The post season is almost nearing its end, for all intents and purposes we’ll consider March the end of post-season and April the beginning of pre-season. In some areas I’ve been on top of everything I’ve desired to be, but I’d still like to make much more progress in others areas of my preparation for the 2014 season.
- Bed, Trail, Rub, Scrapes and Food Source Scouting: This month I’ve yet to do any scouting, but as soon as the snow melts I’ll be doing some scouting looks for sheds and more importantly scrapes of the pervious season. During the 2013 season I located a scrape hot spot. I’m hoping to have a stand there in the 2014 season.
- Stand Scouting and Preparation: My goal into March and early April is to prepare some paths and shooting lanes for these new stands we hope to put in. I’m looking forward to this and the promise of new tree stand locations.
- Shed Hunting: Shed hunting has been at a complete stand still for me due to the serious snow pack, but the soon to be melting snow will allow for some serious shed hunting. I’ve noticed numerous twitter pictures of shed beings found over the past month.
- Trail Camera Surveys: I’ve continued my post-season herd survey. I’ve used this along with data from the season to actually compile a buck to doe ratio for our local area. I’m glad that our survey has led us to an estimate of a ratio of 1.2 bucks to every doe. With a ratio like this we have a lot to be excited about. The only concerning thing is that liberal doe harvests may have our numbers a bit to low. Next seasons numbers will allow us to get a better fix on this. Regardless it was great to get a ratio for this past season.
- Nutrition: This harsh winter had led certain states to supplement feeding from DNR departments. Numerous deer will likely be lost to the severity of this winter especially in the colder climates of the whitetails territory. Areas with proper nutrition and proper herd numbers should hold up despite the severity of this winter. EHD reducing populations prior to this extremely cold winter was a positive for the whitetails that survived EHD as they had less competition for food. If your area has poor late season food sources, this winter should force you to consider planting food plots that will maintain whitetail health throughout the post-season.
- Predator Control: Predator control has been unsuccessful on our end, but we’ve got a few ideas to better succeed at this next year. Putting a dent in your local coyote will certainly help your fawn recruitment in the spring/summer.
An article I just read on Deer and Deer Hunting’s website just reminded me that deer season is close to 6 months from now. That truly means it’s time to get focused on what lies ahead. The next pre-season article for April will switch gears on what needs to be done in preparation for the 2014 season.