I, like many others, am mourning the passing of the 2020 deer season. Now its time to pull stands, cameras, and blinds. In other words the not so fun part of season, but still a part of the experience nonetheless. However there are things we can all do to insure a successful season in 2021.
Mark new stand locations now– After all the hours in your current stands you have seen either new stand locations or a better place for your current setup. Those late fall/Winter trails won’t be easy to remember in 8 months. Once green up starts those late season trails will disappear. By now you know how the travel patterns change from early season to when the acorns fall and late season. More often than not the stand locations from October are not in optimal places for a December hunt.
Study your local food sources– Deer don’t move along a certain corridor by accident so when the season is over take a walk and figure out what made the deer move along those secondary travel corridors. Was a an adjacent crop field? Was it a lone source of water? Knowledge is power and since you’re no longer “hunting” deer now you can study those deer. Once I had an abrupt change in travel corridors that made no sense. After season closed I found that the neighbor has a large dove field every December. Thar winter wheat was enough to change the deer’s travel patterns during the late season weeks..
Tree stand maintenance- Once season is over and you have pulled tree stands its time to actually look at those stands. I am a ladder stand kind of guy so I am forever looking at welds, bolts, nuts and noting anything that makes noise when I move. After the season replace anything with broken or cracked welds