Whitetail Deer Hunters Have No Off-Season When It Comes To Planning

For us serious whitetail fanatics, there is no off-season. We think about whitetails 365 days a year and for the worst of us, we don’t even think about fishing or turkeys. For us, its whitetails and nothing but whitetails. We have just ended our spring scouting and shed antler season and it is still several weeks from when we will be putting out trail cameras and watching soybean fields for velvet antlered bucks.

Soooo … what do we do with our time now?

By Don Higgins

Personally, I like to use the spring for getting my treestands ready for autumn. The last thing I want to do is slip into the woods in September and bump a buck I hope to tag later.

Higgins shot this great buck from a stand he hung in spring, giving the woods time to really settle down before he returned months later.

Higgins shot this great buck from a stand he hung in spring, giving the woods time to really settle down before he returned months later.

Instead, I prefer to do my treestand work now and give the woods the rest of the summer to recover from my intrusion.

Using my findings from post-season scouting missions as well as last season’s experiences, I know where I need to hang new stands and what I need to do to fine-tune others.

I don’t go into the spring woods with a stand on my back looking for a good tree to hang it. I already know the exact tree I am going to use. I go in with all the gear I will possibly need and just do whatever it takes to get things set for fall.

The benefits of hanging stands in the spring are many. I like the fact that I can often drive a truck or ATV right to the tree with everything I need right there at my disposal. I get my stand in place and then clear shooting lanes, even using a chainsaw if need be.

When I slip away I know the stage has been set for me to kill a mature buck and the next time I return will be the day I hunt the stand.

When it comes to tagging mature bucks, the element of surprise is one of our most important tools. If you haven’t been to that location for months, a buck has no reason to suspect you could be there.

Don Higgins has gained a respected reputation for his knowledge about hunting mature whitetail bucks and for his work in creating quality whitetail habitat. His weekly blog posts, Real World Whitetail Management with Don Higgins, will appear each Wednesday. Higgins can be reached through his website: www.higginsoutdoors.com

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