Are you participating in it? Awesome! I am, as well! Hey, let me ask you some questions. Have you purchased your firearm deer hunting permit yet? Have you firmed up permission with your farmer or rancher friends to hunt their private land? Have you sighted in your centerfire deer hunting rifle already? Have you gone through your gear checklist and looked things over? Good, good. Then, it means that it’s time to do what I did already this week, get out and scout! Just make sure you don’t interfere with an archery deer hunter on the property.
For me, the joy of scouting just prior to firearm deer hunting season in Nebraska is as much or more fun than the hunt itself! The woods and valleys are quiet now. The leaves on the hardwood trees are in full fall color. Autumn is in all of its splendor.
Any seasoned deer hunter will tell you, scouting plays perhaps the most critical role in the deer hunting process. A few hours spent in the field a week or two, or even several days, before before the season opener improve odds for success and makes for a more enjoyable opening day experience!
So, what does scouting right before the firearm deer hunting season actually mean? Scouting means noting a number of key things.
Scouting means not only taking a trip to your hunting land to firm up permission with your landowner friend, but also noting the status of the crop harvest in the area.
Scouting means looking over and noting the state of wildlife habitat. How thick is it?
Scouting also means examining the condition of your ground blind or tree stand and noting any improvements that need to be made, especially for safety.
Scouting means seeking and noting current, well-worn deer trails.
Scouting means finding and noting various deer tracks like those in this wet spot which is a natural salt/mineral lick.
Scouting means putting up and checking your trail cameras near where deer are crossing a creek or similar location and noting individual animals and movement.
Scouting means recognizing and noting other deer sign such as buck scrapes, rubs, beds, and yes, even droppings.
Scouting means spending quality time in the Nebraska countryside and noting beautiful scenery as well as nature’s little things in your deer hunting area before the guns are fired!
Enjoy your scouting adventure!