Now that hunting season is over it is time to start planning for next year. There are a lot of projects that you can do to make your hunting property even more productive. All of these projects work in concert with each other and will help you have a well-rounded property that deer will want to be on.
To make specific habitat changes, you need to know what is happening on your property. A successful hunter never stops scouting. The woods change from year to year, and you need to be able to monitor the changes. Late winter and early spring are good times to see a lot of these changes. The leaves are off the trees and a lot of sign that will be hidden in a few months sticks out like a sore thumb.
Look for heavily used trails and take note of where these trails intersect. Last year I found a place in a creek bottom where five superhighways came together. Finding these trails helped me to establish a plan for other improvements that helped me decide where to hang my stand, how to access the stand and what other improvements the sight needed.
I also like look for bedding areas. A light dusting of snow is perfect for finding them. Once you find where the deer want to bed, then you can start to plan how to improve the bedding area and how you can use other tricks to get the deer to move where you want them to go.
I cannot stress enough how crucial early season scouting is. You will learn a lot from doing it, and it will help you establish a short and long-term plan.