-By Brandon Wikman
As the soft and fury velvet of July stretches past the whitetails ear tips, season’s anticipation is what really grows! There’s a surge of excitement that hunters experience once antlers become substantially large. It’s simply that subtle reminder that deer season isn’t so far away. It’s enough to give any hunter a reluctant sigh of relief...
This past week I began burning that overpriced $4 fuel, taking laps around my hunting locations in search of dandy bucks. No matter how high the price of gas escalates, it’s going to be difficult to keep me from driving. Especially when it comes to hunting, scouting, and enjoying a recreation that I so dearly love. Sometimes you just have to do things for yourself that make you happy, or are simply relaxing. Spending time in the outdoors can be a captivating experience, which brings joy and a rush of shear satisfaction.
The month of July is a time to take advantage of off-road scouting, whether it’s glassing fields from your car window or taking a vantage point approach on a hillside. There’s no better time to see, record, and target your quarry’s potential. As evening approaches and the sun radiates it’s last beat of warmth, I prepare myself with a pair of binoculars, a tripod, video camera, snapshot camera, pen and paper. All the necessities needed for documenting deer activity. This is a perfect opportunity to size up bucks, gain a better understanding of your deer herd’s health and quality. It’s essential as a land manager, and hunter to take in consideration the amount of deer in a particular field, which will estimate the amount of deer you have living on your property for the summer months. It’s also a prime time to check the balance of the male-to-female deer ratio, which will play a major role in a few months from now when rutting activity cranks!
Every whitetail deer you spot engulfing soybeans and clover in your food plots aren’t going to call your property home. Once the primary food sources are transitioned to harvest time or a new field turns ripe, deer will venture to the next best buffet. Regardless, it’s still a great time to overview the deer herd in your area and gain an appreciation for the amount of deer feeding their face as light dims.
I’ve recently placed my Moultrie trail camera on a deer trail leading to my uncle’s lush soybean field, which has already grown knee high! The amount of water the Midwest has experienced has been astronomical compared to the past and previous ten years of complete drought. Besides the flooding and damage caused by the abundance of rain, fields that haven’t been totally drowned are doing spectacular. This means deer will be absorbing and using more nutrients and vitamins from the healthy plants this year to aid in antler development. I can’t wait to check my trail camera in a few weeks to gather more data on the different bucks I capture on infrared.
It’s getting to be that time of year again where scouting and doing your homework pays off. I advise everyone to put those trail camera-monitoring systems to work and make weekly road trips around your hunting land to survey the deer in your area.