Summer Deer Scouting

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Summer deer scouting has been an oft-debated topic amongst deer hunters for generations. Some hunters feel that scouting for deer in the summer isn’t all that helpful as summer deer patterns will have changed by the fall. Other hunters however, are in favor of summer deer scouting as it offers an excellent opportunity to explore deer habitat well in advance of the hunting season. I personally  prefer to do my deer scouting in July and August so that I can pattern the deer early on which leaves enough time for my scent to clear out of the area that I intend to hunt well before deer season begins.

Look For Deer Sign And Set Your Trail Cameras

Be on the lookout for deer sign such as tracks, scat, antler sheds, and buck rubs. Once you’ve determined that you’ve discovered an area with fresh deer sign, you’ll want to setup a trail camera to begin patterning your deer. I like to setup my camera and then check back every two weeks or so. This gives enough time for my scent to clear out so that the deer I am attempting to pattern won’t get spooked. If you are trying to pattern an entire deer habitat including deer beds, food plots, runs, etc, then you’ll want to be certain to use several trail cameras. There are a multitude of trail cameras from different manufacturers to choose from, I tend to prefer Moultrie trail cams.

Find Out Where Deer Are Bedding And Locate The Entrance / Exit Trail

Deer bed down in areas containing thick brush and cover in order to remain concealed from predators. It can be very difficult to take a deer in such terrain so your best bet is to find the path that they are using to enter and exit the bedding area. Once located, place a trail camera nearby in order to determine when deer are moving in and out of their beds.

Discover Deer Food Plots And Identify Feeding Patterns

Deer prefer to feed on corn, clover, acorns, and apples.  If you can find a food plot large enough to sustain several deer well into the fall then you should consider setting up one of your trail cameras in order to determine what time of day the deer are feeding. An active food plot will contain deer tracks and scat, and is usually be located within a couple of hundred hards of their bedding area.

Set Your Stand In The Summer And Clear Your Firing Lanes

Summertime is ideal for setting up your tree stand and pruning any branches that might be obstructing your firing lanes. Deer are highly sensitive to human scent and have a keen awareness of changes to their habitat. By setting up your tree stand in the summertime, and clearing branches as needed, you allow for plenty of time for your scent to be washed away and for the deer to become acclimated to the changes to their habitat before the deer hunting season begins in the fall.

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