Though deer season always starts in the fall, there is plenty to do in terms of preparation during the summertime. There are stands to set in place, equipment to purchase, and locations to consider if you want to be at the top of your game when the season comes around. Serious hunters will want to take advantage of the summer as much as they possibly can to stay ahead of the curve. Fortunately, we have some insight on what you should be doing to prepare yourself for the fall. Here are a few deer scouting plans you should do to improve your game come hunting season.

Scout the Area

One of the easiest ways to get an idea of where the deer will be congregating is to get out in the field yourself. Don’t worry about scaring any deer away, as you’re purely on reconnaissance. You’re specifically looking for beds when out in the field. These will indicate where the deer will congregate come fall. Look for the edges that create a pathway to and from the bedding. These edges will almost always lead to the deer’s food source. Once you’ve located the food source, you can almost always depend on a doe or buck to frequent the area.

Find the Right Stand Location

After finding the right area to hunt in the fall, your next job is to find the perfect stand location. Scent is a huge factor when it comes to hunting deer. Scent trails last for a while and can impact your game heavily if you’re not careful. Therefore, it’s important to set your stands not too close, yet not too far away from the beds. Putting your stands at the entry and exit points of your designated area is ideal to keep the right distance. This way you have eyes on all traffic coming into the area.

Prep Your Stands Soon

As the title of this post implies, there are plenty of things you can be doing this summer to prepare for the season in the fall. Not only should you consider hanging your stands as soon as possible, but also removing debris from your path to alleviate any noise. By moving objects like branches, logs, and sticks now, you can eliminate any potential spooks when the season starts. Take notes via your GPS about the area to keep tabs on where your stand is located, as well as any landmarks that can help you find your stand later.

Trail Cams

Placing trail cams can seem like the obvious solution when it comes to finding intel on where the deer will congregate during the season. However, improper trail cam placement can do more harm than good. Don’t place trail cams near high traffic areas, or near your stand. Placing trail cams here can add pressure to the area that you’re looking to scout in. Having to constantly check the cameras means you can potentially spook deer during the season. Place them in low traffic areas to diminish any kind of disturbance.

Hunt This Season

These tips will no doubt improve your hunting game this fall. Being too active in the field during the season can cause a major disturbance. Therefore, you should prepare ahead of time to get the best results.

If you’re looking for guided deer hunts this season, there are many reputable companies that will give you the experience of a lifetime and will take you on a hunting trip that you’ll never forget.

Danny Shetler works as a forest ranger and spends a tremendous amount of his downtime hunting and fishing. Living in the Pacific Northwest affords him the terrain to spend the majority of his time cruising the forests of Mount Baker and Mount Rainier or taking his small fishing boat out into the waters around the San Juan Islands.