Have you ever found a deer hunting spot that seems to promise but ends up being unfruitful? Every experienced hunter has experienced that. But, if you spent the whole season in the same place and never spotted a single buck, consider switching up your location for the next hunt.
Not every day do you find that buck you saw on the trail cameras. Thus, trying it in other spots is necessary if you can. Still, checking the spot to ensure you can’t improve it used to be a wise decision. In this article from Texas Landsource, we will answer your question, “When should I change my deer hunting spot?”
Sings You Need to Change Your Deer Hunting Spot
- Ownership Changed:
Only to give you an example, lands where nobody hunted before surrounded my uncle’s property. Whenever firearms deer season began, we knew we could find deer movement around this area.
But, one year, these lands changed owners, and someone began hunting in the newly acquired land! Deer no longer had a haven to run to and hunting pressure shifted some deer migration routes. These new owners could use hostile hunting methods and even making run their ATVs during the hunting season’s peak.
Therefore, something happening next door caused an abrupt, drastic change in our hunting field. Providing more food and refuge for deer in your lands may help to avoid these issues.
- Your Hunting Spot Is Compromised
Whitetail deer hunting on public land may be discouraging, especially for inexperienced hunters. For starters, finding a secretive area where you may go deer hunting is difficult. Whatever you do, do not let on that someone else knows about it.
Maybe you have used GPS to get in and out of your tree spot without leaving footprints. Besides, you can use a climber to ensure no one will ever know you were there. Perhaps you were so worried about being spotted that you did not dare cut any shooting lanes.
You may realize you have revealed your spot if you find boot prints while hunting shed antlers in January and February.
- No New Indications
There appears to be a glaring red flag that suggests it is time to move on. Yet, despite the evident changes, many hunters persist in returning to the exact locations year after year.
Yet, some individuals will put up a stand or blind after discovering things like a young buck dead near a thick rub line. But you do not realize the rubs are three or four years old, and the deer wasn’t even relatively fresh.
Because of habitat degradation, sometimes signs slowly fade over time. As human settlements expand, many animals end up getting into urban areas. In severe cases, they stop showing up at that hunting ground.
- An Epidemic Is Currently Tanking Place
A rapid breakout of a viral illness can wipe out the population of a herd of deer overnight. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) are some of these illnesses.
Many hunters’ expectations are disappointed when they discover an enormous buck they spotted on camera facing down in a creek some days before the hunting season opening.
After a disease spreads in a region, it might take a long time for the population to return to normal. The prions that cause chronic wasting disease (CWD) -a condition that has a 100% mortality rate- can live in a feeding area for a long time. Currently, there is no sign that these illnesses are transmitted to humans. However, many doctors warn against eating contaminated meat. So, decide if it is worth it to take that risk.
The secondary consequences of these illnesses are very significant. Strict regulations on the disposal and transportation of deer carcasses. Besides, required checks and testing of animals are all on the table.
Remind you may have a restricted time to hunt. Thus, do not waste it in a spot where an entire deer herd may be ill.
- For Some Reason, You Know
The first step in solving the mystery of dwindling deer sightings is to go on a hunt and do some investigating. Still, if you cannot solve the issue, it is best to accept it and wait a season before trying again. God willing, this will not last forever!
There will be occasions when neither new neighbors nor a lack of advancement will save your beloved hangout from being ruined. Investigate all your alternatives, but ultimately, go with your instincts when choosing a hunting area. Often, your gut instinct will be spot on.