This is the third year that I have been bow hunting and this year I learned a very important lesson. The importance of scouting before hunting the area. The first year that I hunted was closer to the end of the season so I didn’t see anything. The second year I went out opening day and saw 17 does but couldn’t get close enough to make a shot. My range was not the greatest at the time. So I spent all summer extending my range. I got it to where my effective range is 50 yards. Meaning, my first shot of the day, no warm up, I can hit the vital area on a deer target from 50 yards.
So I thought I was all set to go opening day this years and boy was I wrong. The last two years areas B and C on the image were plowed corn fields so I thought it would be same this year. Unfortunately that was not the case this year. B was some kind of beans or peas, not sure which, and C the whole area was just weeds and tall grass. Up to my chest. C was the area that I was planning on hunting this year, with my new effective range I was sure I would finally be able to fill my tags.
So now all my so called “planning” is out the window. If I would have put in the work before the season I would have known about all this. I would have had time to find out where the deer are feeding this year because it isn’t the same as last year. I think the corn was their primary food source at the time. Now I am going in blind trying to find out where the deer are and it is not an easy task.
Now I see why it is so important to scout during the summer and into the fall before the season. But I have always neglected to do that being that I hunt on public land. I have always had the fear of putting out trail cameras because I don’t want them to get stolen. I planned on the food source staying the same.
Now that I know all this now, never year I will not make the same mistakes. I will be out scouting before the season. I’ll have to break down and get some cheaper trail cameras, cheap enough that I would be so concerned about them getting stolen. I also want to get a Garmin GPSMAPS 62s or 64s so that I can go deeper into the woods to set the trail cams and get away from the hunting pressure. Right know I don’t go to deep because I only have maps and a compass. Not to comfortable going in really deep with only this equipment. Especially hunting by myself.
So this year I am hoping that I will have better luck during the rut sense the early season is not playing out like I was hoping it would. From now on I will be putting in more work when it comes to hunting.