While deer season might still be going strong in the southern states, we are winding down here in the midwest. This time of year we shift our focus to completing the vast number of small, but very important, tasks before next deer season rolls around. In January, we will begin to move deer stands around, fine tuning their locations. We’ll even add more set ups, which might seem unnecessary to many if they saw how many we already have (But every real deer hunter knows you can never have enough deer stands…).
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One of our biggest priorities right now is to evaluate the entry and exit routes to each one of our set ups. It is important to make sure there are multiple routes in and out, but also that they are clear of any debris and brush. Your route into your deer stand must be clear so you can minimize any human noise disturbance during the next hunting season. Keep reading below and check out the video at the end for some excellent trail trimming tips.
First, make sure you check up on these trails early in the year during the months of January or February. Once you’ve evaluated their condition, get in there with a chainsaw and/or a pole saw and begin clearing any newly downed trees or any new plant growth from the previous year. You’ll want to make sure this work is completed well in advance of summer, which will bring new growth with it. But at that point, hopefully your proactive maintenance earlier in the year will vastly alleviate how much time you’ll need to spend trimming trails again in the summer. Also, it’s a lot less fun removing trees and brush during the summer due to the heat. So that’s another reason why you should get it done early in the year.
Secondly, when trimming and removing trees and new plant growth, make sure you focus on everything overhanging the trail that reaches shoulder height. In my experience, the most disturbance I have committed has been when I was trying to fight through waist and shoulder-high brush and branches. I can recall many times this happened where I became distracted with all my clothing being caught and then subsequently stepped on giant, dead branches. Most deer were probably sent into the next county with that commotion…
Lastly, be safe when trail trimming. Wear a helmet when cutting branches or trees and make sure someone else is nearby preferably! Check out the video below to see how I put some of the above tips into action.