Right now is the perfect time to hit the deer woods wide open and try to peg down some patterns of thick-racked velvet bucks. During the summer months, you will find bucks traveling together in large bachelor groups and sticking to a predictable pattern. Everything this time of year revolves around feeding and bedding for bucks trying to add a few pounds before the upcoming fall and grueling rut that will push endurance levels of a mature whitetail to the ultimate test. It’s not uncommon to see several bucks of a similar size and age class visiting a preferred summer food source on a consistent basis. On that note, let’s take a quick look at a summer scouting plan that will have you seeing velvet in no time.
Cruising and Glassing
Without question, one of my favorite things to do during the hot summer months is to throw a cooler of Pepsi or Coke in the truck and cruise the backroads. In fact, my son and wife usually go along with me on these late evening drives hoping to see some high-racked giants. Open fields, apple orchards, watering holes, along with soybean or clover fields will usually be prime locations when you’re glassing bucks from the roadways. All you really need is a good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope to see what kind of bucks you will be hunting next fall. I also like to bring along a video camera to capture footage that will allow me to take even a closer look at the bucks on the big screen back at home. These short evening trips will provide you with detailed information about what bucks are in the area and patterns that can pay off big during the opening days of season.
Hanging Trail Cameras
It’s hard to imagine scouting and deer hunting without the help and guidance of a trail camera. These high-tech pieces of deer hunting hardware serve as an invaluable tool in the field. Recently, I tried the Sniper and Prowler trail cameras from Stealth Cam and either model will give you the moon phase and current temperature during the time the picture was taken. Knowing the exact times and dates of buck movement in your hunting area can save a lot of time in fall, especially for a working man who does not have time to fool around. These photos will also tell you what stand locations will be productive and which ones to stay away from.
(http://outdoorlife.blogs.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/22/25e.jpg) This season try hanging some trail cameras over watering holes and along worn trails leading to a late-summer food source. Constructing mineral stations or setting out salt blocks (in legal states) between known feeding and bedding areas are also great locations to position a trail camera. It’s extremely important to wear knee-high rubber boots and use latex gloves when hanging your cameras. Being as scent-free as possible will prevent you from educating a smart buck that has survived a few seasons. I am very confident that this summer scouting plan can help you punch your tag early and jumpstart your season. – Travis Faulkner