Bartylla tips for Mr Big

Bartylla’s aerial photo evaluations

This week’s tip revolves around what we can be doing now to improve our chances of tagging Mr. Big this fall. Frankly, with the window for most productive scouting being closed over the summer and being between food plot seasons, there isn’t much demanding our hunting/management attentions right now.

In a perfect world, I’d have all my stands reset and trimmed this past spring. Because of summer growth, I’d have trimmed more than during season, allowing for the trees to grow, loosen the stand and only have to reset this mid summer-fall.

I’m going to end up dealing with around 300 stands this year. I didn’t get them all done. Now is when I’ll finish. In fact, those in woods, higher impact stands will be the very first I focus on. I can get away with doing stand work on the edges of plots and fields during season. Deer expect some level of human disturbances around these plots. In woods is a different beast. I REALLY don’t want to be scouting or doing anything inside the woods for a least a full month before season, preferably two or three months. For as tolerant as Mr. Big can be with human activities in plots and fields, they can be every bit as intolerant of those disturbances inside the woods.

When you think about it, that makes sense. Deer are no different than dogs in one key way. We can train them to fear or accept darn near anything. Because of all the farm work that occurs with plantings, we’ve trained deer to accept that. It’s normal to hear tractors and smell humans there. At the same time, we’ve trained them that human disturbances in the woods are far more life threatening.

So, job one for me is to have all the in woods stands prepped for season, well before season starts. Over the next month or two, I’ll revisit the ones I prepped, needing only to reset the stand and sticks. Any that I haven’t, I’ll reset and trim. Frankly, the whole reason I like to trim them in the spring is because it’s less work in 90+ degree, bug infested heat.

This applies to public lands, as well. The only difference is that I’m not allowed to leave stands out over summer on any of the public grounds I hunt. So, instead, I hang and prep the stand, only to then take it down.

That may seem like a waste, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m striving to kill 3.5+ or 4.5+ year old bucks, depending on where the public ground is, off of ground that everyone and their first cousin Earl are chasing them on. These bucks didn’t get that age by ignoring human activities within their woods. Frankly, they’re easily the most challenging animals I hunt. It may not seem like a big deal, but having the tree ready means that I can pack the stand in with me the first time I hunt, have it set in minutes and be hunting, while greatly minimizing any disturbances. For more mature public land bucks, that’s a really big deal.

I don’t really have any deer videos that go with this. So, I just tossed some eye candy in for you all. Enjoy and be safe out there, my friends!