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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.
Scouting The Hunting Ground
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”.
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.
4. Transition Lines
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 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.
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.
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 from this link.
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.
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 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.
The Bottom Line
Scouting 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.