With deer hunting season quickly approaching, now is the time to start thinking about scouting your hunting areas. By taking the time to scout for deer prior to the start of the season, you’ll have the best chances of success in your deer-hunting endeavors. Read on to explore some scouting tips that’ll help you start the hunting season on the right foot.

Start Early

While many hunters wait until the few weeks before hunting season begins to start scouting, it can be more beneficial (especially for beginning hunters) to begin scouting an area out during the winter and spring months, before foliage has a chance to grow back fully.

By scouting early, you can still get an idea of the lay of the land while also being able to more easily navigate the area, follow trails, and read signs. Just be careful to don your orange hunter’s vest while scouting so as to avoid becoming an accidental target.

Know How to Decipher Roads and Signs

Your success during deer scouting will largely depend on your ability to read roads, maps, and signs. This means taking the time to educate yourself on what every single symbol on your trail map means.

Furthermore, when we talk about being able to read signs, we don’t just mean signage on the trails. More specifically, we’re referring to being able to identify the telltale signs of a deer’s presence. This can include anything from shed antlers and tracks to droppings and buck rubs.

Wear Proper Attire

Aside from your hunting vest (for your safety), there are some other attire considerations you should keep in mind to ensure a successful scouting trip. Specifically, you’ll want to do your best to mask your human scent; otherwise, you could scare away deer. There are plenty of scent-disguising products on the market you can buy and spray on yourself.

Furthermore, by wearing rubber boots and gloves as you’re scouting, you can further mask your scent while ensuring that you leave as little of a footprint as possible. And be careful not to enter into a deer’s bedding areas. If they see you (or if you leave any traces of having been there), they may choose to relocate somewhere else by the time you return to hunt.

Keep to Yourself

You might discover some great places to hunt while you’re scouting, and while you might not mind sharing those spaces with close friends and family, the last thing you want is for your space to become overrun with hunters, thus scaring the deer away. Try to keep your scouting spots a secret; after all, you’re the one who put in the effort to find your prime hunting spots.

By taking the time to properly scout out a new hunting area before the season begins, you’ll be well on your way to success down the road. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your scouting trip.