Photo: Greg Miller – The Hunt

A great hunting season is created behind the scenes. The real work begins in the spring when deer are growing and establishing their trends. Keep up your property during the off season with an abundance of food and shelter and you’ll find yourself with plenty of deer in the fall.

Check on your Equipment

Keep up on your trail cameras. This means both checking the trail cameras for physical damage and making sure that the SD cards are not full. You don’t want to run the risk of missing footage of the biggest deer of the season because the card in your camera is full.

Check any Banks blinds you’ve left on the property for damage. Catching the damage done to your equipment early in the season gives you time to repair or replace the equipment before the new season starts. You don’t want to wait and find out on the first day of hunting season that your treestands and blinds are unusable. Banks blinds are incredible durable, so you shouldn’t see much damage, but it is always better to check. If anchored properly, these stands will hold up to heavy winds. If you use elevated blinds that lift off the ground, check the growth of the foliage under the blind. Brush is great to help conceal your blind, but you also need to make sure you have access to the blind and have a clear shooting lane. Keep any disorderly growth in check as the plants continue to grow this summer.

Create Cover

Creating cover on your property will make deer more likely to stay nearby. Deer are known to bed down near their food and water sources, so if your property can provide them with both, you’ll have residents on your property all year. Give them an area on the edge of your treeline or in other wooded areas of your property that they can make their own. It needs to be suitable cover for rain, so make sure it is thick enough to offer them proper shelter from the elements.

Food Plots

The optimal time to plant food plots varies between regions, but generally now through August is the best time to plant food plots.. You can use supplemental food sources, or plant natural foods that deer can’t get enough of. Planting beans like legumes will encourage deer to come to your property because these are the foods they seek out in the wild. The popularity of these foods means that the deer will be eager to eat; maybe too eager. If you plant too small of a plot, the deer will be sure to make quick work of the beans and demolish the crop before they’ve even had a chance to grow. Plant large plots and protect them with ropes or fencing until the crop is at full size. If the food is gone before the season even starts, the deer will have no reason to return. They need to see that the food source is substantial and sustainable.

Like we just discussed in the previous blog post, keeping up your mineral sites is important to herd growth. Spring is when fawns are growing rapidly and bucks are forming their antlers, so fawns, does, and bucks all need to keep up their nutrition.

Hunting season may open in the fall, but the true work begins in the spring. Keeping up your property in the off season is the first step to ensuring that your hunting season will be successful. If you follow proper maintenance, you’re property will be the prime hunting spot this fall.


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