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Scouting Deer in the Spring

This may come as a surprise, but the easiest time to scout for bucks is in the spring. Rubs and scrapes will still be easy to see this time of year. Often times their trails will be the first thing to green up, as the nitrogen they leave behind provides for new growth. The first step to harvesting a good buck is to identify his travel routes. Doing this research in the spring, before the foliage turns green, will make it easier to pattern bucks in the fall.

Track size and spread is often an indicator of age. Generally older deer, particularly bucks, lay a deeper track in the ground. If you think you’re on a possible buck’s trail, check for large tracks, drag marks and nearby rubs. Many times a buck will intercept does near scrapes and bedding areas. These are prime staging areas for him, and you.

If you want to document the deer you have living on your land, use a Reconyx High Output Covert IR camera on trails heading from the food sources to known bedding areas. The truly covert infrared flash of the Covert IR model will not spook animals. If you do find a buck’s bedding area, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the buck’s rub line. Likewise, a continuous rub line in thick or grassy cover often points to a buck’s bedroom. Try not to disturb these sanctuaries and be considerate of the wind when you are close to bedding areas. The only time you should enter a defined sanctuary is to recover a deer. Some folks make an exception to this rule for shed hunting.

You can use a Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR camera in monitoring situations where a slight red glow is acceptable such as mineral stations or food plots.