Did you get your clocks turned forward this past weekend? How about your hunting schedule? Are you springing forward with an ambitious fall hunting goal or falling behind like some of the presidential hopefuls? For most of us, turkey seasons kick off in earnest this coming April, but what can you do until then? Look ahead to fall.
If you're a regular reader of this blog you know I'm not a "Google guy." I'm not waiting it out near a Wi-Fi hotspot biting my fingernails in anticipation for the next "status update." No, I'm in the field every chance I get and learning what I can during the experience.
This past weekend was a good example. My son Cole and I loaded up the truck and headed to one of our favorite whitetail locations and, as you might have guessed, cell service was spotty at best. Our main goal was to pick up deer sheds, but don't let that fool you—we were also surveying for future hunts.
The main goal of our outing might have been picking up bone, but if you break it down, we actually accomplished some much larger objectives.
Here's a checklist of the important items we looked for without a Wi-Fi hotspot:
1. Shed antlers. OK, that's a no brainer. We were on the hunt for shed antlers to see who might be available for the coming year and the potential score of future buck contenders. Yes, we did pack the bone out big time.
2. Deer density. While looking for shed antlers I always conduct a quick, informal survey of the local deer herd and scour the woods for any disastrous carcass signs of a severe winter-kill, disease or even increased predation. I love finding a shed antler, but hate finding a dead buck.
3. Turkey density. Like you, many of my whitetail hunting locations double as my turkey hunting locations. My first priority for turkeys is to get my kids a gobbler, so while looking for shed antlers we also scouted turkeys and noted their early season patterns. So far it looks good for April and May hunts.
4. Landowner relations. Spring is a good time to catch up with landowners and reinforce relationships for the coming fall hunting season. Dropping in 2 days before the fall season and surprising a landowner isn't a smart plan.
If you're out and about scouting for turkeys, looking for shed antlers or simply out for a hike, get the most out of your time and spring forward for fall hunting plans.
What else are you looking for on your spring outings?
More from Kayser:
Video: Tip for whitetail scouting while shed-antler hunting.
Video: Kayser finds a large set of matching shed antlers.
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