Serious deer hunters know that the season never really ends. From planting and maintaining food plots to servicing your ATV and practicing your shot, deer hunting is a year-round obsession.
To help you maximize your results when the season rolls around and keep you on track, we've compiled a list of the 10 most important days each month for deer management and what you need to be doing.
The middle of summer is the time to get those fall food plots prepped and planted.
- July 2 — Practice with the bow
- July 4 — Happy Fourth of July!
- July 7 — Check the oil in the ATV
- July 8 — Work on mental shot sequence with bow
- July 10 — Wash the ATV
- July 11 — Take the mower and cut back the clover food plot from spring
- July 18 — Take the ATV or tractor back and work up the fall plot
- July 21 — Add fertilizer to the fall plot
- July 25 — Plant the fall plot
- July 28 — Shoot your bow
The dog days of summer can lead to the deer days of autumn. Time to get the stands hung and get serious about the preparations.
- August 1 — Change the oil and fluids in the ATV/tractor
- August 2 — Hang the stands around the property
- August 9 — Sharpen the chainsaw and clear shooting lanes around the stands
- August 11 — Check the trail cameras and brag to your buddies
- August 16 — How is the new plot growing? Check area fields for deer activity at dusk
- August 17 — Go shoot your bow!
- August 24 — Fine tune hunting trip lists
- August 27 — How are your arrows grouping?
- August 28 — Plan to spend the whole weekend doing what your wife wants
- August 29 — Clean lenses on all optics
- August 30 — Hunting season is almost here!
September is the kick off month for autumn. It's game time!
- September 1 — Do something nice for the spouse
- September 3 — How about adding 10 yards to your effective range?
- September 6 — Double check your ATV tire pressures
- September 8 — TIP: Deer are more used to engine noise than silence
- September 11 — Check those trail cameras
- September 15 — Check the oil and fluids in your ATV
- September 17 — Identify your deer sanctuary and stay away
- September 23 — First official day of autumn
- September 24 — Wash all of your camo gear with scent-killing soap
- September 27 — Check integrity of safety harness
- September 29 — See a big buck while scouting? Give him space
This is the harvest month. It is also traditionally the best month to harvest a mature buck.
- October 2 — Did you shoot your bow today? Stay in practice even during season
- October 5 — When's the last time you checked the ATV oil?
- October 9 — Did you know that almost 20 percent of P&Y bucks were taken before October 15?
- October 10 — Today would be a good day to try a deer decoy
- October 12 — Get fresh set of rattling antlers
- October 16 — Boss' Day — You should celebrate by going hunting
- October 20 — Update deer movement patterns
- October 21 — Be on the lookout for bucks you've never seen before
- October 24-30 — Go hunting!
- October 31 — Happy Halloween! Going as a deer hunter again?
The month of giving thanks for friends, family and whitetails.
- November 1 — Make sure you can find your blaze orange
- November 5 — Check those trail cameras
- November 7 — Have your gun sighted in yet?
- November 11 — Practice downward shots
- November 15 — Many deer hunters view this day as a holiday... maybe you should too?
- November 18 — Warm, soapy water will get that frozen deer blood out of the ATV
- November 21 — Are you staying warm in the deer stand?
- November 26 — Thanksgiving
- November 27 — Camo Friday - Go buy some new hunting stuff!
- November 28 — Go hunting!
As winter creeps in, now's the time to find those late season deer..
- December 3 — Get more hand/toe warmers
- December 5 — Keep a close eye on the weather; deer will move early ahead of a winter storm.
- December 8 — Practice shooting your bow with heavy clothes on
- December 10 — Watch Jeremiah Johnson for inspiration
- December 12 — Scout winter deer feeding areas and look for bucks in late rut
- December 15 — Make sure you've winterized your ATV
- December 22 — First official day of winter
- December 24 — Last day to get your wife something really nice for Christmas
- December 27 — Still time to fill that tag!
- December 30 — Thaw out some burger for venison chili
A new year is upon you.
- January 1 — Happy New Year!
- January 3 — Make list of application deadlines
- January 5 — Your ATV can plow snow just as well, and is more fun
- January 7 — Now is a great time to score clearance hunting gear
- January 10 — Might be time to pull the trail cameras that are still out
- January 12 — You're still shooting your bow, right?
- January 14 — Catalog the past season's trail cam photos
- January 21 — Your local archery shop probably has a winter league
- January 23 — Get trophies out of freezer and to taxidermist
- January 30 — If you plan to store your ATV or saw, drain the gas
Winter's grip is in full effect. Deer are tough survivors though.
- February 1 — So what worked this past season? What didn't?
- February 3 — You know, there are some great deals to be had on ATVs this time of year
- February 5 — Deer follow paths in the snow so get out on the ATV or snowmobile
- February 10 — Order flowers to be delivered on Sunday
- February 14 — Take your significant other out for a nice evening
- February 17 — Make sure your saw will start in the cold
- February 24 — Finally get around to storing your hunting clothes
- February 25 — Now get your hunting clothes back out and go to Texas to hunt hogs
- February 27 — Attend a winter outdoor expo
- February 28 — Plan a spring bear hunt in Canada
- February 29 — Leap year!
As winter starts to lighten up, now is a great time to prune your trees.
- March 3 — Get a new turkey decoy
- March 5 — Pay off the new bow early
- March 7 — Buy your wife something to make up for the new bow
- March 12 — Good time to prune trees and cut paths through thick growth
- March 16 — Invite your neighbors over for venison steaks
- March 19 — Find any sheds yet?
- March 20 — First day of spring
- March 26 — Go rabbit hunting
- March 27 — Happy Easter
- March 31 — Third quarter moon
April showers bring May food plots.
- April 2 — Go shed hunting
- April 3 — See if you can find rubs and scrapes you missed last fall
- April 9 — Scout some turkey hunting spots
- April 13 — Make sure your ATV tire pressures are good
- April 18 — When does your state release winter kill deer herd reports?
- April 23 — Turkey hunting is a good stand-in for deer season
- April 24 — Plant some fruit trees for the deer
- April 26 — Spray Roundup on the spring plots
- April 28 — Soil PH tests for spring plots
- April 30 — Plow up the plots
Time to get those early spring food plots going.
- May 1 — Fertilize the plots
- May 2 — Buy lime in bulk and save
- May 7 — Plant the spring food plots
- May 8 — Happy Mother's Day
- May 13 — First quarter moon; check plots for signs of growth
- May 17 — Simple measures can keep critters from destroying plots
- May 22 — Trail cameras can monitor growth and visitors on plots
- May 24 — Shoot a few arrows and check for sprouts
- May 30 — Memorial Day
- May 31 — Be on the lookout for fawns
Summer time, and the living is easy.
- June 1 — Do something nice for the spouse
- June 5 — Don't be afraid to spray a little fertilizer on after things start growing
- June 7 — Check your drive belt on your ATV
- June 11 — Take those mulched lawn clipping and dump them on the fall plots
- June 14 — Don't you have something to pick up from the taxidermist?
- June 19 — Father's Day
- June 22 — Does the chain on the chainsaw need to be replaced?
- June 25 — Don't be afraid to mow down clover and alfalfa
- June 27 — Replace the string and cables on bow
- June 30 — Shoot your bow.