward.
Rattled and rewarded never felt so good.
how to rattle bucks

limiting impact pays

The Results Of A ‘Stay Out’ Strategy

Back in September we wrote an article entitled, Minimizing Impact: The Strategy Of Staying Out.’ The article simply mentioned a few reasons why we were going to be very deliberate about ‘minimizing impact’ on our various hunting properties this year.
This meant reducing the number of trail cameras we placed, paying additional attention to scent control (such as using a rainy day to check trail cameras) and waiting until the end of October before we spent a considerable amount of time in our stands.
While the strategy was somewhat experimental, the amount of deer we have seen while hunting, along with the number of bucks on our trail cameras, seems to suggest the strategy definitely works.
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Throughout the summer we spent many weekends knocking on doors and building relationships with property owners—it paid off. And although we received permission to hunt some new properties just prior to bow season, we resisted the temptation to do in-depth scouting in an effort to leave core areas undisturbed.
Due to getting permission late in the year, we did a considerable amount of peripheral scouting in order to minimize the overall impact on these areas. Some of the information we needed to form a strategy was gathered from the property owner, other info was collected from topographical maps and satellite imagery, and most of all we relied on experience. The whole objective was to mitigate risk and increase the chances of reward.
minimizing hunting impact
Based upon these factors we set up a limited number of cameras and placed stands in areas we believed would be the best place for both hunting the rut and the late season.
We also limited our camera usage on properties we have hunted in the past. Instead of trying to place multiple cameras and risk leaving more scent over a given area, we hung strategically placed cameras in funnels or pinch points. These cameras were only checked once every 3-4 weeks and we have been exceptionally careful about scent control when doing so.
limiting hunting impact
At this point I could not be happier with the results of the overall strategy. If we are seeing this type of activity with a few cameras, obviously there are additional bucks we are not seeing. Since these are agricultural areas, once the corn is out we expect see more daylight activity as deer move into the timber to feed on hard mast. We are also right on the heals of the rut, so anything can happen in the next couple weeks.
limit impact in hunting area
Post season we will be scouting these farms to a greater extent, but for now, I think this is a lesson in just how important minimizing impact is.
What are your thoughts on minimizing impact and its rewards?
(While there are more bucks and some daylight photos, we won’t share all the trail camera photos in one post.)