Let’s Talk Deer Season Prep Now
Dr. John Woods 08.02.18
For the majority of serious deer hunters, it is never too early to talk about deer hunting. Though it may seem too early to get ready for the coming fall season with time flying as it does, now is the perfect time. So, when to start?
If you already own your hunting property or have a lease from last season, then you should have a good feel for the landscape of where you hunt. Maybe a good place to begin for this year is a summary examination of what happened last year. Which areas were productive? What stands produced the most sightings, or harvests? How did the food plots work out? What work projects are needed for moving stands, repairs, replacements, or other hunting related improvements? Clear trails, shooting lanes, trim tree limbs and do other habitat work.
Take a look back at the harvest records you should have recorded. If you have been too lazy to do that, start this year. How many bucks and does were taken? How did the herd health look? Any blue tongue or hemorrhagic fever or the dreaded CWD. Check your state wildlife agency web site for current updates on all issues related to deer and hunting, especially if any new regulations were passed, seasons changed or other information posted.
Make a plan for the plot work you want to do. Do you have plots that need mowing now in prep for disking or plowing later on? What about an application of herbicide to burn down the weeds? This should be done now when it is hot and dry for best results.
Lay out your plot planting plans. Start shopping for early buys on seeds and fertilizer. Check various outlets including farm co-op suppliers, and other resources. If you should be doing soil sampling, then get that job done right away. This will tell you any soil needs, fertilizer rates, and if lime is needed.
Next, start thinking about putting out trail cameras, when and where. Some hunters here always have some cameras out or are putting them out now. The sooner you can collect information on your deer herd, the more knowledgeable you will be about how to hunt them.
Deer season prep work cannot start too soon. After you get ahead of deer property preparation, then you can concentrate on personal gear, ATV maintenance, and other equipment. And don’t postpone shooting your bow or readying your hunting guns and gear.