Any serious deer hunter understands that the season actually lasts 365 days a year. Yes, you read that right. Deer season is truly year round. Although you may not be able to shoot, and land a big buck year round, there are countless of things that must happen in each off-season in order to ensure success for the next season. Truly, at HuntWise we believe that the fun isn’t just in landing a monster 10 point, but more-so the whole process that leads up to it that makes it so rewarding.
We have developed a simple “to-do” list for any serious deer hunter to accomplish during the off-season. If you want to be successful, you must put in the work.
Cut Shooting Lanes
The off-season is the most perfect time to cut shooting lanes for your stands. Trees aren’t fully budded in most areas, deer are not pressured, and you can even sit in your stand and make a ruckus without any worries. Therefore, start cutting your shooting lanes now when the trees are more bare, so you will not cut off too much coverage and also leave yourself a good amount of room.
Manage Your Stands
Treestands are a task that never truly ends for us hunters. With finding new spots, adjusting where they are at on the tree, or buying new ones, the process is cumbersome and it usually takes a good chunk of time to find the perfect spot. Therefore, you might as well manage your treestands during the off-season when you are not as worried about pressuring or scaring-off the deer. Granted, not all of your treestand management can be done during the of season, however, you can plan for it and be more prepared.
Scout, Scout, Scout
We cannot express enough how important it is to scout your land and understand your area. Get out and walk the property that you are planning to hunt, you will learn a lot by just simply being outside, observing.
Map Significant Markings Such as Trails, Bedding Areas, Food Sources, Etc.
Just like we stated with scouting, it is important to learn your land and understand the area you hunt. And there is not a more perfect time to explore the land you hunt than the off season. This is a great time to show you how deer use a property, by showing you scrapes, bedding areas, etc. Therefore, mark these areas on the HuntWise app with our specialized markers and take note of what condition they are currently in. This will help you better hunt your land during season if you already know where the deer are residing.
Survey Your Trail Cameras
Trail cameras are going to be your most accurate way of understanding deer activity. It is important to have several trail cameras at several locations throughout the land you hunt. This will help ensure that you are aware of both high traffic and high pressures areas. It will also help you manage the health of the deer running through your area by allowing you to place food plots properly.
Prepare For Spring Food Plots
Speaking of food plots, it is important that you prepare ahead of time. The off-season is the perfect time to purchase of all the necessary equipment, fertilizers, and seeds for the food plot you desire to have.
Go Hunting… Shed Hunting
We have previously spoke about shed hunting and expressed how it can vastly help any hunter. Well, the off-season is the perfect time for that. Shed hunting helps direct you to where that deer likes to spend it’s time post-season. Check out our blog regarding 9 tips and places to shed hunt to read more on this topics.
Practice Your Shooting Skills Often
Practice makes perfect, they say. And that is the best thing you can do to elevate your hunting game. Yes, all of the preparation and scouting makes a huge difference, but, if your shot is off everytime, then there is nothing more to do than to just keep practicing. Try to shoot several good arrows a day, as bow hunting requires a lot of muscle memory.
Go Coyote Hunting
Or really any hunting for that matter. We say Coyote hunting due to the fact that they are predators to our beloved whitetails, however, any hunting is going to help your shooting game. Turkey, rabbit, elk, you name it. Keep your hunting skills in tune with your off-season preparation and you are sure to see success.
Although there are so many other tactics a hunter can do in order to prepare for the upcoming season, these are a few that we find valuable at HuntWise. Remember to mark all important areas on your HuntWise map, and log areas that you feel are worth noting. Good luck hunters, and shoot straight.