Pro Tips For Last Minute Archery Scouting
Some states are only a month away from the start of the early archery season. Many of you have been scouting year round but others may need to squeeze in some last-minute scouting. The two best tips I have for last-minute scouting are (1) put as little pressure as possible on your hunting area and (2) focus your attention on sources of water and/or protein.
For low-pressure scouting, pull out your game cameras. I prefer the Moultrie I-40 or I-45 IR cameras as megapixels are not as important to me as trigger-speed consistency and clarity. These cameras give me everything I need at a price that I can afford to have multiple cameras in the field at one time. I recommend checking cameras every 7-10 days initially, then every 2 weeks after locating your deer. Tripods can also be useful tools in fields and on trails if there are no suitable trees to mount your cameras. When in the woods this late in the year, you will want to use some of the same scent precautions that you would during the hunting season. Wear rubber gloves and boots when checking cameras and spray down camera exteriors with HS Scent-away spray (avoid spraying the lens). The best last-minute scouting, however, is done from long distances using quality binoculars or spotting scopes. Make sure you have good eye relief on your optics; this makes a big difference the longer you are glassing. I use the Vortex Skyline ED series spotting scope and Razor binos. If you are on a tight budget, the 10x42 Diamondback or Fury are also good options.
When selecting locations to either hang cameras or scout from afar, concentrate on protein- and moisture-rich food sources or water holes. Field edges or trails leading into corn or bean fields are great places to start. Deer like to eat the corn silk for protein and beans and stems for both moisture and protein. On my own properties, I have noticed that the deer prefer the food plots planted with AntlerKing Red Zone or Trophy Clover.
Once you’ve located the buck you want to pursue this fall, hang any new stands needed, tune your NAP broadheads, and practice smiling for your early season success photos.