How do you pattern deer when hunting a new area?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant,

In many of your episodes you travel to different states to hunt new areas. While I am not leaving the state to hunt, I am hunting in new areas and I have not had the opportunity to pattern deer movement. On Monday this week I sat in my blind for almost 8 hours before hearing anything. Finally, with 10 minutes of daylight left I heard what sounded like a big animal crashing its way through the woods not far from me. Unfortunately, the deer never showed itself.

How do you decide where to hunt and what time to hunt in a new area where you have not patterned the deer?

Thank you!


I always start by trying to identify the best sources of food, cover, and water in the area. I study maps (Google Earth), talk to locals, etc. I try to verify these findings when I arrive at the area without alerting deer. Spooked deer are very difficult to hunt so I don’t walk all over the new area simply to confirm the data I gathered from maps, etc.

I try to select stand sites based on the most limited resource in the area. For example, if the area is experiencing a severe drought I’d try to hunt near water.

Deer tend to move more during daylight hours when the weather conditions are cooler than normal. If the temperatures are hotter than normal than I’m not going to hunt during midday as I’m more likely to alert deer with my scent than I am to see deer. The better the conditions the more hours of the day I will hunt.

Enjoy Creation,


October 9, 2015