5 Summer Tips for Fall Deer Hunting Success

Summer is almost here, which means archery deer seasons will start opening across the country before you know it.

Not soon enough. But before you know it.

There is no better time than now to start preparing for the upcoming season. In fact, here are five things you can start doing now to tip the odds in your favor come fall.


A deer hunter hanging a trail camera prior to deer season.

Now is a great time to scout. But then again, there aren’t a lot of BAD times to scout.

The best part about scouting this time of year is the deer have plenty of time to excuse your intrusion before the kickoff of deer season.

This is also a great time because the woods are looking a lot like they will in early bow season. So you can get a good feel for how thick an area truly is and how much trimming you will need to do for good shooting lanes.

Aside from getting your trail-cameras out — which we will discuss in the next section — you can use this time to better learn the lay of the land, check out spots you may have overlooked last season, and even start pinpointing stand locations.

If you are fortunate to live in an agricultural area with plenty of crop fields around, summer is a great time to get in some evening glassing to see what bucks are using the fields and how they are entering and exiting those fields.

Get Those Trail-Cams Out

Trail camera photo of a large Georgia buck in velvet.

Don’t wait until season is almost here to put out your trail cameras. Get them out now so you have plenty of time to move them around to pinpoint travel patterns as well as the quality of bucks in the area.

Sure, the bucks are really just getting a good start on growing antlers, but it’s always fun to watch that growth and monitor their development as the season progresses. And once you get on a potential good buck, there’s a good chance he’ll remain in the area until food sources change and hunting pressure ramps up.

Hang Stands and Prep Stand Locations

The author climbing a tree with his Tethrd One climbing sticks.

Why not take advantage of this time of year — before it gets unbearably hot — and start preparing stand locations? That may mean actually hanging some stands, or just picking out stand locations and trimming shooting lanes.

If your stands have been out since last season, then please take this time to carefully inspect all the straps, cables, and chains. If you’re using straps, my recommendation would be to go ahead and replace them.

I know they aren’t cheap, but they’re much cheaper than the cost of a hospital stay or funeral when you fall from a tree.

Again, prepping stand locations this time of year will give the deer plenty of time to settle down from your intrusion, will allow you to go ahead and get your shooting lanes trimmed back, and with that step out of the way, you now have more time to focus on other aspects of the preparation, like shooting your bow!

Shoot Your Bow

The author practicing shooting his bow in the heat of summer.

For years I was one of those guys who hung his bow up after deer season and didn’t pick it back up until a few weeks before the next one — which may explain my poor success rate early in my bowhunting career.

Fortunately, several years in, I discovered the fun of shooting 3D archery, and I suddenly had a reason to shoot all year.

If you have never shot 3D archery, I would highly encourage you to give it a try. But even if you don’t, set aside time weekly to shoot your bow during the off season.

You will be amazed at how much more confident you will be  with your shooting ability when the season arrives. We owe it to the game we pursue to be as proficient with our equipment as possible to make a quick, humane kill.

Find a New Spot

Screenshot of the onX Hunt app used to find private landowners.

Are you limited on places to hunt? If so, you are certainly not alone in your struggle. However, summer is a great time to work on that problem.

Network with family, friends, coworkers or anyone who will listen and let them know you’re looking for a new place to hunt. You’d be surprised how often a friend of a friend owns land or has a family that owns land and it’s much easier to gain permission with someone to vouch for you.

Aside from networking, you can go the old fashioned route and knock on doors. You can find potential spots by perusing aerial photos and the private land ownership layer on an app like onX.

Once you’ve located the owner, knock on their door, dressed presentably (not in camo ready to hunt), and ask about hunting the property. This is not the high-percentage tactic that it once was, but it’s a numbers game. If you knock on enough doors, sooner or later you will get a ‘yes.’

Final Thoughts

I don’t want to wish my summer away, but I sure am looking forward to the first sunrise of deer season.

But since we all have to make it through these next few months, we may as well use the time to do everything we can to prepare for a safe, successful deer season.

If you’ll work on these five tasks from now until deer season, you’ll definitely be ahead of the game come opening day.  Good luck this season!

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