How to Hunt New Areas: A Proven Game Plan

Bbz2Anytime you switch hunting areas or go somewhere new it can be difficult to locate and pattern deer. This is especially true when you have a limited amount of time to hunt and need to make the most out of every trip. With that being said, let’s take an inside look at how a prolific bow hunter nicknamed Spook gets the job done while on the road. Some of you may remember Spook from an article that ran on the Big Buck Zone earlier this year that featured an absolute monster he took with his bow during a spot and stalk hunt in Kansas. This unbelievable hunt was caught on tape and will run this fall on the “Monster Bucks” series from Realtree.

Every fall Spook spends a lot of time on the road hunting new areas and is usually hard pressed for time. In most cases, these hunts are self-guided and he does not have the help of an outfitter or guide. However, he relies on a simple game plan to connect with top-heavy bucks while hunting new locations that are usually away from home. The first step according to Spook is to locate the preferred food source in the area. Next, he will try to find thick bedding cover that offers safety close to the food source. These two valuable pieces of the puzzle serve as the foundation for the game plan and are needed regardless of what part of the country you are hunting.

Bbz1_2After pinpointing the current food source and bedding cover, Spook will try to study a topo map or aerial photo to find possible funnels and pinch points that connect feeding and bedding areas. Generally, these will be prime stand locations during each transition of the rut. However, if this strategy is not producing enough action he will immediately spend additional time scouting. This may involve hanging multiple trail cameras or glassing open areas during the early morning and late evening hours to cover a lot of ground. Another good tip Spook relies on is simply talking with land owners and local people in the area that may have tips about where they have been seeing large bucks. For the past several years, this game plan has allowed him to fill a trophy-room full of heavy-racked bruisers from across the country. Congratulations Spook on some outstanding bucks and good luck this season!

-Travis Faulkner