Alright, so we’re almost into September. Hunting season is rapidly approaching. Typically by now you have scouted your property, prepped trees, hung stands, planted food plots, cut shooting lanes, and finished any other projects you need done. September is usually the month you want to stay away from the property and let the deer get comfortable again before you start hunting on October 1st. What if, though, you just now get permission on a new property? With one week left in August, how can you quickly get the property ready to hunt and scout? I recently found myself in just such a situation and I’m going to give you a breakdown of what I did.
Before you step foot on the property, get on your computer and start pulling up a map of the area on either google earth or OnX. Pay attention to property boundaries, look for transition zones, and attempt to locate any water or crops nearby. If the crops and water are on neighboring properties, try to figure out which way the deer will use your property to access them. Jot down information about the neighbors and contact them to discuss things like being allowed to track a wounded deer on their property, using their land to access your property, even getting a sense of whether or not they are hunters should help you.
Get on the ground and start walking around to the spots you highlighted from the map. Verify that what you saw online is what is there. As you are identifying cover and transitions pay attention to trees that could be good to hunt out of. Trim shooting lanes, hang any permanent stands, and pay attention to sign that you find. Also, pay attention to what the wind is doing throughout the day. Any thermals that occur should be of particular interest. Pick some good trees to hunt based on the dominant wind pattern. Also, have at least a couple spots in mind to hunt if the wind suddenly changes. This is how you establish a plan B. If you can spot bedding areas make note of where they are, but be careful to stay out of them at this point. While you are out there hang 1-3 cameras around the food or water sources you have identified. Cell cameras are ideal as they will allow you to monitor the property through September without having to go back to pull and check cards.
Monitor From Afar
With the information you have gathered you will stay off the property during September. Rely on your trail camera images to give you intel. Try to pattern any mature bucks from the cameras and come up with several gameplans. You will want to be out hunting on October 1st. As this will be the first time you will be on the property in a month, the deer should be relaxed and back to their usual routines.