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Top 5 Tag Punching Tips

By Sean Evenson

As each deer season comes to an end, I am often overcome by feelings of both sadness and relief. Sadness in that I now have to wait another nine months or so until the next deer season begins, but yet relief in that all of my effort has finally resulted in what lies at the end of a blood trail. Whether a trophy buck or a late season doe, the work that was put in at the forefront made it possible. For me, spring marks the beginning and for those of you in search of the trophy of a lifetime, here are five tips to help you make it happen.

1)  Spring Scouting

Although the rut is behind us, the best time to scout is at the forefront. While shed hunting or chasing gobblers, keep an eye out for the signs that tell the story of last season’s rut. Whether travel routes, staging, or bedding areas, act now to identify the location for next fall’s ambush.

2)  Staging Areas

Create your own staging areas or food plots by clearing out small openings inside the cover between bedding and the main food source. With little time and investment, you can produce a hot new hangout to help punch a tag on a nocturnal buck.

3)  Does in September = Bucks in November

Everyone has been through that depressing time of year when does seem to dominate the trails running past your favorite stands. Although this can be frustrating, finding pockets of does will often times be a glimpse of things to come. When the leaves change and begin to fall, your top hit-lister may just be on the heels of a doe you found in September.

4)   Save Your Best Stands for Last

The moment of truth is upon you, and now it is time to put your spring scouting to the test. As the pre-rut kicks in, seek out the prime areas that you identified during your spring scouting missions. Slip in early and sit until dark because that may just be the recipe for a dream season buck.

5)  Timing is of the Essence

Halloween is when the saying, “hunt smarter, not harder” comes to fruition. If you have taken a relaxed approach up to this point that is just fine, but the next 21 days is what smart hunters have been waiting for all season. With lunches packed and all day sits in mind, it’s only a matter of time until that ghost buck walks by.

For a long time I thought that if I put in the time, my walls were going to start filling up with trophy bucks. That just isn’t the case because no matter what you do or how meticulous you are in your approach, you simply cannot kill what isn’t there. That being said, doing the little things in the spring and learning your land will definitely help put you in the right position.