Deer Hunting Intercept Points
Dr. John Woods 12.23.19
The hunting season is in full gear now around most of the country. For the past few seasons deer hunters have been reporting seeing fewer and fewer deer during the times they spend afield. There are a wide variety of reasons for that.
So, where exactly should deer hunters be looking to see deer and maximize their opportunities for collecting a doe for the freezer or a big bragging buck for the wall mount? The strategy first is to know your property figuratively like the back of your hand. Where are all the habitat features located and how are deer using them? Categorize them on a good aerial map so you can post the information as observational data is collected by trail camera or eyesight.
Locate prime natural feeding areas where high quality browse grows where you hunt. Pinpoint the wild berries, honeysuckle bushes, and any native fruit trees like persimmon, fallow orchards with apple or pear trees still producing fruit. Know where the big oaks are growing dropping a ton of acorns for the deer to munch on. These hot spots should be cataloged all across the entire hunting property.
Locate and record all the primary and secondary deer travel trails. These may be camp property roads or manmade trails, but know also heavily-used trails coming out of thickets, food plots, trails along water courses, and especially crossings. If you have flowing creeks, scout for muddy well-used pathways going up the sides of the banks into bedding or feeding areas. Note anywhere that looks like deer have traveled there leaving behind tracks going both ways.
Investigate active funnels that lead from one habitat structure to another like ones coming out of heavy timber passing into CRP, grassy overgrown fields or timber harvest cutovers. Deer will move along and browse on these land features, so they are excellent spots to post a stand, a stand-alone tripod, or a well-hidden ground blind.
Observation skills have to be finely honed. Deer will pop out of these intercept points as though evolving from a mist. Look once, nothing, again, there he stands. Can’t nap when hunting these movement junctures. Too, the confirmation time going for a shot is often minimal. Just be ready, on your constant guard. This is what makes intercept points such good vantage spots to hunt.