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Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the
GrowingDeer.tv team

Deer Hunting Tasks: Why Trim Shooting Lanes During June?

Adam hangs a Muddy tree stand

I prefer hanging stands and trimming shooting lanes as soon as practical.

We’ve been hanging Muddy tree stands this week. It’s hot in Missouri here, with heat indexes over 100 degrees. We posted a picture of us while hanging stands on the GrowingDeer.tv Facebook page and someone responded “Why trim shooting lanes during June?”

That’s a good question! We primarily hunt our farm each year. We are constantly working on food plots, sanctuaries, Trophy Rock stations, trail camera surveys, shed hunting, etc. We continue learning how deer use this property during different conditions.

So we usually move some stands each year and/or trim different shooting lanes for existing stands. Hanging stands and trimming shooting lanes is hot, sweaty, noisy work. Mature bucks have some level of memory. In addition, it appears fear is their biggest motivation! It’s easy to see how mature deer could associate a stand location with fear if they experience loud noises and odors they associate with danger.

A before and after photo of a tree trimmed for a deer hunting stand

Limiting disturbance near stand sites is critical to harvesting mature deer.

Therefore I prefer hanging stands and trimming shooting lanes as soon as the vegetation has grown most of what it will for the summer (new growth on trees is mostly complete by mid June). This means I won’t have to re-trim shooting lanes again during the fall and the area will have had months of no disturbance before hunting season.

If I wish to hang a stand during hunting season, I limit the amount of disturbance and vegetation trimmed to the minimum necessary to see and shoot. Excess disturbance during hunting season can substantially reduce the chances of harvesting a mature buck from that stand – no matter how hot the sign was that prompted you to hang at that location.

Remember, fear is probably the biggest motivation for mature bucks. Limiting disturbance near stand sites is critical to successfully harvest mature deer year after year.

Growing (and hunting) Deer together,

Grant

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