Scout Deer: Across the Western States
Summer Chores for Fall Success
Scout Deer: Across the Western States – In the summer issue of Western Whitetail magazine, Mark Kayser informs hunters how to scout deer through the summer months, where early season scouting is key to fall success.
Lawn care, honey-dos, baseball practice, sunscreen and sweat; it’s all part of the ritual we call summer. Add your personal favorites at will. You may also want to include one additional element to the list: summer whitetail chores for fall success. Regardless if you’re hunting whitetails in the arid Great Plains, intermountain West or Coues deer in the Southwest, summer provides a window of opportunity to help predict your future success.
Summer is the period in a buck’s life when he’s finally found some relative stability in his life. Think about his life through the seasons. During the winter a buck tries to rebound after the rigors of the rut and modifies his travel, and bedding to be closer to prime food sources to conserve calories. In the spring a buck shifts around his home territory trying to pick the best area to spend summer, choosing between ample nutritional sources and the best security cover.
A recent hunt proved that summer is indeed a time to skip a barbecue or two. In August, I set aside time to preview trail camera disks and clear a trail right below a steep bank that offered the perfect sniper perch. The trail clearing not only routed deer down the avenue, but provided clearer shooting lanes. The disk revealed several bucks were using the trail to visit a nearby hayfield from thick bedding cover along a riparian zone.
When season arrived it took me several days of surveillance to finally locate the mature buck I photographed in the summer and the preseason ambush site paid off shortly thereafter. The mature buck made a bad decision as he followed a hot doe through the exact shooting lane I had prepared months before. My Thompson Center, Nikon-topped rifle finished the hunt that started months before in the blazing heat of summer.
Read the complete article in Western Whitetail magazine, Summer 2012.