ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Eric Morken video: Complete spring-scouting breakdown for a better 2022 whitetail season

Eric Morken goes into detail on three setups he recently found scouting, and how getting into the woods this time of year makes such a difference during the fall deer season.

Buck rub
This big rub made by a good buck in Minnesota was found in a prime bedding location during a scouting trip on March 17, 2022. Scouting in the spring before the green-up of summer can help hunters more clearly see how deer are using the landscape on the properties they hunt.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
We are part of The Trust Project.

ALEXANDRIA — If I had to pinpoint one thing that started consistently leading to more mature buck encounters during archery season for me, it has to do with scouting.

I enjoy scouting almost as much as hunting itself. That's because I have watched how much it works.

Nothing leads to confidence in bow hunting like doing work in the spring, having a spot ready to go and then slipping in for the hunt months later while executing a plan.

Scouting is where we put together the puzzle for the following season, and spring is my favorite time of year to scout.

A lot of factors go into that. The previous year's rut sign like rubs and scrapes (when the snow is off the ground), along with the best trail systems, jump off the landscape at this time of year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Buck rub
Buck sign like this rub from the 2021 rut was very evident while scouting on March 17, 2022.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

I find it's easier to identify areas of good bedding, whether that's seeing worn-down beds once the snow is gone or even identifying the thickest areas of cover on a property. Everything can look like a jungle if you wait until the summer months.

Most people do a lot of their hunting during the rut. You will be able to better identify things like pinch points and trail intersections in proximity to those bedding areas that make for the best rut spots.

Leading up to the Minnesota archery opener on Sept. 19, I wrote a column that laid out my best guess on how I would try to get on an early-season buck.

When I do a scouting trip in the spring, I'm looking to identify bedding, then figure out a way to set up off of that bedding location, either within it or near it. I don't want to go back in there until it's time to hunt the following fall.

These videos below break down three spots I identified on a recent scouting trip in Minnesota on March 17, 2022.

This first video looks at an overlooked spot that shows a huge amount of sign, indicating deer are using it in spite of human activity in close proximity.

This second video looks at a specific setup using river access that has a huge amount of rut sign from 2021.

This third video shows exactly why I chose the tree I did to set up within 100 yards of an island in a river system that is some of the best bedding on this property.

MORE HUNTING COVERAGE:
In this Northland Outdoors podcast, host Chad Koel talks with Juten, known on social media as Ali UpNorth. The Duluth resident is the lead Northland Outdoors ambassador, a group of social media and outdoor enthusiasts who help promote the brand.
The meetings result from the discovery of chronic wasting disease in the Climax area of northwest Minnesota and in Grand Rapids city limits.
The meetings will include a formal presentation on history, current status and the future of CWD in North Dakota.
In North Dakota, baiting for deer now is prohibited in Unit 2B south of Grand Forks.
Standing corn is often talked about as a detriment to deer hunters, to the point where some won't even go into the woods until corn is harvested. Eric Morken of Northland Outdoors details examples of getting on high numbers of does to big bucks around standing corn, along with specifics on how to hunt corn as an archer.
The former DNR official will go to the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources.
Levi Jacobson, North Dakota Game and Fish wildlife management area supervisor, talks about the setup with other agencies that own the wildlife areas in the state with host Mike Anderson.
In related hunting news, the early Canada goose season opens Monday, Aug. 15, in all three zones.

Related Topics: NORTHLAND OUTDOORSHUNTING
Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
What to read next
This weekend will feature hot tempeatures across parts of the Dakotas with a little cooler weather to the east.
The multi-agency effort will help verify data collected by traditional research boats and crews.
Long-billed curlews are a species of concern because of population declines, and they’re also seen as an indicator species for the health of grasslands, even agricultural lands.
Gov. Tim Walz announced the annual angling event would take place in Mankato for the first time.