Friday, September 23, 2016

What constitutes huntable land?

© By Othmar Vohringer

It doesn’t matter if you have permission to hunt on private land or if you hunt on public land. There are places that hold deer while others are not or just a few. For example here in the southern interior of British Columbia there are places that you can look for days and count your blessings if you see one or two deer per square mile, while just a few miles in another direction you will encounter deer practically at every step. Why is that so?

In this segment of Whitetail Deer Passion I would like to explain to you what to look for to find a huntable area. With “huntable area” I mean places that hold good deer populations. Huntable areas, or deer magnets as I call it, fulfill the same requirements no matter where you hunt. These requirements are the four basic needs that all animals need to survive and prosper. These basic needs are; food, water, cover and shelter. That’s it, not more and not less. The closer together and plentiful these basic needs are together the more deer will congregate in that area. If the four basic needs are spread further apart or not readily available the fewer deer the area will hold. Any other areas that do not satisfy the basic needs will be void of any deer.

How to find a huntable area

For some it can be a daunting task finding places that are deer magnets. This is a task that can be learned on the internet from the comfort of your home. Even I can’t tell you where you find them. I only can tell what to look for. It takes work and time studying aerial maps and driving around. Granted it can be a daunting task trying to locate these places deer frequent in large numbers. Especially in heavily urbanized areas, heavy hunting competition or where public land is in limited supply it quickly can seem impossible to find good deer populations. But let there be no doubt, it can be accomplished. I developed a system for myself when I look for deer magnets, and it will work for you too.

My system begins with studying aerial maps of any given area I want to hunt. Thanks to Google Earth looking over aerial maps is no problem anymore and can be done by anyone with a computer. The birds-eye view Google provides lets you see land features very clearly. By zooming in on any given area particular features you are looking for can be inspected. I use the zoom feature to find the four basic needs deer need. Once I find them my next task is to find out if that area is public hunting land or private land. If it is private land I will visit the land owner and ask for permission to trespass the property. (Tip; don’t ask right away for permission to hunt. Ask for permission to look around first.)

If the identified area is on public land it’s time to put the hiking boots on your feet and start diligently scouting with binoculars, aerial map (Google Earth printout), note pad and GPS. On private land you obviously have to wait with scouting until you get permission from the landowner to do so. NEVER trespass on private land without expressed permission from the landowner.

Finding good hunting land is never easy and never has been. But with a bit of effort and learning about the requirements deer need, plus a good dose of Whitetail Deer Passion, it can be done by anyone.

 This is what I consider a poor hunting area. While it has lots of cover and shelter the area lacks quality food sources and above all water. Such land has very few deer and they have to travel far to fulfill their requirements.

This is a good hunting area. Here deer find all their basic needs in relative close proximity. Land like this has all the ingredients (food, water, cover and shelter) to support a large deer population.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great info. I am looking to retire early and buy some land to cultivate for deer hunting and turkey hunting. Tired of working for others. Time to work for myself and live the dream. Cheers

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