Summer is almost here, and with it comes long, hot days, outdoor cookouts, and hopefully, spending time with friends and family. While deer hunting may be the last thing on your mind, summer is actually the perfect time to start your prep work for the coming fall deer hunting season. Early preparation will help ensure success in the woods, and bring you closer to dropping that big buck!
We searched the web and found some of the best tips available to help you prepare for hunting season in the summer.
1. Site in Your Bow or Rifle
“If you wait until the week before the season to sight in your gun or bow, you’ll likely have to wait in line at the shooting range. But if you’re serious about making a good, clean shot (and we should all be serious about that) then you need to spend plenty of time tuning your bow or rifle before then.
Photo Courtesy North American Whitetail
The long summer days are perfect for getting your weapon in working order, and you want to have plenty of practice time in when you hit the woods. Starting early gives you a chance to find the right load or broadhead/arrow combination, and the range will probably be less crowded.” – Brad Fitzpatrick, North American Whitetail
“Yard sales aren’t typically thought of as a place to find deer hunting accessories. The two just don’t seem to fit. However, a smart hunter realizes summer is the best time to come across expensive hunting gear at a fraction of the cost. Weekend hunters don’t think of hunting in the summer. When the weather is hot and the sun is bright, these hunters and their wives only see camouflage clutter taking up space in the garage or closet.
Often, camo clothes or hunting gear fall victim to yard sale mania or retail discounts, and ends up selling for cheap. It’s up to a prep savvy hunter to take the time to go looking for these bargains in the offseason. True hunters know it’s all about getting the right gear at the right price. To an average bargain hunter, a thermal parka and insulated boots may not seem like a good buy in the heat of the summer. To a hunter who is thinking of that opening morning set up, it is the perfect buy.” – Eric Pickhartz, Wide Open Spaces
3. Set Up Your Trail Cameras
“Set up trail cameras on strong, healthy trees about 10 to 15 feet from the deer path. Place the cameras near food plots, feeders or anywhere where deer are likely to pass by. Conceal cameras enough to keep them from spooking game. Ideally, you’ll have one camera for every 50 to 100 acres of land. Try to create and monitor a list of potential targets for the season.” – Pro Tips, Dick’s Sporting Goods
4. Create Buck Structure
“Want to create a deer magnet in the middle of an otherwise unbroken forest? Get together with a few friends one weekend, grab your chainsaws, and go in and clear out an open area in the middle of the woods. It doesn’t have to be big—40 to 60 yards wide and maybe a little longer. By doing this, you will not only create an immediate bedding area with the felled trees, but whitetails will feed on the now accessible leaves. Sunlight will also reach the ground in this spot, spawning new growth each summer and providing natural browse in a mature stand of timber otherwise devoid of it. Naturally, if you don’t own the land, be sure you get the landowner’s permission because those trees could equal money to them.
This new cover provides a great spot for bucks to lie during the rut and keep tabs on does as they pass through the area. Hang a stand nearby, and you’ll be set come this November.” – Doug Howlett, Petersens Hunting
5. Food Plots & Throw and Grow
“If you are considering a food plot or even a throw and grow planting, don’t wait any longer. Now is the time to plant everything from clover to chicory. Check the ideal time to plant your chosen food source for optimal growing but as soon as the time is right, get planting. The idea is to give the crop enough time to germinate and let the deer find it and become accustomed to frequenting it. Also consider what the purpose of the food source is. Do you want to provide late-season nutrition for your deer? Is it going to be a early season hotspot that you want to hunt this fall? Answering these questions will allow you to customize what you are planting to fit either when you want to hunt it or when it will be most beneficial to your deer herd.” – Zippo Outdoor