Deer season is over, with maybe the exception of a late urban hunt somewhere, and most hunters I know are either thinking about turkeys, fishing, their kids’ spring sports or they’re making plans for work at camp.
Ah, the work never ends. Right? Well, it doesn’t. Or, it shouldn’t. Let your yard go for three weeks before mowing it and you’ll have a hell of a day cutting, trimming and cleaning. Same for your deer camp. Unless you can’t get there or a lease prohibits it, why close the gate and not go back for months?
Most hunters I know enjoy the dirt therapy anyway. They like going to camp, seeing what’s happening, maybe pitching a tent or just rumbling around. Heck, a day doesn’t have to have a specific purpose. Remember when you were a kid and could spend the afternoon flipping rocks in the creek, shooting a BB gun and just enjoying being outdoors? Go do that again.
If your schedule allows and you want to get some things accomplished, though, do these deer hunting tips to give you a leg up on the upcoming season:
One of the best and easiest ways for you to figure out what kind of fertilizer and how much for your plots, if you have that budgeted in and are doing plots or fruit orchards.
Even if you’re just wanting to fertilize and improve native vegetation, a soil test is a great way to get better results. That giant stand of honeysuckle could use a shot of something. Find out what would be the best thing, via a soil test, and then see what happens.
Experts Say Soil Testing is Incredibly Critical: Click Here Now
Get a 5-gallon bucket, a small spade, some gallon-sized resealable bags, and a Sharpie. Dig into the soil at least six inches to get a representative amount, and do this in checkerboard fashion all over the plot. Pick out leaf debris or twigs, put each spade of dirt into the bucket, and then when you’re done digging mix it all together well. Put a couple of handfuls in the gallon bag, write which plot it came from — Johnson’s SwampBuck Plot — and then send it to your agricultural extension service, state agency or desired soil testing facility.
Well, hey … not every day at camp should be work so enjoy some fun time rumbling around and hunting for shed antlers
You can spend a day or weekend just moseying along, checking areas where you saw some bucks last season, and maybe learning a few things about your property. Find out more about shed hunting here in this fantastic guide packed with great information.
Once you get the hang of finding sheds, it’ll start to become easier. How? It’s sort of like the first time you went hunting and didn’t know what to look for until a deer or three stepped out. Then it clicked. Finding sheds is similar.
With Sheds, Does Size Matter? Click Here Now
HANG GAME CAMERAS
Game cameras aren’t just for right before the season, of course.
Hanging game cameras in spring and summer can give you ideas about bucks you perhaps let walk or didn’t see during the season, anything new, predators, turkey and population numbers. Everyone has different ideas about cameras, too, so we can all learn something by listening to fellow hunters.
You Need More Than One Camera for Effective Surveys, Information: Click Here Now
Be sure to make notes on your calendar about when you hang them, sightings, if you change batteries, etc. A good mineral lick or use of bait (where legal) is a great way to conduct camera surveys for management.
Before heading out, make sure you have new batteries, enough SD cards, hanging straps or cords, and any pruners or loppers to trim branches for a better view by the camera.
DIAL IN YOUR BOW, SCOPES
I’ve been shooting a PSE EVO for the last two years and enjoy it, but my new PSE DNA SP arrived a couple of weeks ago so it’s time to get to work.
First, of course is going over the bow just to give it a good look-see. It’s virtually identical to my previous PSE but I still like to check everything. You never know what might have occurred during shipping. It’s always good to check the strings, limbs and everything else.
Get a Target, Practice a Lot This Summer: Click Here Now
Dialing in the sight, adjusting pins and getting everything set for spring-summer shooting practice and hog hunting is a must. Ditto with your bow. Did anything go wrong this season? Have you changed any equipment? If you have a new sight, release, arrows, broadheads or anything else, of course it makes sense to zero and practice now.
Learn More About What Your Shot Does to a Deer: Click Here Now
Same for your crossbow, and for your guns. If you’re trying a new ammo load, have a new scope, maybe want to tinker with a muzzleloader setup or whatever, hit the range. Don’t wait until just before the season. Get some good targets, take the kids if they’re interested, and go have fun.
DO SOME OF THE GRUNT WORK
A couple of weeks ago I went to one of the tracts I hunt for a little afternoon squirrel hunting and tree trimming, the latter of which was a success.
Stopping at a dollar store, I picked up a pair of hedge clippers and some limb loppers for the whopping sum of about $13. They worked fine, but I figured if I got several days of use before they broke or something then it was worth the low price.
I spent a couple of hours slowly walking and trimming tree limbs, small saplings and leg-snatching brush from trails. I clipped anything that I thought could make a noise, brush up against my head or shoulder, or grab a pant leg while I’m walking. I opened one trail, between two box blinds, that had become over grown.
In the process, I found several rubs and scrapes. Bonus for me. Because it’s so early in the year, this cleanup outing and my next one or two shouldn’t have any effect on the deer by the time the season arrives.
Move stands, trim trails, clean up some areas, do some burning if fire is part of your management plan and then relax during the hotter summer months. After all, the season just just six months or so away from arriving.
Get Started With Your Food Plots Now: Click Here