640px-MuleDeer_ModocCountyWhy wait? Get a head start on preparations for deer season now and make this hunting season the best yet. Post-season scouting provides hunters with the advantage of being able to re-assess their previous hunting seasons actions and identify any areas that need improvement.  Because the season is over, scouting is much easier and you will be able to move around freely with very little company.

Experienced hunters value this time to scout because patterns and overlooked clues previously missed will become evident. Things like rubs, scrapes, feeding and bedding areas, runways and even the deer’s secret escape routes become crystal clear.  Spring also provides evidence of shed antlers indicating that the bucks have resurfaced from their winter stowaway. All these bits of information paint a picture for hunters to be able to accurately target the big boys for the upcoming season.

Here’s what to look for in your post-season scouting

1.Food Sources Start by looking for food sources and not the most obvious ones. Look for the natural sources like grapes, pokeweed berries, white oak acorns and persimmons. These food sources are what deer and buck need to sustain themselves through the winter. Understanding this and when these food sources become ripe for the deer to find provides you with a good start on tracking your target.

2. Water Sources Find your targets primary source of water. If there is a central source of water where you hunt, map out the trails leading to and from the water. Know these spots as well as your target does so you can be there next season.

3. Doe Beds Look for bedding areas to lead you to the whitetails. Areas that are heavily hunted tend to force deer to spend more time near bedding areas for safety. Look for those areas, specifically the ones that are hard to get to, covered thickly, but still somewhat close to the deer’s primary food sources. Hunting experts also suggest looking for oval depressions as indicators of a group or family of deer.  Buck beds will be larger, single beds, not part of the group beds.  If you suspect that you have located a buck bed, look for loose antlers nearby. When deer wake up they stretch similar to the way humans do and sometimes they’ll leave behind a shed antler.

That’s all for now! Check back here next week and we will finish up this list of post-scouting tips to make your next hunt a wild success. While you’re waiting, why not check out some of Dillon Manufacturing’s fiberglass deer blinds? Nothing  compares to the comfort of a solid blind. Check them out here.