Editor’s Note: Hunters can use much of the equipment they have at their homes to make hunting deer easier, including leaf blowers, shovels, backpacks, trail cameras, rakes, ATVs and flagging tape to name some. They also need to be aware of finding and taking big deer on small lands near their homes.
Trail cameras have become one of the bowhunter’s best friends to see where deer are moving at day and night, determine the antler sizes of the bucks and learn how many and what types of deer are moving by the cameras. You can decide bucks you want to harvest. But you may have trouble finding a tree that’s big enough or straight enough to hold a tree stand and a hunter that’s within a reasonable distance for your shooting ability to take the buck you want to harvest with your bow. However, with a lawnmower and a weed eater, like Jamie Jensen (See Day 1), you can cut a trail coming from where you enter the woods to the tree where you’ve hung your stand, walk in quietly and get into your stand quickly and silently.
Deer, much like some people I know, always want to take the easiest route from where they are to where they want to go. They prefer not to duck their heads to get under limbs and brush, don’t want their antlers clicking against tree limbs and do want to walk with their heads up to see, smell and hear better. If you brush in the trails the deer are accustomed to walking down with limbs and sticks piled several feet high, the deer will take the trail of least resistance, rather than walking the old trail they’ve used in the past.
Hunting Aids for Deer Hunters:
* ScoutLook App – http://www.scoutlookweather.com – I discovered this product while interviewing Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak.com) Pro Staff members and TV show personalities. Although there are many useful features of this app, one of the most-important features for you as a deer hunter is you can use the ScoutLook app by turning on the GPS in your Smart Phone, marking each one of your stand sites as a waypoint and each of your trail cameras as a waypoint, and writing down the wind direction to hunt from that stand or to approach that trail camera. The ScoutLook App will tell you which way the wind is blowing before you leave camp and at each one of your stand sites, even notifying you of hourly changes in wind direction. It also has many-more useful features that will help you not spook the bucks you’re trying to take. I strongly recommend that you go to the website and check-out this app. Learning to use this app will play a major role in your success this season when hunting big bucks on small properties.
* www.mytopo.com – This site is a map service. You can order maps of any property in the United States where you want to hunt. One of the great new features that www.mytopo.com has started adding to its maps are boundary lines on all the properties on the map, as well as the landowners’ names. Using several different maps, you often can find small overlooked lands to hunt that you may be able to obtain permission to hunt for free or to lease at a reasonable price. The website www.mytopo.com has topographical maps and also aerial photos of properties with boundary lines and the property owner’s name. Once you choose the maps most important to you, www.mytopo.com will make these maps for you and laminate them so you can carry them with you. More and more hunters scouting by using these maps discover small places they can hunt for deer.
* Two other products that I’ve been extremely successful using are C’Mere Deer Lure (www.cmeredeer.com) and Tink’s Salad Dressin’ (www.tinks.com). This product can be sprayed on bushes, trees and any type of low vegetation. Deer are attracted to Salad Dressin’ and will eat the vegetation. In the states that allow baiting, you can use this product during deer season. However, one of the most-effective uses of this product is right after deer season to see how-many bucks have survived hunting season. So, you can learn which bucks you may have an opportunity to take once deer season opens in your state.
Another product that I’ve used very successfully is C’Mere Deer that offers a wide variety of deer lure products. For years I had heard Hank Parker (the owner of C’Mere Deer) tell folks that this product lured-in big bucks. I never really understood how a deer lure could entice mature bucks. However, when I put out C’Mere Deer as well as sweet feed and corn, the bucks came into the field and went directly to the C’Mere and not the other products. I watched a 4-point buck feed on the C’Mere Deer. When an 8-point buck came into the field, he ran the 4-point off the C’Mere Deer. When a 10-point buck came in, he went straight to the C’Mere Deer and ran off the 8-point. When a 15-point monster buck came into the field, he moved the 10-point off the C’Mere Deer and fed on it with his legs spread, and his hair bristled-up. He wouldn’t let any deer close to the C’Mere Deer.
So, I’ve learned that once C’Mere Deer is put out and maintained, often, the dominant buck on that property will choose to feed on the C’Mere Deer and keep the other bucks away from it. Now I can’t prove that this phenomenon occurs on every property you hunt. I’m just telling you what I saw, on the day I tested three different products.
If you live in a state where you can’t bait deer, I strongly recommend that you use deer lure after the season in conjunction with your trail cameras to see which bucks have survived hunting season. Also, use deer lure and your trail cameras in the summer and early fall before deer season to pick out the bucks you want to put on your hit list for the upcoming season.
* Trail Cameras – From my research, I’ve learned that trail cameras are essential for finding big bucks on small properties before, during and after hunting season. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of trail cameras on the market today. Trail cameras reduce the number of hours you have to spend scouting. They tell you if there are big bucks on the property you want to hunt and also when and where these bucks are moving during daylight hours.
The two trail cameras I use the most are the Bushnell trail cameras www.bushnell.com/hunting/trail-cameras, and the Moultrie trail cameras www.moultriefeeders.com/products/cameras/game-cameras. I’ve let my son use my cameras, before I start my serious scouting. He puts these the trail cameras out on a wooded lot right behind his house in suburbia. He’s discovered he has four nice bucks using a little wooded corridor that runs through the subdivision. The trail cameras there also have photographed foxes, coons, possums and a wide variety of other wildlife that my grandchildren have enjoyed seeing. With such a wide variety of trail cameras on the market today, study the trail-camera market, and pick the trail camera that suits your hunting needs the best.
To learn more about hunting deer on your land, go to John E. Phillips’s book, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close with Bows, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A2A6ZG6#.
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