Pinpointing Old Home Places


By: John E. Phillips

By: John E. Phillips

Two things early settlers did will relate directly to where you can expect to locate deer during the early season in your state. The settlers had outhouses where they salted meat and smoked it and others they used as bathrooms. Both outbuildings can play important roles in your pre-season scouting and can result in pinpointing deer hot spots.


In a smokehouse, as the meat cured, the drippings from the meat, which also carried salt, went into the ground. If you’ll pinpoint the location of an old homestead and search for the spot where the smokehouse once stood, you’ll often find a salt lick – a deep hole the deer have used for many years. Remember that before the days of the refrigerator, people preserved meat by salting and smoking it.



The early settlers also dug deep holes in the ground and erected outhouses over them. Human waste always has been a productive fertilizer. Even today, companies still process human waste, sterilize it and use it in some types of fertilizers. The locations of old outhouses contain the richest dirt on any property, and the fruits and the nuts from trees growing in these areas generally will grow large and contain the tastiest fruits and nuts in the region. These trees usually will attract more deer than any other fruit or nut trees there.


Because many hunters don’t understand the value of locating old home places, outdoorsmen often overlook this type of scouting. However, if you’ll spend your time doing research to pinpoint where old home places once have stood on the property you hunt, you may identify the location of the old smokehouse and the old outhouse; you also may identify deer trails leading to these two, long-ago lost deer-hunting hot spots.


Be sure to look for our next installment of Early Scouting for Deer – Use Trail Cameras and Put out Automatic Feeders. To learn more about John E. Phillips’ book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” click here

To learn more about how to How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties click here Be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back and read the rest of the story.


Know bucks and bows


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