Deer and Turkey Hunting | 5 Rewarding Off Season To Do’s
Deer hunting season has sadly come to in many parts of the country. About a month or so after the season ends and after a little recuperation, honey do’s, and some much needed sleep deer hunters begin to get bored. This period can be hard on hunters as you are left asking, what should you do in the off season? The realization of winter setting in and the several months long gap before turkey season can have some feeling claustrophobic. Cabin fever is unforgiving! Fortunately, there is a long list of beneficial activities that can be done right now that are satisfying for the most season deer and turkey hunters. Here are a few to-do’s that benefit your deer and turkey hunting each and every year.
The recent snow storms blasting the Midwest had doors sealed shut and heaters at full blast. With some amount of warm weather returning (at the moment) some post-season scouting is called for. Scouting in the snow is eye opening. You can tell exactly where the deer on your property walk, bed down at, browse on, and feed at. It has not been that long since the rut was in full swing, take note of the deer sign on the property. Rubs, scrapes, funnels, and beds are key to your deer hunting success on that property.
Getting boots on the ground and checking in on your best turkey hunting spots is also advantageous. While it’s still way too early to go out and scout for gobbling toms, you can learn the property’s terrain and identify where you think turkeys will roost, feed, as well as identify strut zones to take note of before spring.
It goes without saying the trail cameras are incredibly important when it comes to inventorying the white-tailed deer on your property, they can also be extremely useful to keep tabs on toms in the off season. Running trail cameras can really be a twelve month out of the year event, and running trail cameras during this time period can be critical. Post-Season deer trail camera surveys are a deer and land manager’s best friend. The benefits of population demographics and finding out which bucks made it through the season can relieve a lot of unanswered questions from the deer hunting season. Check your states baiting regulations before running a survey, if it’s legal grab some trail cameras and one bag of Big & J Long-Range Attractant per camera site to draw in every buck on the property.
Shed hunting, besides providing deer hunters an opportunity to get outside when there isn’t a whole lot going on, can really help you to truly gage not only the deer that made it through the firearms season but also help you be more confident in the overall antler size of the deer. This can help you gage their potential the following year. Using Bushnell Trail Cameras to help you determine when the bucks are dropping and even where they are dropping their antlers can really help you lay your hands on more white gold this winter.
Forget deer hunting and turkey hunting season, its predator season! Save as many white-tailed deer fawns and turkey poults as possible by trapping and hunting coyotes, raccoons, and bobcats. Breaking out the Realtree AP Snow Camo and the predator call is a great way to spend your off time in winter. Engaging in predator trapping, even when fur prices are low, keeps the tradition alive, relieves wildlife population numbers on your property, and allows you to stay in touch with your land in the off season.
Starting Up the Chainsaw
No, we are not telling you to start cutting wood for the fireplace…unless you need to. This time we are starting up the chainsaw for deer and turkeys. Create bedding areas and winter food for deer by hinge-cutting or with some timber stand improvement (TSI) work to bring trees down to the deer’s level. Deer rely on woody browse this time of year. Hinge-cutting creates bedding, security, and food sources for deer, not to mention cover for fawns and poults come spring. By next year the sun now reaching the floor with the tree removed, will cause a green up of new forbs and saplings again adding to the cover and food factor on your property. By doing this everywhere you can on your property, in accordance with your deer hunting strategy, and setting the areas off limits to hunters and human pressure, you create a sanctuaries for deer.
Deer hunting is closed for the year, turkey hunting is a couple months away, your chores are done, cabin fever is setting in, and you’re bored. Need we say anything else? You have a long to-do list now, so get started!