Skip to main content

Prep Rally: Off-Season Preparations For Whitetails Start Now!

Prep Rally: Off-Season Preparations For Whitetails Start Now!

What's the best thing about leap year? That's easy: It gives us one more day to get ready for next deer season.

These preparations can take many forms, and not all apply to every hunter. On your land, the big question might be whether or not that big 9-pointer you chased all fall made it through the winter alive and well. Thus, most of what you have going on right now is shed hunting and post-season scouting for some better stand locations.

Meanwhile, some hunter two miles down the road might be pondering how much of what to put in for food plots this spring. And yet another local guy is sitting in his home office every evening, doing online research about season dates and license application deadlines for that dream whitetail hunt out west.


All of these are valid ways to spend at least part of the off-season, and all can have a direct impact on how one's 2012 hunts turn out. If you haven't already started your own preparations, it's high time to begin.


Whitetail hunting is by law a seasonal activity. At the same time, for us serious addicts the activities surrounding it know no legal time limits. We view whitetails as the focus of a year-round lifestyle. As a result, sometimes we almost lose track of where one season ends and another begins. Even as we're thinking about the season that just wrapped up, we're trying to figure out how to apply what we just learned (or think we learned), so we can be more successful on hunts yet to come.

(RELATED: Tree Management for Food Plots)

Some hunters simply aren't that good at making the seasonal transition without a hitch. And the reasons for that vary. Often, other obligations and interests take priority. At other times, it's a simple result of burnout. A long hunting season can take a lot out of a person, especially if it ended with tags left unfilled or taxidermists left unvisited.

Another problem is that some hunters simply don't realize how helpful it is to get things done early, especially if the goal is to shoot a mature buck. By waiting too long to zero in on a better hunting area, to scout more productive stand setups or to make habitat improvements, they unwittingly set themselves up for another round of frustration.




(REALTED: Shed Hunting No, No's)

Of course, not everyone takes whitetail hunting all that seriously. Do you think about deer every day of the year? I do, and it's been that way for my entire adult life. Granted, I'm in the "deer business," but I know plenty of non-professionals who share that mindset. Call it an obsession if you wish, but we're really into whitetails, whether it's the middle of the rut or the middle of May. That's just the way it is.

And there are far worse addictions than that!


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Deer Dog: Teaching Retrieves

Deer Dog: Teaching Retrieves

Jeremy Moore discusses the do's and don'ts when it comes to teaching pups how to retrieve.

Food Plots and Dogs

Food Plots and Dogs

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore discusses how to connect food plots to deer and your deer dog.

Dr. Deer: Get to Know Your Neighbors for Better Deer Herd Management

Dr. Deer: Get to Know Your Neighbors for Better Deer Herd Management

Dr. James Kroll and Haynes Shelton explain why it's important to know your neighbors when operating a smaller deer property.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now