Scouting Tips Whitetail Properties

Kansas hunting lease

This is one of the great whitetail properties I hunt in Kansas.

I have been doing some shed hunting lately and walking a couple of my favorite whitetail properties. Have you done any post season scouting where you hunt?

Post Season Scouting Whitetail Properties

There are a few things that can really help when post season scouting your whitetail properties. To save time and limit your hard work it helps to have maps. Some of the most helpful are aerial, topographical and plat maps. Aerials are awesome they not only show the deer hunting property you have access to but the surrounding ones as well. They show pinch points, funnels, food sources, bedding areas, and travel routes. Topo maps show elevation and help finding ridges and valleys, creeks and roads and even show where the trees are at on your whitetail properties. Topo maps can be a very useful for post season scouting.

whitetail properties

Finding numerous rubs in a isolated area near the bedding area made this post season scouting trip worth the effort.

Plat maps show property lines, rivers, roads and property owners. All these maps can come in very handy and save you time. Do you use any of these maps? Which one do you depend on the most? In my opinion now is the best time to get out and figure out those big bucks. You don’t have to worry about running the buck to other hunters and with the leaves and foliage not being full you can see old rubs and trails so much better. Plus if you pressure bucks close to deer season you can make them go nocturnal. I would rather do my scouting early and not even have to bother them at all during the fall. The big boys get smart really quick and if you are walking around close to the season and bump him he knows what’s going on and will go nocturnal on you. He didn’t get big by being dumb. If he doesn’t have a clue you are even in the woods in the fall your chances of seeing him will go way up. Study your maps and locate potential hot spots and narrow down the areas you want to check out before you go. Then when you do go focus on these spots looking for old rubs, scrapes, and trials leading to and from the bedding and feeding areas. Don’t focus on the feeding area but on the trails from the feeding area to the bedding area. Locating a funnel on these trails in between the bedding and feeding areas is like hitting the lottery, especially if I find a big rub nearby. The bigger the rub the better. Small bucks don’t very often make big rubs. Also if a find an area with a lot of rubs that can be an awesome spot that can be an area where bucks like to hang out. So get out and do some early scouting you’ll be glad you did.

 

Shed Hunting Whitetail Management

I wanted to remind everyone that now is a great time to establish salt/mineral licks and is an effective practice of whitetail management.

Whitetail Management

mineral lick products

The big bucks will be growing their antlers very soon and the minerals will help provide them with the essential nutrients to grow nice big healthy racks. Today I went to Cabela’s and bought a 20 lb. bag of Imperial Whitetail mineral/vitamin supplement and a mineral block. Tomorrow when I go looking for bone I am going to be post season scouting as well and I am going to establish a mineral lick and start a little early whitetail management. The way I am going to do this is I will locate an area where two or more trails intersect and I will dig a hole about two feet in diameter and several inches deep. I will mix 5lbs of the mineral/vitamin supplement  with the dirt and put it back in the hole I just dug then I will  op it off with a mineral block. I will be placing my Moultrie Game spy on a nearby tree and then we will be able to watch the bucks grow their antlers from the very beginning. It should be fun to watch their progress. Hopefully some of the same big boys will be back this year. Time will tell. Do you do any whitetail management where you hunt? If not you might want to think about it. You can make a difference in the quality of the bucks on your property by doing a few things and even if your funds are limited you still can make a difference. Establish mineral/vitamin licks. Let the small bucks walk. Shoot more does if your buck to doe ratio isn’t 1/1  or 1/3. If you do just these three things you should see some improvement in your quality of bucks in the very near future.

Shed Hunting

I was able to get out the other day and do some scouting and shed hunting.

whitetail management

Post season scouting and shed hunting is a great time to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

I wasn’t able to hunt the property as much as I would have liked this past season mainly because I was focusing on another piece of property but I know there are some really nice bucks in the area and there should be some sheds out there. It was nice to find several big rubs that I hadn’t seen before and it just confirms what I was already pretty sure of, that there where some nice bucks using the property. Tomorrow I am going to look for sheds on another deer hunting property that has some really nice bucks on it and I am hoping to find the antlers of one of the big bucks that I missed during bow season. Have you started shed hunting? Are you having any luck shed hunting on your deer hunting property?

 

 

Venison Food Plot Preparation

deer meat

Venison jerky taste great and will last a long time if vacuum packed.

I had some venison I wanted to make some jerky out of and I found a really good recipe. If you like the taste and heat of black pepper, this  jerky recipe is the one for you. The marinade seasons the strips of venison with finely ground black pepper. And to really kick it up a notch, cracked black pepper is sprinkled on before drying. Coarse ground black pepper can be used in place of cracked pepper.

Venison

1 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of canning salt
3 tablespoons of fine grind black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of Morton® Tender Quick® curing mix

This recipe is for around five pounds of venison. Combine the meat with the marinade and allow it to marinate overnight. Before dehydrating, season with cracked or coarse ground black pepper if desired. I put the meat in my dehydrator for about 12 hours but different dehydrators may vary. You can also prop open your oven door with a piece of tin foil and place the meat directly on the oven racks. Put the oven on its lowest temperature and cook for about 6- 9 hours ovens and times will vary so check often. I made this recipe and it was really good.

Food Plot Preparation

Food plot preparation

Food plot preparation includes soil samples which are critical.

On a different note now is the time to for food plot preparation. Have you gotten your soil samples done yet? Getting soil samples of your before you plant your spring and summer food plot and applying lime accordingly can improve your spring and a summer food plot on your deer hunting property tremendously. I have seen plots that didn’t produce at all, but when soil samples were done and the right amount of lime was put out they showed a lot of improvement and were lush and green! Get out and get those soil samples if you want to be sitting over a nice green plot come time to go deer hunting.

Deer Hunting Food Plot

Soil test are a very important part of getting the best results out of a deer hunting food plot.

Soil Preparation is an important part of getting ready to plant. You need to remove the existing vegetation before you plant your seeds. Plow, disk or till the area you are going to plant. Remove all vegetation and once you have the area tilled or plowed drag it to prepare a smooth, even seedbed. Finish by firming the soil before planting the seed with a of roller or packer. This will help kill most of the existing weeds. Remove all vegetation and debris from the area, then break up the hard clumps of soil and firm everything back to a smooth level surface. This should help you achieve the best results out of your planting when done in conjunction with the results of your soil samples and applying the proper amount of lime and fertilizer. The season will be here before you know it. It is never to early to start getting ready so you can get the best results out of your hard work and you know what they say “you reap what you sow”.

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