Deer season recently closed in Missouri. Though we’re sad another season has past, part of our remedy is to begin scouting for next year. We no longer have to worry about pushing deer out of bedding areas or risk changing their patterns. Using this to our advantage, we are able to gather new information for next year.
When we scout, two things we look for are trails and scrapes. Trails can lead you to food, cover, and travel corridors that you may have not known existed. When looking for scrapes, look for those that show a lot of activity and are being used year after year. It may take a year or two of observation, but once you have found a great scrape, that can be an awesome hunting location. If you find a scrape make sure you watch episode 257 and 267 so you know how to properly hunt it.
Adam and I recently scouted The Proving Grounds, searching for well-used trails and scrapes. It wasn’t long before we found a trail that had a lot of sign. After a few hundred yards, it went through a mature white oak stand, an exciting food source when acorns begin to fall. Later that day we found another trail that had a great scrape. Immediately we placed a Reconyx camera on the scrape to see who was coming through. In just a few days we have gathered information that is already influencing our hunting decisions for next year.
This is a good time of the year to learn how deer are using your property. Whether you are outside shed hunting or chasing turkeys this spring, I hope you take the opportunity to begin scouting for next fall. You won’t regret it.
Managing whitetails with you,