Is Preseason Scouting Valuable To Your Fall Harvest?
Is preseason game scouting valuable to your fall harvest? Let's review some key advantages to essentially starting your hunting season early.
No one wants to come home from their hunting season empty handed. So yes, you should absolutely give yourself every advantage possible to fill your tag. Preseason scouting is also a good opportunity to test your gear.
When hunting out of state or unknown territory, it is absolutely necessary to familiarize yourself with the area you will be hunting. This may require several outings. It will help you determine a Plan A, Plan B, and so on. Google Earth is a phenomenal tool to help you scout areas with food, water, and cover where you could predict game would be present. Google Earth is not a substitute though for getting outside and acquiring a feel for the land.
While getting out and hiking the territory you plan to hunt early - you should definitely be looking for all the female game. Where the females are, the males won’t be far. Putting up trail cams could help you pinpoint their travel patterns and location, helping take the guesswork out when the season starts. If you strike out on picking up images on the trail cams, you have plenty of time to move locations and try again. Recognizing their patterns as soon as possible will definitely contribute to a successful hunt.
You should scout both early and late in the day. This will require multi-day scouting trips, but should pay off. Cover all the promising areas by foot to get a real feel for the land. Practice the same skills you’ll use when hunting – move quietly, stay still and be patient.
Last but not least, catching up with the local biologist for any federal office could give you some real tips on where to look for game. They are knowledgeable in game migration, public lands access, and when and where other hunters have been successful.
No one has ever regretted doing their homework - especially if it results in a trophy animal and meat in the freezer. All the above tips should greatly improve your odds in achieving a productive hunt and harvest.