5 Things Deer Hunters Can Do in February
Winter is among us, but February sometimes provides us with a glimpse of what is coming soon, warmer weather. A little disclaimer, I’m currently writing this in Wisconsin where it’s less than 10 degrees outside. With the promise of winter ending soon, we wanted to give all of the hard-core deer hunters out there some hope and show you 5 things deer hunters can do in February.
Scout Topographical Maps
When the temperature is in the single digits and it’s dark out when you go to work and when you come home, you can still get some scouting done. Computers and the Internet allow us to thoroughly scout from the comfort of our couch in the living room. Jump on Google Earth or one of the many other map sites available, put in your area and figure out where the saddles, bedding areas and general deer movement will occur. Once it has warmed up or when you can get out on foot, you can scout it from the ground. This is also a great way to scout properties and land that is further to travel to.
There is no better way to understand the properties that you hunt than by walking them when the snow has generally melted, but there is some left to see the deer movement. Rubs stand out against the snow, beds are easy to see and tracks are readily available. When the ice is thick enough to walk on in marshes, you can get to hard to access locations to find where the big boys live. Walking properties before green up, is in my opinion, the most valuable scouting that you can do. Put the time in during February (and March) and you’ll benefit from it in the fall.
Shed hunting is a sport in and of itself. When the snow melts down enough, and sometimes even when it’s not, get out there and find the antlers of the bucks you chased last fall. Not only is shed hunting a fun activity that can get you a trophy buck’s headgear, but it’s great exercise to get you ready for the season. Finding shed antlers is also valuable information as to where a buck is feeding, bedding or traveling and can help you locate his living area for the hunting season.
Shoot in an Archery League
Honing your skills is important in the off season. Having the confidence to make the shot when it counts is an important asset to have when there is a big buck walking by you. Shooting in an archery league in the winter and spring is a good way to keep your bow shooting skills sharp while hanging out with your buddies. Do it for fun, do it for competition, or do it for a night out once a week.
Take Down Stands & Check for Safety
If you haven’t done so already, taking down your deer stands is a good idea before it warms up. Trees swell in the spring and this can stretch out your straps that are on your stand. If you don’t loosen straps or take them down occasionally, this can damage the straps that keep you safe. Taking down the stands before spring and then hanging them again in the summer or after it warms up is a good idea to check to make sure everything is in working order and they’re safe for next season.
Don’t worry, hunting season is coming and while it may seem like there isn’t a ton to do right now for deer hunters, there is always preparation to be had so that you can hang another buck on the wall. If you can’t do any of these things, you can always work on picking out a spot on the wall to hang your mount from this season that should be done soon by the taxidermist right?