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Do you want to know how to scout the hunting ground? Do you want to hunt a new piece of land? Scouting a new plot of land can sometimes be overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss how to scout the hunting ground. It is our goal to give you the information you need to scout the hunting ground confidently.

deer hunting tips
Deer Hunting Tips

How To Scout The Hunting Ground

1. E-Scout

Take advantage of technology before stepping foot on the plot of land. Locate the hunting ground online and study it extensively. Study typography and look for possible bedding areas, food sources, water sources, funnels, creek crossings, swamps, farmlands, etc.

Google Earth can also be used to study the area. Look for any major roads, parking areas, walking trails, and access points close to the hunting ground. If they are nearby, that may not be a good ground for hunting. You can also use hunting apps like HuntStand and onX to learn and document your findings.

2. Early Morning & Late Afternoon

Scouting the hunting ground early in the morning and late in the afternoon are the best times.  During these times you can sit quietly with binoculars and just observe the land without spooking the animals. This is referred to as “stump-sitting”.

3. Funnels

As you study an area, benefiting from the e-scouting you did, look for any funnels that you found while e-scouting. The funnels channel movement into smaller areas. Deer often use funnels in their movement. Identify any travel routes that are being used by deer. An easy way to find travel routes is to locate bedding and feeding areas. The travel routes will be between the bedding and feeding areas.

tips for hunting whitetail
Tips For Hunting Whitetail

4. Transition Lines

Transition lines are very important when learning how to scout the hunting ground. Look for areas two types of vegetation meet. You may have identified possible transition lines during the e-scouting. Now while you are on the ground, look for those areas.

Deer love these areas as they not only provide food but can also cover for them. Examples of transition lines are mature hardwoods to clear cuts, hardwoods to pines, field edges, powerline clearings, cattails to hardwoods, and dry grounds.

5.  Swamps & Marshes

When you are learning how to scout the hunting ground look out for marshes and swamps. You may have identified them when e-scouting and now you want to take a good look at them. Deer love marshes and swamps as they are a good habitat and also provide security.

6. Set Up Trail Cameras

Set up trail cameras in promising areas with signs of deer activity.  If you find areas with signs of grazing, scratch marks, tracks, high concentration of droppings, deer rubs, etc. You can read an article on the best trail camera tips from this link.

whitetail deer hunting tips
Whitetail Deer Hunting Tips

7. Local Wildlife Biologist

Find local wildlife biologists and set up an appointment to talk to them. You will learn a lot from them about the habits of deer in that area and the areas hunters have been successful in. They have more knowledge than anyone about the deer in that area. Take the extra step to talk to them. It will be well worth it. When learning how to scout the hunting ground, always use the resource of wildlife biologists.

8.  Food & Water Sources

From e-scouting, you may have identified possible food and water sources. Now is the time to investigate these areas carefully. Find these areas and get as close as possible to being detected. study these areas with binoculars or a spotting scope to determine if deer are in that area. We did a review of the best spotting scopes that you can read if you are interested in spotting scopes.

9. Bedding Areas

While on the ground, also look for possible bedding areas. Deer have sanctuaries that provide security and cover. Locating them will be a huge step in finding deer in the area. When learning how to scout the hunting ground, the discovery of bedding areas will help you be successful with the hunting of game animals.

best hunting tips
Best Hunting Tips

10. Study The Wind Direction

The wind direction is very important. Study the wind direction to focus on the downwind side of the area. Deer usually like to establish bedding areas on the downwind side of the hillside.  This positioning allows them to smell and see danger approaching. www.windfinder.com can give you the wind direction in an area.

11.  Expect Changes

The information you collect when scouting the hunting ground pre-season may not be exactly the same as when the hunting season begins. Keep that in mind. When the season begins, there will more pressure on the area. Animals will move further inland and away from established trails. Look for abandoned climbing treestands and other signs of hunters. A review of the best climbing treestands was discussed in an article that you can read from this link.

best whitetail deer hunting tips
Best Whitetail Deer Hunting Tips
How do you scout an area for hunting?
You can scout an area for hunting by looking for food and water sources, bedding areas, travel routes, funnels, edges and transition lines, and swamps and marshes.
How do you decide where to hunt deer?
To decide where to hunt, look for signs of animal activity. Watch out for rub lines, tracks, trails, animal droppings, scratches, etc.
Is it better to hunt in the morning or evening?
You can hunt both mornings and evenings, however, for the first weeks of the hunting season, the last two hours of the evening are the best time to hunt. When the evening comes and the temperature starts to drop, deer come out from bedding to find food and water.
How early should you be in your deer stand?
It is best to be in your treestand an hour before shooting light.
Should you hunt the same spot every day?
It is not a good idea to hunt the same spot every day, no matter how much success you had there the previous day or during hunting season. A hunting spot receives more pressure the more you hunt from it. Additionally, you leave behind your human scent the more you hunt from that spot.
Where do bucks go during the day?
Deer are usually found in their bedding areas during the day. During the evenings they become more active.
When should I sit all day for deer hunting?
Most hunters will sit early in the morning or late in the day for deer.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to scout the hunting ground can prove to be very important before the hunting season begins. The information you gather can help you have a successful hunting season. In this article, we discuss how to scout the hunting ground to have a rewarding hunting season. You can also read how to scout for deer, how to scout for ducks, how to hunt whitetail deer during the rut, and how to scout turkeys.