Scout First For Success

Scout First For Success

Any time you bowhunt a new area, don't make the mistake of hunting immediately. Scout first. For example, I recently went after mule deer in a place I had never been before. I was tempted to immediately pound the hills, bow in hand, but I knew better. So I spent the first three days driving roads, glassing early and late, and snooping for fresh tracks in promising habitat. I saw a smattering of deer, but no large concentrations.

Then my scouting paid off big on the third evening out when I found a canyon with more bucks than all the other places combined. Two days after that, I stalked and shot a nice 6x6 after passing up two dozen smaller males. If I had not scouted first, I would have spent the entire 10-day trip in a second-rate spot with a reduced chance of taking an animal.


Here is a good rule of thumb: In a new area, devote at least the first 25 percent of your trip to scouting. Don't try to fill your tag immediately -- cover lots of ground first to locate a high-odds place to hunt. Find the hotspot first, and then pursue the animals. You will realize far more success in the long run.



Recommended for You

In the market for a new traditional bow? Here are our top picks from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Recurve Bows for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 11, 2019

In the market for a new traditional bow? Here are our top picks from the 2019 ATA Show!

Check out our list of the best new-for-2019 optics from the ATA Show! ATA Show

Best New Binoculars for Bowhunters in 2019

Brian Strickland - January 11, 2019

Check out our list of the best new-for-2019 optics from the ATA Show!

A micro project could enhance the action. How-To

Small Prescribed Burns for Your Treestand Locations

C.J. Winand

A micro project could enhance the action.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 1

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 1

Bowhunter TV's Derek Mleynek and Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson head to Texas for a late-season mixed bag hunt that promises plenty of action.

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Bowhunter team member Rudy Bachraty gets his chance to take an elk with Cross Mountain Outfitters of Colorado.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 9: Wild Turkey Explosion

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 9: Wild Turkey Explosion

Curt Wells provides color commentary on some of the team's best turkey hunts, including this one with his grandson in Kansas.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe. Recipes

Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

Here's how to choose vanes that will yield the best accuracy, forgiveness, and trajectory. Arrows & Broadheads

What Are the Best Vanes For Hunting?

Joe Bell

Here's how to choose vanes that will yield the best accuracy, forgiveness, and trajectory.

See More Stories

More How-To

If you want to improve your success rate and notch more tags, avoid these common errors. How-To

How To Increase Your Bowhunting Success Rate

Joe Bell

If you want to improve your success rate and notch more tags, avoid these common errors.

The worst deer hunting of the year is upon us, but that doesn't mean it's time to stay inside. How-To

Late-Season Realities of Whitetail Hunting

Tony J. Peterson

The worst deer hunting of the year is upon us, but that doesn't mean it's time to stay inside.

Don't ruin your chances of tagging a big buck this fall. How-To

Late-Summer Scouting Mistakes to Avoid

Tony J. Peterson

Don't ruin your chances of tagging a big buck this fall.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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