SCOUTING FOR DEER 2013
In my, quite possibly, skewed take on things; the time to start scouting for deer for the next season is the morning after the prior season ends. You might be thinking that’s kinda early; after all, the season is many months away and everything will be different then.
So what is to learn by scouting 8 or 9 months before the next season kicks off?
Mainly, I want to know one thing. That is, what mature bucks are still hanging around? In my case I want to know if the big 9-point from 2012 is still in the mix. And, also, what other mature or interesting bucks are around?
So, how can you scout now and learn something?
The age old scouting method of spending time in the deer woods walking and looking for sign of deer activity — as well as for deer — is the best way, period. Bar none. The problem with that is the amount of time most everyone have to get into the woods and scout seems to be somewhere between very little … and none.
A more modern scouting technique is to put out game cameras. In 1996 when I started Bowhunting.net the only person in my circle of friends and acquaintances that regularly used game cameras was me. The cameras back then were expensive to buy as well as use, because they all used film and developing that film racked up the dollars.
Scouting cameras are more in use now because they are better and much less expensive these days. Because the pictures are digital now you can see them on your phone, home computer, laptop or tablet. After you buy the SD Card to put in your game camera you don’t have to spend any more money, it’s almost like the pics are free. The hold back with using them now is many people don’t have the opportunity.
Since I live in my hunting area I do have the opportunity. Yesterday I picked up one of my Spypoint game cameras and learned something good … in terms of what mature bucks are around. As I scrolled through my latest pictures I stopped when this picture popped up.
The buck is about 30 yards from the camera and I first thought the deer behind it was a doe . But as you see below, it is a buck with his first year’s antlers.
The mature buck on the right is an 8-pointer, which is what the big majority of the bucks around here are. It’s brow tines are dinky but it looks to me like they’ve been broken off. Another reason for thinking that is the bucks in this area is area historically have nice longish brow tines.
In the next pic he looks to his left at something and we can see his tines better. They’re not super long but they are definitely nice. His body is blocky up front but his neck if getting smaller as is expected after the rut is over.
He strikes one more pose before disappearing from our view. In the picture below I noticed, with interest, that his right ear has a cut in it. I’m remembering this because that will help me identify him if he walks by one of my cameras, the game type or otherwise, later on.
The 2013 deerhunt is in progress. Hang out with me as the months go by and we’ll see what’s in the mix for this year’s deer hunting.
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