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  • July 19, 2011

Now is the time to prepare for a successful 2012 deer hunting season. Even though it is summer, a hunter can still accomplish a lot to be ready for the upcoming hunting season.

Pre-season scouting is a key ingredient in achieving the success that you strive for during the hunting season. Pre-season scouting is fun. You can include your family and friends, and scouting is a great way to introduce “hunting” to a non-hunter. You can show them deer tracks and deer droppings as you search for deer sign in the woods. Look for old scrapes and buck rubs to pattern the deer. Since you will be spending time outdoors, make a picnic out of it and most importantly… keep it fun!

An important aspect of pre-season scouting is locating the early season food source. This can help you find and pattern early season bucks. Look for standing corn and other crops or create a feeding area with a feeder or a mineral block in states where deer feeding is legal. Look for trails leading to and from the food source.
These trails are excellent places to position a trail camera or two. Trail cameras show you what deer you have in the area and also help you pattern the deer.

Once you have decided that deer are using a particular area, it is time to begin thinking about tree stand location. It is important to consider early season wind directions and how you will be entering your stand. I give myself different tree stand options depending on which way the wind could be blowing on a particular day. When putting up your tree stands, I cannot overemphasize the importance of safety. To me, the safest and most comfortable tree stands on the market are the Gorilla Tree Stands. I also recommend the EXO Tech safety harness by Gorilla. It is by far the safest harness out there. Utilize the safety harness not only while hunting from your stand, but also when you are putting up your stands. Safety always!! With your stands in place, you can begin to cut shooting lanes so that you don’t disturb your hunting area near the start of hunting season.

In addition to scouting, this is the time to get your hunting equipment in shape. This includes restringing your bow or replacing cables if needed. Also, make sure your range finder and binoculars are in working order. Check your sight pins and practice shooting your bow with broadheads.

The most important thing that you can do to prepare for your hunting season at this time is to practice. Practice shooting your bow at all distances. 20 and 30-yard shots are important, but also practice shooting at odd distances such as 27 or 34 yards because you never know at what distance your shot will be. And if you are planning on hunting from a tree stand, make sure to practice from an elevated position as well.

Deer season is right around the corner. By scouting, studying deer trails, installing tree stands and practicing, you will be ready for the upcoming deer season.

God Bless

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