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Start Now Planning for Deer Season

It is never too early to start planning for the coming deer season. Never. By beginning your planning now, you can get a head start on many projects that will need attention as the spring gets going and the summer approaches.

Cutting shooting lanes, moving stands, building stands all need attention. So too does mowing, plowing and many other activities. Scouting, all are important elements of off season planning. The lull between seasons can weigh heavy on dedicated whitetail deer hunters. Many I know sit every weekend just looking outside waiting for September when they can get back into the woods. However for the true dedicated, the season really never ends, it just moves into a new phase.

Late winter and early spring are some of the best times for scouting. Before green up, the woods are transparent and it is much easier to navigate. Finding rubs you missed during season when you hesitated to move about freely. Scrapes that haven’t covered yet. Bedding areas, all are important data to include in your planning for next season.

More than anything else during this time of year, is when I personally like to begin some of the heavy thinning of shooting lanes. It is also a great time to move stands. If you’ve hunted an area for a while and see deer in a new area, now is a great time to move the stand to get it in a new location and to allow the deer time to get accustomed to its presence. All of my hang on stands need to be removed and stored away, ladder stands need to me moved or secured. Often, I will loosen the straps to allow for tree growth during the year.

If you are planning on building or installing elevated blinds, the earlier the better. Getting these into locations that deer can get accustomed to will benefit you when the season rolls around.

Another advantage of getting a lot of this work done now, is that you beat the sweltering heat of the summer. By getting these things done now you eliminate other projects that you have to do in the summer.

For the food plot planters, if you need to top sow your clover, or break new ground, now is a great time to get the ground ready. I know for several years, I have used February and March to open new areas to food plots and used this time to break new ground, remove trees that would shade the new plot and begin to prepare the ground to get planted in a few months.

Soil samples should be gathered now to get the results back in time to get the supplies for planting time. Those planting summer plots will be getting things ready soon. Spraying, burning, and mowing are all things that can be done now to get things ready.

Our little piece of heaven is not very large but we like to maintain it as well as we can. We mow before turkey season all of the old timber cut lanes, we also mow all fields and roadways to get rid of unwanted grasses, sweetgum trees and other undesirable vegetation. By mowing it before it begins to sprout leaves, it allows us to get control and enables us to get a better spray application on the unwanted vegetation when they do leaf out.

There is a lot to do during the off season that makes the season so much more enjoyable. The fun of working your land and producing bragging sized bucks is a very worthwhile endeavor. One that will fill your weekends for months to come.