Scouting for White-Tailed Deer in Summer 2022

Kenny Flermoen - TheInsideSpread

Kenny Flermoen

JUL 1, 2022

Hunting Stories - Piedmont Game Calls - The Inside Spread

From the time I was a little kid, I’ve always been fascinated with deer hunting. It’s something that my dad and I were able to do together, and we always looked forward to it. As an adult, I’ve learned about different methods for finding whitetail deer and have put them into practice during my hunts.

Nowadays, plenty of guides and articles online will help you learn how to spot white-tailed deer in your hunting area—but what exactly should you be looking for? Though there are many signs out there (and some not so obvious), these five ones have stood out as being vital in finding the track of whitetail bucks:

Finding these four signs can help you see deer in the summertime.

  • The first thing to do is to find food sources. Look for signs of deer in the area, such as grass fields, soybean fields, and corn fields, especially around the edges.
  • A field with a lot of fresh browse (newly eaten leaves). This can tell you that the deer are still around and has been eating recently.
  • Tracks on the muddy ground. These are a good indicator that deer have been in the area recently and could still be there now. If you see tracks in mud or snow, other hunters have likely seen them too!

Next, look for water sources such as ponds, rivers, or streams. These are also good indicators that deer will be nearby because they need water for survival, just like humans do! If you find one of these areas, look closely at its edges—you might spot some fresh tracks leading into it from nearby woods or fields where food is available!

 

Food Sources

​You can find white-tailed deer year-round, but you’ll have the best chance of seeing them when plenty of food sources are available. In the spring and summer, when food is most abundant and lush, they’re more likely to stay in smaller areas for more extended periods. In the fall and winter months (when food becomes scarcer), they will be more likely to travel farther across the landscape in search of sustenance.

 

Thick Bedding Areas

​You will find white-tailed deer bedding down in thickets. Look for thickets with thick grass or big trees. Thick grass is better than no cover for bedding areas, but if you can find a small wooded area on your property with some large trees, this would be the place to start looking for whitetail deer sign.

 

Water Sources

 

Every deer needs some form of water. Early in the spring white-tailed deer typically require quite a bit less water as they get much of what they need from fresh shoots, but as the summer and fall start to come into play, you will see deer gather around lakes, ponds, and rivers to get there need for water . These waterholes will typically have well-worn deer trails that you may be able to set up during the season for a good shot.

 

Now You’ve Found White-Tailed Deer

 

Now that we’ve covered three elements of the white-tailed deer habitat, it’s time to get out into the field and start scouting. This can be fun and extremely rewarding when you find these signs while scouting. I take our kids with us on summer scouting trips so they can spot sign. However, if you don’t feel like spending hours in front of your computer looking at maps or driving around town in search of evidence of deer activity, there are other ways to go about this process.

One option is to hire an experienced professional guide or contact a wildlife biologist. They would know the best practices but also have the experience hunting different types of terrain during all seasons, so they can provide insight into different spots where deer might feed or bed down during summer and throughout other parts of the year!

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