February 28: Digital Scouting
It's a little after 9 p.m., and empty Coors Light cans are starting to clutter Milliken's computer desk. The 34-year-old land specialist is showing me different properties throughout western Illinois on Google Earth and we've been staring at the screen for a few hours. But that's nothing compared to the time Milliken spends in late winter looking at different farms, planning food plots, and identifying potential buck bedding areas. The best farms, Milliken says, have large stretches of timber that link neighboring properties. These types of properties will hold more deer, they'll be more resilient to hunting pressure, and they'll draw more bucks during the rut.