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Pre-Season Scouting

It’s almost July and time to start thinking about scouting for the whitetail season on your South Carolina hunting land!  By late summer, you’ll want to have a good idea of where the deer are spending time on your property.  Food sources are a great place to begin looking.  If you planted food plots this spring, you probably have a good herd out there now.  Whitetail deer will be filling up on your clover, nutritious grasses, grains and berries.

When you first start scouting, don’t get discouraged if you’re seeing mainly does and fawns in your food plots.  Many times bucks won’t use the same food sources as does and will remain closer to their bedding areas.  However, they will usually be nearby.  Even if bucks are using the same food sources as the does and fawns, they’ll usually use them at different times of the day, either later or earlier.

Particularly if you don’t have cameras set out on your hunting land, you might want to invest in a good pair of binoculars and drive or walk around and check out meadows and agricultural crops where you might spot the bucks.  If you don’t see them in the morning, try again during the day and again in the evening.  It’s an excellent idea to get their earlier than the bucks do so you can actually see where they came from.  If you stay until they leave, you’ll be able to see where they go to next.  Bucks don’t travel very long distances during this time of the year, so their bedding area is most likely very close by.

If you have time, find your buck at his early morning food source and stay until he leaves.  In the morning, deer usually work their way slowly out of the open areas into the woods where they will feed and bed throughout the day.  If you can watch the route they take back to their bedding area, you can put up your deer stand along this exact route during hunting season and greatly improve your chances of tagging him.