We all know, you need to do your homework when it comes to helping ensure you get your target buck. But how many times have you had permission to hunt on a lot, then next thing you know for whatever reason you don't get out there to do proper scouting for that lot. Then your relying on other people potentially that might have permission to hunt on the same lot. Then, you decide, I'm just going to head out there and hit one of their stands and see let's get one!!
So your sitting in their stand and nothing, then your out the next day and nothing again. Wait a week and still nothing. This is where you start kicking yourself for not doing your homework and figure why not. Let's go take a look around the land now, since there doesn't appear to be anything around anyways. Down your tree you go and start looking.
This happened to be the exact scenario I hit early this year due to circumstances outside my control. Primarily I was focusing on one lot that I had and during spring turkey season had seen deer walk past me, out in the field and all over. I lot that was down the street from is 87 acres, but spread with a road between it. Also, I was told that three others have permission to hunt there as well and that one of the other guys really scouts and concentrates on that area. Then, since I tried talking with them and nothing really became of it, I figured it wasn't worth it, so I didn't neccessarily write it off, but wasn't going to make it a primary area. Long story short, the area that I had focused on, the farmer caused issues me, so I had to write it off as hunting area. This was a week before hunting season started. So all the work I had put in, was all but useless.
Then, a buddy of mine that has 60 acres of land let me hunt his property. He's a hunter as well, so perfect, stands out already, cams out with pictures of bucks, bingo! So at that point, I had that new lot and the other lot. So at this point, I'm hunting at both and start looking deeper into the lot that is pretty all but next door to my house, that had the three other hunters on it. The primary hunter of the place really doesn't get out there as much as everyone says he does. So when I find a stand, he said that I can use it and since it is now hunting season I'm like score. Sit in the stand for a few times and don't see or hear anything.
The last time I get out of the stand and down the tree, I have an extra hour of time. So I start looking around and in talks with the other guys, they said that the area is just too thick to get through and they don't go in that area really. Well, I figured, lets see how bad that really is. Overall, it wasn't super bad, here comes the important part..
I found in that area, three primary runs through the thicket, tracks all through there and found some deer scat with steam still coming off!!! SAY WHAT!!!! Well, looks like I found the deer, so now let's find some area that is a little more open to hang a stand. Then next thing I know I'm so far into the thicket that I'm like, yea.. there would be finding this thing if I did put it out. So I start heading out and found two huge trails through the thicket that end at a bedding area and a water source with tracks and tracks and tracks!! Score!!!
So at this point, I have a cam out there now to try to catch them and start some patterning. Then, trying to figure out where to get a stand out there, but it doesn't look like that might be the case. So, I might be bringing my turkey blind out there for deer hunting.
That right there is my case and point, no matter where you are going to be hunting. You really need to take the time and learn the lot, while on this lot I still have lots to learn as I have a few other ideas for the other side of the thicket since there's an apple orchard that borders it. Knowing your lot, learing it, spending the time in the woods at each of the places, finding trails and getting cams out there and them patterning them with the moon, dates, wind and pressure. Then, finding where / when and why they are going through there will totally improve your odds. I have been hunting in my youth for years, then teaching my kids now and still because of things outside my control. I totally forgot one of the major and primary rules to deer hunting, which is..
THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR LAND