It's never too early to begin thinking about the next deer season. Now is the perfect time to take your cameras and feeders into the woods. Starting early makes it much less likely that your activities will adversely affect deer behavior during hunting season. Coming so soon after the season, it's still possible to see rubs and maybe even some scrapes.
This time of year makes it much easier to pick up on other clues as well, like beds and faint trails. That's especially true if you live in an area with snow still on the ground. Use those clues when deciding where to set up cameras. Below are a few other things worth doing right now.
Grab a Map
Get yourself a terrain map. If you're not sure about how to decipher its contents, learn. There's got to be at least a dozen good tutorials on the Internet or YouTube that can get you up to speed quickly. Armed with the map, you'll have a wealth of knowledge about the area. You'll find the ridges and pinch points that act to funnel deer activity. Those pinch points are also where you can pick up the trails. And those are prime locations for cameras. When you get to those locations, be sure to take note of wind behavior.
The whole point of the map is to get you out of your familiar stomping ground and into some potential new hunting areas. Consider setting up cameras a little deeper into the woods than you normally would, again the things you do now probably aren't going to have a negative impact during the season, if you're careful. The extra effort you put into it now stands to gain you a much better understanding of what's going on beyond your usual hunting ground.
This is where the "if you're careful" mentioned above comes into play. Obviously, if you've found what you believe is the ideal hunting situation, then the last thing you want to do is make a lot of trips into and out of the area. So, set up your cellular trail camera with Moultrie Mobile and follow the activity remotely. Since there's no contract involved, a lot of hunters make the mistake of shutting off their service this time of year. That's a big mistake. The monthly prepay is so low, there's no reason to miss out on all that you could be learning right now. If that location turns out to not be so ideal, then think about the time you just saved yourself come deer season.
The logistics involved tend to rule out placing most feeders in remote spots. But in situations where you can access the location without risking overexposure, a hanging feeder is the perfect solution. Easily transportable, a hanging feeder is also less obtrusive to deer. At spots with a lot of sign, a hanging feeder could help to hold deer in that location. If you don't have a hanging feeder yet, look for one with programmable feed settings. A feeder that can be set to put out just a little feed every day will help keep you out of the area for extended periods of time.