Deer season has been over across the country for weeks now. Leaving  hunters either satisfied with last years season or disappointed and eager to get back to the woods. Whether 2020 was full of big bucks or more empty truck beds then you would like to admit, lets make deer season 2021 even better with deer scouting early!

Seeing that is early February, some people may question why right now is such an optimal time to start there deer scouting. There are a few things that make February such a great time to scout deer including:

Combating Laziness

When you start planning for your season this far out, it gives you far more time to do all of your planning. You can avoid the fall rush of deer season and get an early jump by starting in February.


With it being mid march, the trees are still bare. Making it much easier to see things like deer travel patterns, bedding and feeding areas are clear.  Great time to scout for the following year.

Rut Signs

This is arguably the best time of the year to locate rut signs. Searching at this point in the year is great because any signs from the fall will show. Since deer are creatures of habit, what they did last year should be a great indicator for what they will do this year. Signs like scrapes will be visible now, get out early before the green returns to the trees for easier locating. Rub lines can help lead you to either a food source or a doe bedding area, both great finds.

Geographical Features for Deer Scouting

March is also the perfect time to search for a number of land features that may be hard to spot in the spring and fall. Bottlenecks and pinch points are two of the most obvious and useful things to look for. Again, playing into how deer are creatures of habits if you can locate a natural funnel it is highly possible a deer has used that and will use it again. Pinch points are similar, with deer using them to get from one piece of timber to the next. Without them having to leave the security of the woods. Pay attention to these things now and have them remembered when it comes time to set up blinds and stands.

Buck trails will also be easier to find. Use this time to find the worn down paths that have been used for years and will be used again. The trails you find out in the open will typically be used by younger bucks and does, while the buck trails tend to be in more covered areas.

Shed Hunting

While it is almost always a good idea to look for shed antlers, this point in march is a great time. Shed hunting is a huge part of wildlife management in general and especially important is early season deer scouting. It gives the hunter a general idea of any bucks that they may have missed and which bucks survived the season and are still alive. As always, an antler found on your property should give you a scope of what size the bucks where you are hunting are.  Both of which should be things you are paying attention too during your scouting.

Early year deer scouting is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of taking home a big buck this year. The earlier you get started, the better chance you will have everything perfect for this years deer season. So get out there, follow these tips on how to do it right, and happy scouting! Here’s to your best season yet!