Selecting a hunting area is the first thing you should be thinking about when you go into the woods this spring scouting for that new hot spot for next fall.
Keep a lookout for deer antler sheds and moral mushrooms while you scout the area. I was out two weeks ago and found one side of shed and if that is any indication of the kind and size of deer that live here this might be a prime hunting spot.
One of the things I look for are red oak trees as the acorns from them are a favorite natural food for deer. You must understand that a deer is a herbivore and will eat almost any plant it can find. Up here where I live in Northern Michigan we must fence off all our gardens and flower beds near our house all summer long as the deer think that they are desert.
The next thing I look for is a place for the bucks to drink. Even though the deer get water from the plants they eat they still require up to a gallon of water a day in the summer and a half gallon a day the rest of the year.
The bucks like to stay hidden in the fall so they will not stray too far from cover to drink or eat.
Another thing I look for is where the deer like to bed down. I know that they like a spot that has high grass so they can hide but I also know that they like to lay on a north slope so they can get good sun from the south. I have observed deer in the winter laying on a north slope so they could absorb all the warmth possible.
I also watch deer trails as deer are social type of animals – more the does than the bucks but keep in mind the bucks will cast off his reserve in the mating season and chase herds of ten to fifteen does selecting the does that are ready to mate with him.
I also watch and pay attention to the prevailing winds in selecting the tree I would like to hunt from.
Last but not least yes I am watching for the deer but this time of year I am also out looking for morel mushrooms, I love morels and this allows me to do two things at once.