Post Season Deer Scouting is Getting Started!

Deer Scouting is totally one of my favorite things to do during the year. And of all the times to do it; before, after and during the season, my favorite time for it is after the deer season ends. Because, where I live, most of the bucks don’t drop their antlers until March, there is time to get after the postseason scouting — and actually learn important things about my hunting area.

The 2019 deer season ended on January 5, 2020. Then Collin Cottrell and I attended the 2020 ATA Archery Trade Show. This is the major bowhunting and archery trade show and I’ve been a regular since year #1. However, I missed the last two years, so it was cool to get going again.

Onward, back to the deer scouting…

My newest best hunting buddy is my 11-year old step-grandson Champ. He first went in the woods with me when he was three and he was a natural, from the get-go. He can read deer sign like, ahhh, a champ and he has a surprisingly accurate sense of direction.

This year, when I was rounding up my game cameras and planning where to put them, Champ asked me if he could put a camera at a place that he thought deer were traveling through. So, I handed him a camera and he put it up.

Last weekend he picked up the SD card. I popped the card into my Mac and we had a look. There were 863 pictures!

So, right now, let’s take a look at the highlights…

This first pic shows the area where the game camera is taking pictures. It’s a narrow opening in the trees that turned out to be very interesting. Champ’s selected spot has trails down each side as well as the top and bottom. This place is a real hub of action. Plus, a lot of the pictures were taken during the daylight.

Several deer use the trail that this doe is on.

deer walking trail

Another trail getting traffic is closer to the trail camera. This doe appears to have spotted the trail camera.

whitetail deer

Yep, she sure did.

trail camera deer scouting

After eyeballing our camera briefly the doe investigates the stub of a limb in the bottom center of the picture. She gives it a good smelling too.

deer smelling limb

Then she travels on.

trail Camera whitetail

The above pictures were taken during a foggy and rainy day. The next day was sunny. The deer pictures below are from then and are passing through the area on a well-worn trail on the left side of the small, narrow opening.

Trail Camera Deer

A young doe apparently decides it wants its picture taken and angles across the narrow opening.

trail camera deer

Whatever there is about the end of that worn-out limb attracts the young doe over to get a whiff of it.

deer trail cam

A mature “long-headed” doe gets her some too.

trail camera doe

Another mature doe comes in from the opposite side and enjoys the stick.

mature doe

A doe slips in and pauses to the right of the stick.

mature whitetail doe

So we’ve learned that this clearing is a regular for the local deer and receives traffic from every direction. Plus, a limb is currently getting plenty of attention from the does. So, now you’re wondering if bucks are using this area as well?

We still have over 600 pictures to go, so, I’ll show ya more soon.


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