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Obsessed with bowhunting whitetails and running trail cams! Love fishing, 3D Archery, camping, and teaching hunter education. Been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff since 2008 and is excited to become a part of the team here at Victory Outdoors.

Making Adjustments

As the new season is quickly approaching, and final preparations are being made, I thought I’d write about some changes I’m making this year as well as some things that remain the same over the years. One of the main changes that was made on the property is a small finger of crop field that was planted with walnut, oak, and hickory trees last summer. Now that it has been a year since the corn was replaced with trees, I’m getting a better idea of the way the deer move around and through this changed area. They are getting used to the new area, and it’s going to be a great habitat improvement in the long run, but it is proving to be a bit of a challenge in the short term. Now that the cornfield has a defined edge straight across the opening, I’m planning to hang a stand on the outside corner where the edges meet. There are several well defined trails along the field edge, and the corn looks to have been hit hard by feeding deer. There is even a perfect tree in the corner just waiting for my Twisted Timber Treestand.

east bottom 2Another issue I’ m dealing with this year is the river bottom flooded twice this summer, moving logs and other debris around changing travel routes. It took several weeks after the last flood for the deer to get back to their normal usage of the bottom ground. There are three stands in the bottom timber strip. Two of them will most likely stay where they are. The third will be pulled and moved up to the top of the ridge directly south of where it is now. The farthest east stand in the bottom looks like it will benefit from a large downed tree that will hopefully act as a funnel bringing deer in close as they make their way to and from the river. There are several well used trails that intersect within 30 yards of this stand.

west bottomThe other stand on the western side of the bottom doesn’t have much for trails around it currently, and I hope that changes in a few weeks. I’m concerned because it has been a major travel route in the past, and there are a few logs that will make it less of a straight shot. The main reason I refuse to give up on this stand too early in the season is it’s track record. I hung it the first weekend in November of 2012 because I was tired of seeing bucks skirt out of range of the third stand in the bottom. Later that week my hunting partner killed a great buck from it, and last year I killed my buck from it. It has a short history, but it is a proven producer, so it gets the benefit of the doubt.

east bottom 1The last thing I plan to do differently this season is to hang a few permanent stands on the ridge above the bottom. I have hunted it mainly by staying mobile using both a climbing stand and a hang on with lightweight portable climbing sticks. It has worked very well in the past, but this year I’m going to focus on using the knowledge I’ve gained over the last few seasons to set up in the most likely places so I can get in and out more quickly and quietly, while having my portable stands ready in case I see new patterns as the season progresses. I’m looking forward to this season more and more every day, and I’m anxious to see if my adjustments work as planned, or if the deer have other ideas.

ridge buck

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