Summertime Deer Scouting
Kids Outdoor Outpost June 2020
And just like that, this year’s turkey season ended in mid May. Well, it seemed to end that way because I got skunked again this season. It sure wasn’t from the lack of trying. My son Jared and I got out often, trying a lot of public land this season. For Jared, it was fortuitous as he rolled not one but two longbeards. They were pretty tasty as we fried some up that same weekend.
So, now what does the hunter do in June? Well, in early turkey season, the leaves and foliage really haven’t come in yet. It really gives you the opportunity to see the game trails throughout the woods. Usually, there are several that I had no idea existed. These are typically a deer’s secondary trail. Occasionally, I’ll notice a few scrapes that I missed and pellets of deer scat.
This spring, the temperatures were pretty cool. It would have been a great time to drop our existing lock-on and ladder stands and check them out before rehanging. I found several really old and rotten wooden stands during some of those turkey hunts this year. It’s amazing that someone actually hunted from them. I would not, for sure!
Each preseason, I go through the same list. Replace any bolts that are rusted, seats that are worn out and always replace the ratchet straps that I use to lock the stand to the tree. I always need to replace the seat, as any fabric seat left after the hunting season is a wide open opportunity for squirrels to nest up in. If not a squirrel, it could be home to a nest of wasps.
Back when Jared was much younger, I had him really involved in all the aspects of hunting. That included preseason scouting and hanging stands. One day we took our 4-wheeler out to a back corner of the hunting property to reset a two-seat buddy stand. It was a super hot day in August. We arrived at the location and I began to climb up the 16-foot ladder, new ratchet in hand, to reset it. As I arrived at the top rung of the ladder, several wasps were shaken loose from their apparent slumber and began to circle my head. One, in particular, began a slow-motion spiral toward me. I watched dumbfounded as it came closer and had no idea that the object of its ire was my eyelid. Then, it stung me. Oh my gosh, did it light me up! It felt like a burning needle in my eyelid.
I descended that ladder in rapid time, hitting about every third rung and screaming out the entire way down. My son looked at me in shock. Looking back, I’m quite surprised that he still wanted to hunt that stand, but we did. It became one of the funny memories of our hunting together.
The point here is that the summer can be a great time to not only check your stands for safety but maybe even get an idea what those deer are up to.