Dr. John Woods 10.27.20
It’s October already and it could be archery season for deer where you live with firearm and muzzleloader season quickly approaching. The clock is spinning fast and it’s time to start getting your hunting property and deer camp ready for hunting. Here are some critical job tasks that must be accomplished before you can start getting into a stand for hunting. Get busy with these ideas to ensure a smoother, more successful, and relaxing hunt this fall.
Deer Camp – Task #1
Before you know what deer hunting harvest goals to set for this year, start by going over what happened last season. Assuming you keep some kind of harvest log (shame on you if you don’t) review it now. How many bucks and does were taken? What should be taken this year? If you have doubts, have a state deer biologist visit the numbers and help you decide what should be harvested this season to help balance your herd.
Deer Camp – Task #2
Decide which food plots to plant this year if not already done. You may want to consider rotating some of them to avoid deer patterning the hunters. Do soil tests. Get those plots mowed to sit for a couple weeks, then plow or disk thoroughly to turn under the dead grass and weeds. Buy your selected seed and fertilizer now to avoid rushes. Plant at the optimal time watching for ideal temperatures and rain forecasts.
Deer Camp – Task #3
Get back on the tractor and brush hog to trim up all the land access trails, back trails, and hunting area access points. Shape up the camp area, too. As you go, look for overhanging limbs, sticker bushes and vines that need to be removed along the way. A swat in the face by a thorn bush while riding an ATV later in the season will remind you of that task, and could be an extremely unwelcomed surprise going out to your hunting stand on opening morning in the dark.
Deer Camp – Task #4
Go to every hunting stand on the property for an eyeball inspection. Get all the vines off the stands and clean up around the bottoms. Check out each stand for stability, correct installation, especially new stands, and replace old ratchet straps that secure stands to the tree. Tighten bolts, lubricate squeaky noises where parts rub together and paint as needed after removing any rust. Check shooting lanes and trim out branches that block vital views from tree stand seats.
Deer Camp – Task #5
Get the hunting camp ready for occupation. Perform repairs and inspections whether you use tents, campers, or have a cabin. Test electricity and plumbing to be in working order. Cut firewood or order some in. Bring in clean sheets, towels, and kitchen linen. Resupply with paper products, trash can liners, dish soap, and other supplies. Oh, while you’re at it, be sure to ready all hunting gear, guns, bows, arrows, and other tools used for hunting. Get the ATV/UTVs and hunting vehicles serviced, especially tires. Doing these jobs now will set you up for a great hunting season.
Remember, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of prevention. The more you do ahead of time the less stressed you will be when it comes to arriving at deer camp the week of. Then, you can simple enjoy the past-time of hunting with friends and family, creating memories, and hopefully filling tags for venison in the freezer and potentially a wall hanger. As always, let us know any tips, tricks, ideas, or thoughts you might have in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.