Most deer hunters live the entire year preparing for those too-short days in the stand. Here are a few things you can do now to up your odds of scoring on that buck of a lifetime this fall.
Add a Deer Feeder
If you haven't already, even if your state doesn't allow hunting over feeders, the extra nutrition is welcomed during the off-season. Mix one bag of soybeans with two or three bags of corn to provide protein. Good feeder companies manufactures all sizes of deer feeders to suit your needs, whether it's a big 55-gallon barrel tripod or a petite 6 1/2 gallon bucket style.
Create Mineral Licks
Yes, it's a little late, but better late than never. With a few late summertime thunderstorms the minerals will wash into the dirt. Deer need the extra nutrition that comes from mineral mixes.
Now's the time to alter or create trails that bring deer right past your stand. Felling trees across a current trail will alter its path, as can dragging limbs and brush piles to block the way. Clipping the top and/or bottom wire of your fence will create a crossing.
Reassess your hunting land
Go to an aerial photo web site such as www.teraserver.com or Google Earth and download an image of your hunting land. One exercise is to look at it as if you'd never seen it before and see if anything new jumps out at you.
Scout your herd
If you've never experimented with a scouting camera, now's a good time to begin. You'll be amazed to see deer you had no idea were living their whole lives right under your nose. And what a great way to get pumped for the season!
Here is a bonus tip... Be sure to take and apply plenty of bug spray to keep ticks and chiggers at bay as you make final preparations for the season. Also take along plenty of water and, just like hunting, let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return.