One of the biggest challenges of preseason scouting lies in the difficulty of being able to get a good look at the buck(s) you're scouting, while still remaining undetected. Even though a mature buck will often drop his guard down and move during daylight in the summer months, they still remain as alert as any other time of year and it's important that you do your scouting from a distance that will not disrupt their established patterns.
 
In our area of Wisconsin, we're able to scout a good amount of public lands by watching food sources (typically agricultural fields) that border these county or state-owned properties. Although the ag fields are typically private and as such, are off-limits to hunting, it's much less difficult than one would expect to effectively pattern these animals from your vehicle on the blacktop and at great distances.

The key to this strategy is simple and boils down to quality optics, as public roads often limit how close you can actually get to the animals you're scouting. A great deal of the scouting we do in this manner is done from distances of over a half mile or more and using a spotting scope is imperative in these situations. Binoculars, as important as they may be, are often ineffective at these distances in accurately estimating both antler size and the age of the deer. Used in conjunction with a good camera, a spotting scope can also provide you with quality photos of the deer you’re after!

The images of the 11-point below were taken through the lens of a Nikon Prostaff Spotting Scope. For more information on this product, click on the image below:
 
 
Chad has been putting in several hours every night over the past two weeks patterning a bachelor group of bucks. Among them is this 11-point and our 5th entry to the 2011 Most Wanted List. With any luck, we'll get a crack at him on September 17th!
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How's your summer scouting going? Have any trail cam pictures you'd like to share? Share 'em on our Facebook Wall! 


Check out the link below for some great trail camera offers!

 
 
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This 4 year old 7-point makes our list because he's just that: a 4 year old 7-point!
 
 
Stay tuned this week as we begin compiling our 2011 Most Wanted List. Chad was out this morning checking cameras in Monroe County and talking with some of our neighbors--we have some likely contenders for the new list. Be sure to keep checking back with us this week!

Ben

North Dakota Archery Opener Countdown: T-Minus 46 Days!