Where The Deer went?You worked throughout the spring and summer to keep your feeders filled, build new deer stands or fix old ones, plant food plots and plan your first fall hunting strategies. Each time you checked your feeders, food plots, or game trails, new deer signs, fresh tracks, rubs, scrapes and other signs encouraged you to continue using the area. Yet, now that the archery or early opening day of the gun season is here, you don’t see the deer you were hoping to see and now you might ask yourself, “Where are the deer?”And,” what was wrong with me?”When this happens, and believe me that happens to all of us, there are a number of factors to remember. click here now Let’s think about a few. First, most of us study spring and summer deer movements and focus on attracting deer into our areas using a variety of tactics including feeders, food plots, salt licks and other game picking strategies. While these are all effective tactics, many of us overlook the deer do need a good water supply. By late summer and early fall, water sources can “dry up” leaving few places for deer and other wildlife to get that life sustaining fluid. If your hunting area that has shown good promise all summer long suddenly stops showing deer activity and deer sighting are down, it may be that the deer are looking for a water source. Try to locate a creek bed, shallow pond or any other source of water, no matter how small you think this is the case. Chances are you’ll find fresh signs of deer when you find water. Even if a creek appears to be drying up, search for any remaining pools of water up and down the creek bed and look for signs of deer. Consider using a portable deer stand to set up at this location for early season success once you find the water and fresh deer sign.
Second, whatever the amount of corn and feed supplement around your feeder or how well your food plot has developed, deer, particularly mature bucks, prefer the woods ‘ natural forage and the edges of the fields. If your deer feeders and food parcels are not located near natural food sources, you may be waiting before natural food sources run low until deer is more actively seeking your feeders and food parcels. If your man-made food sources do not draw in deer and other wildlife, this may be due to the attention given to natural food sources such as acorns or other mast crops and your stand is not in the path of the natural sources. The option is either to wait for the depletion of natural food outlets and deer to return to your feeders and food plots, or you the farmer will have to become versatile and use portable stands to follow the natural food resources. With this in mind, if possible, you will also want to choose future permanent stand locations which are close to natural food sources. Another good strategy is to position your stands between natural sources of food, between sources of food and water or between sources of food or water and areas for deer bedding.
Human activity is another aspect that can raising deer access to your permanent stands, feeders, and food plots. It is important that your trips to stand locations are limited by the late summer, and that it is important to reduce the human scent left behind when you visit those locations. When you visit your stands and feeders just to search for the sign of fresh deer, delay. Trust your choice of stand location, fill your feeders and work the food plots as early as possible so that your present is no longer needed long before the season opens and it’s time to hunt. Repeated trips will inevitably leave human scent behind and will prevent deer from visiting. Your best chances of a successful deer hunting stand are the ones you the hunter has visited less. If you are visiting your stand before your hunts in the early season, take care to use materials and techniques for consistency fragrance removal. Before and after hunting season it is a good idea to use different routes to and from your hunting areas. The point is that you don’t want a human scent trail caused by repeated visits to your stands. Changes to the surroundings near your hunting area can also play a part in changing the frequency that deer visits a stand. Such considerations may include tree cutting, land plowing, construction or other hunter creating a new location near your current one. We have two deer hunting stands, for example, which are close to a paper company property line. The paper company decided to cut timber on the adjacent land roughly a month before the deer season. These stands always showed good sign of deer before the timber started to fall. Once timber harvesting began, the deer traffic to these stands was greatly reduced even though it was only 100 yards away. We also learned in this case that the logging would stop just before the gun deer season opened. So we opted to leave the stands in place and hunt other stands until the deer returns to the area.