Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 57

area. In a short time you would find that the new deer would be using the same travel, bedding and feeding areas as the deer before them had established. This is a very important point, as it means that the land and its habitat actually determine the deer movement. That is why learning the lay of the land is so important, and the best time to do that is in the winter, when sign and movement pattern is most evident. During January through March the ground can be either snow covered or soft and muddy. In either case it holds deer sign well. With the absence of foliage it’s easy to see how each section of the ground connects to the other, making it easy to identify funnels or pinch points where deer movement normally narrows and is concentrated. These are the areas I look for as possible future stand locations, and while they are easy to spot in winter, they are almost impossible to find in the fall due to excessive foliage. A word of caution here about deer trails. During these winter months you may find trails through open areas that are heavily used. Some of these trails will also contain heavy traffic patterns later in the year, even during the hunting season and might seem like a great place for a stand. However, while these heavily used trails indicate deer movement, they are almost always made by nighttime movement. The general rule for deer trails is the heavier the use in open areas, the less likely you are to see a deer on them during daylight hours. However not all is lost. Check any cover in the area that parallels these heavy open trails and I’ll bet you will find deer sign just inside the cover. The trails will not be as heavy, but they will be there. These are the routes that the deer will use during the daylight hours, and somewhere a little deeper in the cover will be the paths that the bucks normally select. Look for stand locations along the trails located in the cover and avoid the heavily used trails in the open. Remember, winter scouting is done to
JANUARY  2012 

locate deer movement within a given area. Things will change between March and October, but the information you learn early in the year will be an excellent starting point for the fall. Areas of activity will remain active even if the deer population changes. The same travel, feeding and bedding areas will be used over and over. Areas with scrapes and rubs will also be potential hotspots of activity next year as well. Remember, you are looking for deer sign and potential hunting sites for the next year based on this year’s activity. Things may change and slight modification may be required, but as a general rule, deer movement will be focused in the same areas. When you locate deer paths follow them and observe not only where they go, but also how the deer use those routes to move from one section of ground to another, while minimizing their exposure. Deer trails or signs of deer movement can vary greatly. Deer don’t simply follow a specific trail between their bedding area and feeding sites. Their movement can be quite random, but they will usually choose the easiest routes through areas that offer protective cover. What you are looking for are areas where deer movement is concentrated, increasing your opportunity for a shot. These are the areas commonly referred to as funnels or pinch points, and they are always determined by the physical lay of the land and available cover. While they can be difficult to locate in the fall, with the absence of cover in winter they jump right out at you. When I identify potential areas, I take the time to look for a treestand location or a spot for a ground blind. I mark the area and my potential stand location on a map or in my GPS. In the fall I can easily return to these areas to check for current sign or activity. I save a lot of time by returning to previously identified stand locations. Remember that sites that showed scrapes or rubs in the winter will not show that sign in early fall. If I have located what I
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 12
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 15
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 18
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 31
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 33
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 36
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 40
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 57
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 61
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover4
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