ALEXANDRIA — If I had to identify one thing that has started to consistently lead to more mature male encounters during archery season for me, it has to do with scouting.

I love scouting almost as much as the hunt itself. It’s because I looked at how well it works.

Nothing leads to confidence in bowhunting like doing work in the spring, having a place ready to go, and then slipping in for the hunt months later while executing a plan.

Eric Morken

Scouting is where we put the puzzle together for the next season, and spring is my favorite time of year for Scouting.

Lots of factors come into play. Signs of the previous year’s rut ​​like scuffs and scrapes (when the snow is above ground), as well as the best trail systems, jump out of the landscape at this time. of the year.

Buck rub
The Buck sign like this rut ​​rub of 2021 was very evident during screening on March 17, 2022.

Eric Morken/Alexandria Echo Press

I find it easier to identify areas of good litter, whether it’s seeing worn beds after the snow has gone or even identifying the thickest areas of cover on a property. It can all look like a jungle if you wait out the summer months.

Most people hunt a lot during the rut. You’ll be able to better identify things like pinch points and trail intersections near sleeping areas that are the best spots for ruts.

When I do a scouting trip in the spring, I look to identify the bedding and then find a way to settle from that bedding location, either indoors or nearby. I don’t want to go back until it’s time to hunt next fall.

These videos below break down three locations I identified on a recent reconnaissance trip to Minnesota on March 17, 2022.

This first video looks at a neglected area that shows a huge amount of signs, indicating that deer are using it despite human activity nearby.

This second video looks at a specific setup using river access that has a massive amount of rut signs from 2021.

This third video shows exactly why I chose the tree I had installed within 100 yards of an island in a river system which is one of the best beddings on this property.

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