Skip to main content

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.


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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

A climbing aider is a device that you use in conjunction with a stick that helps you gain more height per stick, but at the addition of very little weight to the stick setup. An aider can provide one or two more steps per each stick section, thereby greatly increasing height potential when needed and allowing you to carry fewer total sticks to gain a specific height.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider.

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows ATA Show

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Staff - January 20, 2021

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for...

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe.Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe Recipes

Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison...

Take your hang-and-hunt to the next level with a Trophyline Tree Saddle. Look to Tree Saddle Hunting for Fall Success Treestands & Blinds

Look to Tree Saddle Hunting for Fall Success

Brian K. Strickland

Take your hang-and-hunt to the next level with a Trophyline Tree Saddle.

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Once the arrow is off, there are no do-overs. To ensure a successful outcome, listen to your gut — it's seldom wrong.Deciphering The Shot: Be Patient Until You're Sure How-To

Deciphering The Shot: Be Patient Until You're Sure

Joe Bell

Once the arrow is off, there are no do-overs. To ensure a successful outcome, listen to your...

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence How-To

3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence

Joe Bell

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills.Bow-Tuning Techniques for Peak Performance Bows

Bow-Tuning Techniques for Peak Performance

Joe Bell

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills.

You'll likely have to deal with a lack of destination food sources on public land. Summer Deer Scouting on Public Land Scouting Tools

Summer Deer Scouting on Public Land

Tony J. Peterson

You'll likely have to deal with a lack of destination food sources on public land.

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

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

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter 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