It’s month two of getting your new piece of deer dirt. Last month, the first thing you did was get some trail cameras out. There’s likely no arguing here. You may have seen pictures from past years, heard rumors, or possibly have no idea what roams your property.
If your trail cameras are coming up empty, you might be holding you head in your hands. Don’t worry just yet. My best Midwestern lease doesn’t show bucks until mid-August. It took a summer of panic last year to figure that out. So what’s next?
As Travis “T-Bone” Turner, of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector, would tell you, “It’s food plot season!” Getting some seed in the ground, where you are able, is good thing. Fall food plots can make a dramatic difference in the quality of deer hunting on a property. If you don’t have one, then you should be planning to get one started.
If you have larger equipment, then planting is easy and choices are endless. If you are using hand tools, stick to easy-to-grow cereal grains or annual clovers and brassica. Basically, just get some green growing. Make sure you have the right type of soil amendments. Check out http://www.deergro.com/ for help.
August is a great month to get out on the property. For Nick Mundt, also of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector, that means using great optics to glass large Midwestern fields.
“Get to a good high point in which you know deer are moving between bedding and food,” Mundt suggested.
For open areas, this actually can be much more effective than trail cameras because they are limited in range of detection.
(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Flinn)
Lastly, for August, and maybe most important, is to get some stands up in a few locations. They don’t have to be the permanent home for the stand the rest of the year, as we all know it will be an intense chess match. But getting stands in now allows deer to become more comfortable with them, and will give you options for opening day. Odds are deer patterns will change significantly anyway, so you will be repositioning stands before you know it.
The season is creeping up fast, which means August is a month of finishing touches. It’s undeniable that you will be learning as you go this season on a new property for deer hunting, but that’s the fun part. Every time you hit the woods, you will learn one more piece of the puzzle to a successful deer season.