Post Season Scouting Is In Full Swing

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Even though the blog has been relatively slow for the past month or so, we have still been busy putting time in the woods getting ready for the 2011 season, which is only 8 months away (but who's counting)!  There are many different post season scouting techniques that we do each year to better prepare ourselves for the upcoming season.

This year, our post season scouting has never been more important.  We have two new properties that we acquired permission on right before the season opened last September.  From the scouting that we were able to accomplish from the tree stand and running cameras, we believe both of these properties have the potential to be absolutely amazing with a little QDM.  January through March is the perfect time to give us addtional insight on the quality and quantity of deer that are present on each of the properties.

The first post season technique that we do is to start our winter camera surveys.  We started prebaiting camera sites the week after season closed so that we could increase our chances of not getting any shed bucks in the survey.  We just pulled the last cards this past weekend and will have another blog post in the coming weeks detailing out the results of the survey.  But as a teaser, potentially four new bucks will be added to the hit list for 2011, including "Stag".

In addition to running camera surveys, we also shed hunt, which may be my favorite time of the season.  I'm not sure which I enjoy more.....killing a 150 inch buck or find his matched set laying side by side in his bed.  There are many different "tricks of the trade" when it comes to shed hunting, but honestly, it's more luck than anything!  The one piece of advice I give to anyone that asks is to walk, walk some more, and when you think you've covered the entire property, walk it again in the opposite direction.  Unfortunately our stomping grounds are currently covered in 12"+ of white powder.  Hopefully the predicted thaw this weekend will come as planned and we will begin picking up sheds off of potential targets for next season.  But during our final card pull to our camera surveys, I stumbled across a "freshie" that was laying in a deep trail not 20 yards from the camera......oh, if all sheds were this easy!

But this shed is actually off of a new buck that just showed up during our camera survey.  We hope to get a few more pictures of him prior to season, but right now he sure looks like a big, mature DINK! 

When we are fortunate enough to have a white winter, which we currently fighting this season, we also pay close attention to trails, intersections, feeding patterns, creek crossings, fence crossings, etc.  During the bitter cold months, the deer have herded back up and focus their travel patterns between bedding and feeding areas.  And with the help of snow on the ground, the sign is much more concentrated and you can find those primary travel corridors.  But don't just keep your eyes on the ground!  Keep an eye up towards the canopy and look for those perfect trees located in your concentrated areas.  We carry surveying flagging with us while shed hunting to mark trees that we want to take another look at in the summer.  Summer scouting is that much easier when you all ready have an idea of where primary travel corridors are located.

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