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Summer Scouting for Whitetail
Summer Scouting for Whitetail

Hunting the whitetail deer isn’t solely a hunting season even, deer are animals of habit and react to different stressors which can make them nocturnal. Spending time in the woods is critical to land a big buck on your tailgate. There are several ways to accomplish summer scouting efforts that will not effect the deer.

Utilizing a trail camera is the best way to efficiently scout every day without contaminating the woods with loads of human scent. When using a trail camera, place over feed or a mineral station to gather vital information about herd numbers as well as potential shooter bucks. Speaking of feed and minerals, does and bucks alike need high quality nourishment during the summer months to not only promote antler growth but to provide milk that helps development of young fawns. A bucks antlers are composed of 50% minerals and 50% protein along with other micro elements such as calcium. So with this method you’re reducing human scent, and promoting a healthy deer heard.

Glassing is on the same level as using a trail camera except there is virtually no human scent in the woods except for placing minerals. Glassing is an outstanding way to learn deer behavior during different times of the year. We all know, that during the summer, bucks will be in bachelor groups until about the time they lose their velvet. This is very helpful later in the summer when deciding which buck to harvest because you can see size difference of the group and can generally tell the age based on body size, swayed back, Roman nose, as well as a large brisket. Generally a younger buck will have a slender elongated nose, small belly, and will lack the overall body size of a mature buck.

As tradition would have it, walking the woods is yet another effective scouting tool which can provide knowledge of their travel patterns, bedding areas, and staffing areas. While walking, look for different signs such as scat, trail intersections, food source, and water source. Typically during the early season deer will feed in roe crop areas simply because of the high amounts of protein. They will continue this until acorns, persimmons and other natural vegetation began to drop or flourish. Always note areas loaded with any of these, especially acorns and persimmons.

Deer hunting can be very challenging depending on the state you’re hunting in. Taking the time to scout during the summer will only increase your odds when the season rolls around. Keep in mind that deer need  a nutritious diet to stay healthy, and produce antlers. Scouting is the ultimate tool in your success as a hunter, whether it’s hunting deer, ducks, elk, or any other species.

Ben Cole

Fripp Contributor

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