For many deer hunters, hunting does not last just a few months of the fall and the winter.  The guys and gals that routinely kill big bucks year after year have their hand in deer hunting in one form or another 12 months out of the year.  If you want to be on the list of hunters known for accomplishing the harvest of big bucks, follow this schedule that will prepare you all year for the task at hand.  This plan is no guarantee that you will immediately be able to harvest big bucks for the rest of your life, but you will learn more about deer. The more you know about the quarry you are hunting the better the chances you have at succeeding.    


As the temperatures get warmer and the robins return, most deer hunters are thinking about turkey hunting, picking morels, and fishing.  The last thing on their mind is hunting deer.  If you want to be successful in the upcoming fall in the deer woods, there is plenty you can do now to prepare.

Now is a great time to be in the woods searching for shed antlers.  This can be combined with hunting morels or scouting for turkeys. 

Food plots are also something that you need to start preparing.  A lot can be said about food plots, but for the sake of this article, all I will say is that if you want to attract deer, take the time to make sure it is done correctly.  Ensure the pH levels are right.  Plan on how much seed lime and fertilizer you will need.  If you are going to take the time to plant a food plot, do it right and care for it throughout the year.  This might include applying weed killer and doing some mowing.

Chances are if you are like me, you probably do not have enough good hunting spots, Unless you own a lot of land, you either hunt public ground or seek permission to hunt private ground.  Now is the time to knock on a few doors asking for permission to hunt new ground.  Things have changed over the last few years and it is more difficult to be granted hunting permission, but it can still be done with a little legwork.  Remember all a person can tell you is no.  If that happens, politely accept the rejection and move on to the next landowner.


The last thing I am normally thinking about during this time of year is hunting deer.  It seems my mind is more focused on planning a summer vacation than sitting in a tree stand in freezing weather conditions.  I need to get out of that mindset and start thinking like a deer hunter.

Get out and put some miles on your vehicle.  Bucks will be grouped together and will come out to eat well before dark.  Travel the back roads and use your binoculars to glass for feeding deer.  It is pleasurable watching the deer from the comfort of your air-conditioned truck.  Be careful to stay far enough back to not alert them of your presence, and take down notes as to where they are entering and exiting the fields. Trail cameras are a good scouting tool on which many of us rely.  Start hanging your cameras, and checking and moving them every few days to learn more about the deer you will be hunting.

By now, you probably have a good idea as to what the deer patterns are.  If you do not have all of your stands and ground blinds in position for the upcoming hunt, now is the time to do so. While you are out there, go ahead and cut shooting lanes.


This is the time of year that the only thing many people are thinking of is hunting deer.  But, now is also the time when many hunters realize they are not prepared for the upcoming season that is fast approaching.

Now is the time to re-check your gear to make sure it is all in order and working the way it should.  Wash clothes in scent-free soap and store in a container that will prevent them from being contaminated.  Check and replace any batteries in your flashlights and other battery-operated gadgets.

Even though you have been doing plenty of target practice throughout the past few months, take a couple more trips to the range and make sure your gun or bow is still shooting straight.  I love going to my stand knowing that just a day or two before I was shooting to the best of my ability.

Oh yeah, did I mention it is the start of deer season?


As season lasts into the middle of January, there is plenty of hunting to be done during the winter.  Continue to hunt if you still have tags remaining.  As it gets later in the season focus your hunting to food sources as deer try to rebuild their strength after a lengthy rut.

Hopefully with the advice I have given you, you can prepare to hunt or hunt throughout the year instead of just watching hunting shows on television.  Making this a 12-month affair will make you a better hunter.