Are you suffering from buck fever? Are you sitting around counting the days till opening day? Well I know I sure am and I’ve made the mistake before of sitting, waiting and doing nothing and it got me nowhere. The offseason is the time of the year to do the dirty work. I mean get in there and get some dirt under your finger nails and make sure your one hundred percent ready so when that opening day starts its all play and no work. Lets start with a few key elements in getting ready for the season.
First of all, check your stands. Trees are living organisms and some of them grow rapidly, which means those shooting lanes you had the year before are probably obstructed with new growth. The new growth is usually easily trimmed and if you don’t put in the time before you might miss that shot when your arrow hits a rouge branch. So get off you couch and check those money spots.
Second, make the deer come to you. I don’t mean bait piles or attractants I’m talking about making sure the deer come through your shooting lanes. Funneling deer is a tactic that not used by fair weather hunters and is hardly used by those hardcore hunters like you and I either but its deadly effective. I actually came across this newfound tactic by accident but it made the difference between going home empty and filling the freezer. The key to funneling deer is using your surrounding to your advantage. Dead trees can be used along with dense brush to create almost a pathway to your shooting lane. Don’t get me wrong this may sound funny but deer are animals as we are and they normally choose the easiest path of travel to there destination. So use dead logs and brush to create impassible escape routes on the way to your stand so that the deer have two choices when they come in either pass you or turn around. This also gives you the advantage of knowing where the deer can show up making your choice of stand easy when the wind is right.
The third thing I want to talk about is using food plots where possible. Food plots have become one of my favorite things to work on during the offseason. It brings the farmer out in a city boy like me and let me tell you its exciting to watch your food plot grow and attract more deer to your property. If used effectively, food plots make your deer population rise, and also give your deer herd better nutrition giving you bigger healthier deer, and who wouldn’t want that right? Even if you have a small patch of ground the size of year bedroom don’t be afraid to create a new food plot, the smallest food plots if placed in the right area can be even more attractive than a corn field so I challenge you to try to better your chances this season while growing your herd.
To wrap things up I want to talk about the three previous things and how you can tie them all together to create a “money spot” of your own. Tying all of these things together in the right way can make things a hell of a lot more enjoyable for you in the stand; so heres what you do. When you plant your food plot this year make a funnel on at least two sides of it. Place stands on the edges of the food plot where your funnels open, but be mindful of your predominant winds so that you have at least two wind directions per stand that the stand can be used. Cut branches only in your shooting lanes, if you cut too many branches away you compromise your cover so make sure your mindful of it. Using a tactic like this gives you an upper hand on those weekend hunters and might even bag you the buck of a lifetime. So get off the couch, get your hands dirty, and make this season the best one yet. Always remember the only good life is the Huntinglife!