Summer Success

Summer Success

Summer is the perfect time for scouting, planting food, and creating preferred whitetail habitat. Most deer hunters are grabbing a fishing rod and hitting the water right? Wrong, most seasoned and professional big buck hunters are on their tractors planting, running cameras, and moving stands. Here are a few tips that will help you stay focused on your goals in the fall even through the summer heat and temptation for landing those lunker largemouth bass.


  • Set aside three weekends to visit your farm/land and prep for your next season.
  • You should have a to-do list on stands you want moved or new locations.
  • Cut entry and exit routes to those stands, along with cleaning up shooting lanes
  • Hang cameras - we like hanging cameras over watering holes during the dog days of summer, but your normal high traffic trails and food sources will work as well
  • If you have additional time, commit to one improvement project that will increase the habitat on your farm for this upcoming season

Add these to your property in the off season.

  • The hidden watering hole.

Find your self a key location that does not have water near your property and add some. This will help you keep deer on your property and eliminate the need for them to wander off to the neighbors for a drink. It may also add more bedding sites on your land that before were too far from food and water for a whitetail to set up shop.  Watering holes can be added in high or low ground.


  • The poor man's plot.

Not everyone is gifted with big farm equipment or ag land near their hunting spots. But that doesn't mean you can’t have a great food plot on your hunting land. The best part about these plots are bigger, more mature bucks tend to come visit them earlier in the day during shooting hours before slipping out to the community fields. They also tend to prefer to eat in solitude in different parts of the season and this small honey hole plot is a perfect way to capitalize on that. There are a few things you need to know about making your poor man's plot. Visit the link here; to read more. ( Link to small food plot success article))


  • Create new paths and trails for the deer to optimize your stands and direct the  traffic through your woods.

Cutting down openings in a barbed wired fence can really change deer travel routes. If a tree falls on a fence, it can change travel paths up to 50 yards, and out of range  from last years stands.   It is critical to control travel as much as possible and adapt to changes in the deers travel routes that you can’t control from season to season. Different rotations in crops can also change the way deer use your property, so getting as much information before the season can keep you from playing catch up when it really matters. I like to block paths and routes that would have deer crossing the path I enter my stand from, as well as any trail that would have the deer facing directly at the tree I am in. If you can move trees around and cut lanes for the deer to stay broadside and never facing directly at you, you will increase the chances of not being busted and the time window you have to draw your bow or take a shot due to the deer's vitals being exposed longer.



  • Find new land to hunt

Summer is a great time to approach farmers and landowners to ask permission. Instead of showing up in all camo asking to hunt, get your name in early.  It gives you time to build an actual relationship with the landowner before the season, and this relationship can pay dividends for years to come.  Never be afraid to knock on doors, bring up deer hunting with strangers or ask friends or family about people they have connections to that may have your next sweet spot.


  • Find a lease.

New land is always coming available and it is best to lock down your lease as soon as possible to maximize the time you have to prepare and learn the new grounds. It is never too late to snag some new land but the sooner you get the green light the more information and prepping time you will have to maximize your investment for the fall.


Hunt Public land?


  • Take A Walk In The Woods

Now is the perfect time to scout out your trees and find those good locations for bringing in your hanger or climber before the season. It is always good practice to go up and down the tree a few times to ensure that you have a quiet and routine system setup when it's prime time and you're trying to sneak into the woods undetected. Practice and repetition with climbing sticks or climbing stands is key to getting to your preferred elevation as fast and as quiet as possible. I have shot plenty of deer with the bow rope and quiver still on my bow and back pack slung around my shoulders after  just getting to my preferred height in the stand. It is amazing how you can have deer on top of you if you play the wind and make a silent entry. One of the keys to making such an entrance is being able get in a tree you are familiar with and have practiced climbing a few times before the season. Especially if you are climbing in before sunrise.


Another great tip for summer month prepping on public land is scouting. If you can find a buck in the summer and pattern it before opening day, you have your best chance at hunting him before anyone else goes in the woods and shifts deer movement or educates your bruiser.


Walk new properties, it is always a great idea to add new public land to your arsenal, if a spot isn't panning out or over crowded when you get to the parking lot, it is critical to have a backup plan. There is no better time to find new spots and get familiar with new properties than in the summer. This will cut down on your time “scout hunting” a new piece of land and let you hunt a familiar area with confidence. It will also decrease the amount of trouncing around the woods looking for signs and leaving your scent everywhere during prime season.  



  • Shooting.

You can never shoot enough, now is the time when the weather is nice. Go out and shoot from different positions and scenarios. Many people forget that you can do everything right to have that buck of a lifetime in your sights but it really all comes down to one thing, the shot. If you make your shot and form second nature it will give you the confidence and clear mind that you need when you're trying to harvest that once in a lifetime deer.


  • Check your gear.

Make sure  everything is ready to go and in good condition before your season starts. This gives you ample time to replace what is broken and straighten up your inventory so you can grab and go when the time is right. For most of us, work and family is a big portion of our time, so if you can use small amounts of spare time throughout the summer, this will clear all of the unnecessary time preparing in the fall, so you can spend it with those who matter to you when you are not actually in the woods.


  • Book a hunt or register for an out of state tag.

For many people it is hard to remember to get dates and applications in for out of state hunting. There is no better time than the present. Do some research on deadlines and applications for your hunting trips and get them taken care of while they are still fresh in your mind. We have all left trips and applications on the back burner and missed opportunities to have an extra tag in the pocket come fall. Also, booking hunts and marking your calendar is a great way to keep you motivated and on top of perfecting your skills and gear before the season so you are ready for that hunt when it comes. It is good practice for those hunting out of state to read up on guidelines and rules. These things can help you prepare for your hunts in the summer and make a more enjoyable hunt when you know you are doing everything within regulation.

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