Velvety Fun - Summer Deer Scouting

News & Tips: Velvety Fun - Summer Deer Scouting

The more I have been involved with hunting, particularly deer hunting, the more I’m convinced it’s a year-round task. Sure, hunting season only last 3-4 months out of the year, but what about the other 8-9 months you spend preparing, scouting, setting stands, planting food plots, and everything else that comes with the buildup of harvesting a buck?  If you are truly in it for the long haul and really care about the future of your deer herd, then you know good and well it’s a year-round job.

Besides actually hunting deer during season, my favorite time of the year that relates to deer hunting is the summer months when the bucks are re-growing their velvet-scouting1covered antlers and we start scouting and getting pictures of them on our trail cams. It’s like opening a gift on Christmas morning. You don’t know what’s going to show up or what you’re going to get, but you’re excited! It has always amazed me that a buck can possibly add 20-30 more inches of antler to what he had the previous season in such a short period of time. Not only add more inches in tine length, but possibly grow stickers, drop-tines, or grow back substantially heavier. It is remarkable they can grow their antlers back that quick, let alone grow bigger and better ones!

Technology has made huge advances and now trail cameras allow us to scout in a whole different way we didn’t even know was possible fifteen years ago. I love it! It offers a close up shot of numerous deer in the area, and really allows you to age, study, and describe a certain deer in much more detail. Trail cameras have definitely been a huge advantage for a hunter. It’s also fun to watch a deer go from having little velvet stubs, to an impressive spread over a short period of time. It’s so cool and allows you to see things you would never see without the trail cams. For example, we have had a certain buck on a camera in the morning with his velvet, and then that same buck came back that same evening sporting a new and glossy, shinned up rack. Trail cams are truly a great invention and have allowed so many deer hunters to critique and master the art of judging and aging a deer.

scouting3Before there were trail cameras though, my dad and I would go and sit on a hill and scout (the old fashion way) for deer on various alfalfa fields and food plots. This was the highlight of my summer nights growing up. I can’t even begin to try and tally up the hours him and I sat with our bums numb, legs falling asleep, and eyes glued to our binoculars and/or spotting scopes. I highly recommend taking anyone who shares a passion for the outdoors scouting a couple nights out of the summer if at all possible.  It was so much fun and I learned loads about deer, their behavior, and the importance of scouting. Even though I love the technological advances and checking trail cams, it will always come in second in my heart. Nothing can beat sitting at a distance watching, studying, and praying he makes it through to hunting season with my dad!

Always check with your state seasons, rules, and regulations before you do any type of hunting. You can easily access your states hunting/fishing license website through All you need to do is select your state, to access all your states regulation information.

Happy and Safe Hunting!!