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Hunting & FishingOwning Land

Tips to Prepare Your Property for Deer Season

September 29, 2022

The 2022-2023 deer season is fast approaching! Many people are excited about the upcoming season and are likely considering how they want to prepare their property for this hunting season. A little pre-season work should lead to more hunting success and time in the woods. These tips will hopefully help you have the best deer season in recent memory!

Scouting Your Property

Scouting is most important during the off-season because it limits hunter pressure during the season and time in the woods while not hunting. Also, deer signs found shortly before bow season can help to understand their early bow season patterns. Look for tracks, trails, droppings, and food sources near areas where deer tend to linger like trails or water sources. 

Scouting shouldn’t feel like work, and it’s important to remember a landowner doesn’t need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on wildlife surveys. Any landowner with a keen eye for various animal scrapes and droppings could simply spend a weekend walking their property to get a decent picture of the kinds of animals that frequent their land.

Use Trail Cameras

Trail cameras are a large part of the scouting process, and can help give a landowner an idea of what kind of deer activity they have on their property as well as a survey of the quality/quantity of bucks in the area. A trail camera might just spot a big one worth chasing down at the start of the season!

Trail cameras can help a landowner understand where game goes to graze on their property, where they go for water, and if there are other areas nearby that tend to pull game away from their property. This information can allow a landowner to better manage their land in a way that positions their property as the most enticing spot for deer and other game populations. Cameras should be placed along known high-traffic areas such as game trails or ponds and streams.

Conducting a post-season analysis is important also, as it’s helpful to understand what animals have been left on the property once the season concludes to better prepare for next year. Trail cam analysis is one of my favorite scouting activities because you never know what you might find! 

Scouting allows for a more complete look at the wildlife present on a property and familiarizes landowners with the overall landscape of their property. Do not take this time for granted!

Preparing A Hunting Area

When prepping an area to hunt, it’s important to consider the placement of things like food plots, hunting stands/blinds, as well as other factors such as access to these areas. Here are a few tips for preparing the perfect hunter’s paradise.

Hanging Stands

The pre-season is a good time to hang stands to see what limbs/trees need to be cut while the leaves are still on the trees. It’s important to do this during the late summer/early fall since the trees would not have the same kind of foliage during the winter and spring. Doing this before the season will let the deer settle down and get comfortable with a new stand in their space. 

It is essential to keep in mind how these stands will be accessed, and if accessing that stand could mean scaring away potential game. It is necessary to keep entry and exit trails to hunting stands clear and free of trash and other debris that could accidentally alert game. 

Hunting stands should be positioned downwind from areas where game will be grazing. This will prevent the wind from carrying any scents up to the game which could alert them of human presence. Multiple stands can even be set up around a single food plot to account for varying wind directions, that way there’s always a viable shot at that plot.

Bush Hogging

Getting some early-season bush hogging done before hunting season can help ease the stress of preparing food plots, placing hunting stands, and more. Cutting trails can not only make accessing hunting blinds and spots quicker and more comfortable, but doing so before the season starts means less human disturbance for that area during hunting season. Good trails will allow easy access to stands, and decrease the risk of scaring game away.

Get some work done early to lighten the load during the season!

Hunting season is an exciting time for all outdoorsmen, and I hope these tips make life a little easier for you this fall/winter, as well as score you an extra buck or two this season. “You get out what you put in” also applies to hunting season! I wish everyone their best hunting season yet!

About the Author
Jonathan Stevens joined National Land Realty in 2018. Jonathan is a Mississippi native and specializes in recreational land sales primarily in central and north MS. He has almost 10 years of real estate experience in land sales and always makes the client his priority. Jonathan is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in real estate finance. He currently resides in Madison, MS where he manages his family’s 5,000-acre farm in Carroll County, MS. He helps with tractor work, bush hogging, planting food plots, maintaining roads and timber plans. He also establishes a wildlife management plan, while implementing a deer management program with the help of other family members. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys deer, duck and turkey hunting, as well as fishing, golfing and watching/playing sports. View Jonathan's Listings and Reviews on NationalLand.com