Tips & Tactics

Know the Lay of the Land

Know the Lay of the Land

By Ken Piper

How well you know your hunting property goes a long way toward increasing your success as a hunter.

Once you've hunted a property for several years in a row, you should start to see patterns in deer movement. If you pay attention, you'll soon realize that the local deer herd will behave almost the same from year to year.  Use that information to your advantage.

If you are bow hunting and it's early in the season, the deer will probably be where they were the previous year at that time (most likely hanging out near a summer food source). As the season goes on and crops are harvested (or green fields are planted), deer will shift their patterns to be closer to the new food.  Then as gun seasons come in, they'll become more shy and stick to the thicker cover.

If you know your property, you can stay one step ahead of the deer, or at least not get too far behind. If your sightings drop off, make the move to the place you finally found the deer in previous years during that time.

If it's the gun opener, get into that thick cover and watch the escape routes to catch a big buck coming in.

Just be aware that factors such as farmers rotating crops can have a big effect on deer movement. But you can even determine movement patterns based on various crop rotations once you've hunted a property long enough.

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