Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch is proud to hold the records for 33 of the top 35 Typical and 30 of the top 35 non-typical Midwestern whitetail deer! We know a thing or two about scouting them and are happy to share seven scouting tips to Create the Ultimate Scouting Plan.
- Begin Scouting Early
Begin your scouting plan when deer are still in their winter patterns. This will reveal the food sources and cover they’ll use next hunting season. The bare woods and snow make tracking travel and feeding patterns.
- Utilize Technology
Start planning from your couch with your laptop. Effective digital mapping applications for mapping whitetails include OnX Hunt, BaseMap, and Google Earth. The best navigation tools can give you a clear view of the places you plan to hunt.
- Become Familiar with Terrain Features
A few popular terrain features to keep an eye out for are ridges and saddles. A ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest. A saddle is an area where two high points dip down and meet at a lower elevation, frequently between valleys. Deer will often parallel these terrain features at various elevation points.
- Ground Truthing
Regardless of how much time you spend on digital map scouting, it is always best to get on the ground and see what the terrain looks like in reality. Make the time to get ahead of the season, so you can check to make sure your map interpretations are correct. Look for scrapes, rubs, and deer trails that connect bedding areas to feeding areas. Add and adjust your waypoints accordingly. Also look diligently for hunter signs like tree stands, trail markers, or other signs of hunting.
- Identify Bedding and Feeding Locations
Understanding deer bedding and feeding locations will help you to uncover deer travel patterns. Deer could be feeding on anything from freshly forested aspen trees to grain in large agriculture fields.
- Picking a Spot
You may be looking for a place to position a tree stand for the season or just identifying a location to set up a ground blind on the day of your hunt. Ideally, you should try to find a spot close enough to the area a deer will likely travel to make a comfortable shot, while allowing you to stay concealed. It is important to make sure that your selected location will be downwind of the area you expect deer will be traveling.
- Identify a Backup Site
Maximize your scouting trips by picking more than one hunting site. Learn the deer entry and exit routes.
Now that you have a deer scouting plan, it is time to enjoy the hunt!
For more information on scouting, hunting, or tracking whitetail deer visit our website at https://oakcreekwhitetailranch.com/.