May is upon us and with it comes the warmer weather and brighter days that most welcome after a long winter. But for whitetail fanatics that welcoming of Spring is tempered by the sobering realization that May is farthest away on the calendar that one can get from November! It is literally the 180 degree opposite (being 6 months since the last November and still 6 months till the next) from the magic time most whitetail hunters associate with prime deer hunting. So what is a hunter to do? Here are 5 things to do RIGHT NOW to become a better hunter when November finally rolls around…..
- Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more
Effective shooting (whether archery or firearm) is a matter of repetition. No tricks or shortcuts will change that fact. Spending time simply shooting (which is easier when the weather is nice) is the only sure way to make sure you get better at this essential skill. This should be number one on every hunters off season to do list.
Knowledge is a powerful weapon that many “less serious” hunters overlook. The off season is a time to go over trail camera pictures, scout out changing travel corridors, and beef up on your deer knowledge. By understanding how deer are operating in and using the land you hunt you will be better equipped to place stands and identify blind locations for a higher likelihood for success in the fall.
- Work the land
Once you have identified stand locations and deficiencies in your land, its time to go to work. Moving stands, cutting shooting lanes, brushing in blinds, setting up new cameras, planting food sources, and setting out minerals are just a few things to keep you busy.
- Focus on nutrition
One of the best things you can do for the deer you manage during this time of year is to evaluate and improve the nutritional resources they have access to. Each hunting plot will be different as some come full of natural nutrition sources and others less so. But at a minimum a food plot (even if its just a shooting plot) and mineral sites are must haves for effective management.
- Knock down some predators
Where once they were rare east of the Mississippi River, coyotes now pose a real threat to whitetail deer in almost every state. Aside from humans, they are the whitetail deers number one predator. While you may not think you have coyotes in your neighborhood you will want to confirm this by regular scouting and checking trail cameras. And if you happen to identify coyotes inhabiting your hunting spot most states have open seasons ‘and now is a great time to target them.
Just like with professional athletes of all kinds, when you are a serious deer hunter like the WhitetailEdge team members the reality is that there is really no off season. It’s just different tasks and jobs at different times of the year to give you the best chance at encountering a trophy buck in season. So if you are looking to make that jump to the next level of deer hunting success head outside this off season and apply a few of these recommendations, we know you won’t be disappointed!