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Travel Corridors: Learn to Beat Deer at Their Own Game

By Pro Staffer- John Ruiz, Jr.

What are travel corridors? Where are these high traffic travel areas located? What is a pinch point, and what causes deer to use these travel areas? These are common questions that every hunter will encounter at some point in their hunting career. The answer to these questions can be found through years worth of experience on your own hunting properties. I’ll address these questions and give you some insight from my own experiences in the timber.

Travel Routes

There are many lessons to learn in the whitetail woods. One of the most important strategies to decipher is learning your property’s travel routes. This one thing can instantly keep you in the game. Sometimes just seeing a deer can be the difference between becoming a hunter for life and just another check on the bucket list. Nobody really enjoys not seeing deer during a hunt, especially the young hunter, our future generational conservationists. Yes, there is more to hunting than harvesting an animal and seeing deer, but seeing them consistently will keep you in the field more often. To see more deer, you must think like a deer and figure out where they move in their environment.

Locate Bedding, Food, and Cover

The game animals on your property consistently travel from bedding, to cover, to food and back. Your property will likely have several bedding areas. It will also contain different food sources such as acorns, row crops, or man-made food plots. Take a walk on your property and mentally mark these bedding areas and food sources. Get on Google maps or Google Earth and click through layering filters. That will help you read the flow of your land, see the high and low points, and locate these food- to- bed areas easily. This will intern give you the best idea of how the deer travel through your property. Learning how to read topographic maps will teach you the flow of your property, but it can also teach you how to do the same thing on an out-of-state lease. It will also help you see if that outfitter you’ve been thinking about booking has some good land or if it’s worth the price tag. Figuring out how to decipher this puzzle will put you in the best spot on the property before you ever set one foot on the dirt.



Learn Their Roads

So what are travel corridors? They are simply routes that game animals use to maneuver around your property. These game animals are masters of their environment, and you are the student. They have spent their entire life on this property and know how to move, when to move, where to move, so it’s your job to try and beat them at their own game.


The Road Less Traveled By

Where are these travel areas located? They are typically located between bedding, thick cover, and food. They are also located between water holes, streams, and rivers. They can be easy to spot. Many times heavy tracks, or a well worn down trail will show you how they are moving. However, it is much more difficult to locate a big buck’s travel corridor. He often uses the path less traveled by, slipping in and out of edge cover. He will use a trail high upon the ridge, or zigs and zags through thick cover. He will also use a tall agricultural field to give you the slip when you least expect it.

Pinch Points

What is a pinch point? A pinch point is where two or more varied terrain elements converge together. This is typically a very high traffic hub that the deer will use for communication purposes. If you’ve found one of these, you’re in the right spot to hang a stand. Pinch points are a hunter’s best friend, especially during the rut when the big boys are on the move seeking those receptive does. A great pinch point example would be where a hard bend in a river or stream occur, making a natural funnel to cross. Where a fence row meets another fence row, causing the deer to flow in a specific way, or where several rolling hills meet. These are all excellent pinch point areas.



Figure Out Their Game

Finally, what causes deer to use the travel routes? Deer primarily are creatures of habit. They listen to their bodies like you and I do. When they are hungry, they travel to food. When they are thirsty, they hit the water hole. When they want to feel safe, they creep through thick cover. Keep a keen eye open for these trails, and over the years you will have figured out their game.

Using Scents Effectively All Season Long

By Stephen Robinson of Working Class Hunter

Using Scents should be a part of every whitetail hunters strategy, especially if you are a bowhunter.  Getting that trophy buck within bow range can be tricky and you need every advantage possible if you hope to consistently harvest mature whitetails.  The use of scents is one of those strategies that can tip the scale in your favor.  As with every strategy, sometimes they work better in combination with other strategies.  I want to talk about my overall scent strategy starting at the beginning of the season all the way to the end.


    
Early Season

During the early season which starts September 15th here in Missouri, I tend to only use a cover scent.  I have had a fair amount of success using EverCalm from ConQuest Scents.  Evercalm is a bedding scent, a collection of scents and smells from actual bedding areas  that will help keep deer at ease.  I’ve also had luck using a pine or acorn based cover scent.  The idea in the early season is to not alert deer that anything unusual is in the area.  I want to get in and out completely undetected so I don’t push deer out of the area.



Pre-Rut


    As the season heats up and we move into the pre-rut phase, my strategy changes drastically.  I shift to an intruder buck or dominant buck scent.  I want those hormone enraged bucks to come find the intruder and kick him out of the area.  This has been a very effective strategy for me over the years.  I’ll typically bring along my rattling antlers, a grunt tube as well as a buck decoy.  Through experiences and failures, I have found that sometimes scent alone will not get a mature buck to commit.  He didn’t get to be mature by only following his nose.  He’s smart enough to trust his nose, but he also looks and listens for confirmation before he’s willing to commit.  If I have an intruder buck scent out during the pre-rut I will rattle at any bucks that I see from afar as well as blind rattling occasionally.  You have to be careful blind rattling, there might already be a buck closing in and you can run a buck off if he catches on.   A decoy has been a huge part of my success as a mature buck hunter.  I’m a firm believer that with the use of a strategy that implements the right scent, the right amount of rattling and a visual cue, those mature bucks feel compelled to commit, especially during the pre-rut.  Those bucks are trying to establish and defend their territory and they will try and push out any intruders.  I can only think of one buck on my wall that didn’t fall to either one or a combination these three strategies.


Peak Rut

    Once the rut kicks into full swing, I switch over to a doe estrus scent and will either leave the decoy at home or set it up as a doe.  I’ll try and position myself on travel routes and funnels.  Bucks will have the does moving and they’ll typically take well established trails or the path of least resistance.  The use of a doe estrus scent in this setup might just slow that mature buck down long enough to get a shot at him.  Keep in mind, these bucks have a one track mind when the rut is hot and it’s nearly impossible to get their attention off that hot doe they are chasing.  The hopes are you catch one that hasn’t already locked down with a doe and entice him to step into range.


Mid Rut

    Once the initial rut has slowed down, you can typically find those bucks out carb loading in the fields.  They have been running hard for the past couple weeks and their bodies need to recover.  I typically spend my time hunting field edges and I’m back to the strategy of being invisible, I’m only using a cover scent for the next few weeks.


Secondary Rut

    It’s important to keep track of rut activity each season to hopefully identify the peak of the rut. If you know when the peak of the rut happened, you will know when to expect the secondary rut.  Does have a 28 day estrus cycle, that means that if a doe isn’t breed during the rut, they will come back into estrus 28 days later.  This presents another opportunity to catch up with that typically illusive mature buck.  As the secondary rut approached, I will switch back to a buck urine scent like the J&S Intruder buck.  I will also start using my buck decoy again.  This time of year, the bucks are going to be a bit more cautious than they were during the first pre-rut, they have most likely survived an eventful gun season so they are well aware of the human intrusion into their domain.  A decoy is a great way to force a hesitant buck to commit.  There’s honestly nothing like watching a dominant buck stomp in and measure up a decoy, if your lucky he will give you the shot opportunity you’ve been waiting for.



Scent Dispersal

    We’ve come a long way as hunters over the years and the hunting industry has continued to innovate and provide us with products that help tip the scale in our favor.  When I first started using deer pee, I would use a 35mm film canister with some cotton in it to absorb the scent.  Then I moved on to using scent wicks, then gel scents, aerosol based scents.  All of those are adequate ways of dispersing scents, however Wyndscent has designed an even better way to dispense and disperse those scents. One of the drawbacks to typical scent dispersal is that it doesn’t necessarily provide a way to disperse scent into a large area.  The Wynscent unit has solved that problem by turning the scent into vapor that can be carried by the wind.  Vapor is neither heavier nor lighter than air, therefore it doesn’t fall to the ground or rise up out of usable range.  It’s carried with the wind, effectively leaving a line of scent that any buck crossing will notice.  You can place the Wynscent unit on the ground, or hang it from a branch to help disperse the scent however you want.  You can run the unit on a cycle or on demand.  You can use it to dispense a cover scent, an attractant or a deer lure.  It can be used all season long, you just change out the scent as your strategies shift. I know the Wynscent unit has been a game changer for me. Give one a try and see if it makes you a better hunter as well.

Spearing Bears With Tim Wells

By Tracy Breen

Tim Wells, the host of Relentless Pursuit TV is known for hunting all kinds of different game including deer, elk and bear. What makes him different is he often uses blow guns and spears to hunt. On a recent black bear hunt, he wanted to spear a bear and used the Wyndscent vapor unit to help bring bears in extra close. “When I am hunting with a spear, I need the bear to be really close. It is best if they are right under my treestand. On a hunt I was on last month, I was hunting over bait but I decided to use the Wyndscent unit as well. Research shows the vapor scent travels a great distance. The Donut Shop scent that Wyndscent makes smells extremely sweet and strong, so I knew it would work well bringing bears in close.”
 
Many bear hunters need a bear to stop broadside at 20 or 30 yards. When hunting with a spear, Wells prefers bears to be at the base of his tree. “Instead of having the Wyndscent unit on the ground 20 yards away, I had it up in the treestand with me. It worked well. The bear I killed walked right under my treestand trying to figure out where the scent was coming from. The spear did its job and I was able to tag a great bear.”
 
Several people think hunting with a spear is inhumane and wrong. Wells, on the other hand, believes hunting with a spear is humane and challenging. “When a bear is killed with a spear, the animal quickly dies. Getting a bear within a few feet of my treestand can be difficult which is the fun and challenging part about hunting with a spear.”
 
Bear hunting with a bow is difficult. Bear hunting with a spear is an extreme challenge. If you want to try something new that will get your heart pounding, try bear hunting with a spear. “Like bowhunting, I practice with my spear so I know exactly how and where to aim,” Wells explained. “Anyone who wants to hunt this way will need to get a good spear and spend a lot of time practicing.”

Wyndscent Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Basic Wyndscent Unit Maintenace

NOTE: make sure you read the provided instructions before operating the Wyndscent Unit.

If your Wyndscent Unit doesn't seem to be vaping like it should, please watch the maintenance video below and perform the basic maintenance steps.

Clean Your Coil

It is a good maintenance practice to clean your coil on a regular basis. Simply take a q-tip or the provided cleaning tool and insert into the the center of the coil. Cleaning the coil takes away any residue buildup that might be hindering the unit from outputting the most vapor possible.

Clean Your Control Section

If the top of your control section has residue built up, carefully clean it with a q-tip (make sure to NOT insert the q-tip into the hole that goes down into the control section).

NOTE: If you properly store the Wyndscent Unit, any residue buildup will be very minimal. It is always best to remove the tank section of your unit when you are not using the unit. It is also best to store the tank section UPSIDE DOWN to avoid any leakage.

Keep Your Battery Charged

If your unit isn't putting our much vapor, make sure your battery is fully charged. A single charge should go for 25 hours of runtime, but a fully charged battery will always perform the best.

Keep Your Threading Greased

Included with your Wyndscent unit should be a small package of grease. If your unit's sections do not unscrew easily, it is a good idea to apply some grease to the threading with a q-tip.

Wyndscent Troublshooting

If for some reason your unit doesn't seem to be vaping at all (even after following the above maintenance tips), go through the trouble shooting steps below.

1. Make sure your unit is actually on. You should be seeing a green or red light on the front of the unit (red = standby mode, green = run mode). The green light will be blinking when the unit is activated (vaping).

2. Make sure you don't have the sections of the unit tightened down too far. There is no need to be a guerrilla. Simply loosening the sections of the unit often fixes the problem.

If you have followed the above steps and your unit is still not working properly, don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@wyndscent.com and explain your problem.

Four Reasons Why Deer Hunters Should Build Mock Scrapes Now

BY TRACY BREEN
 
Most deer hunters don’t think about building mock scrapes until just before the rut, but summer is a great time to put down a mock scrape or two. Below we will give you several reasons serious hunters should build mock scrapes now instead of waiting until October or November.
 
BUILDING A COMMUNITY SCRAPE
 
Most hunters think of scrapes only as something bucks use to mark their territory during the fall. Although bucks make a lot of scrapes in the fall, it isn’t the only time of year scrapes are used. In fact, does and fawns use scrapes throughout the year. Deer often communicate with each other via a scrape. These scrapes are often called a community scrape and are used all year. This type of scrape is often in a major travel corridor where many deer pass by on a daily basis. A community scrape usually has a licking branch. As a hunter, the goal this time of year is to create a scrape that lots of deer will use.
 
 
BUILD SEVERAL SCRAPES
 
If you build a scrape this time of year, make sure it has a licking branch. If you are building the scrape in an area without a lot of trees, don’t be afraid to bring in a small tree and build a scrape under it. The goal during the summer should be to build several of these scrapes in key areas. Some will likely get used regularly and others won’t. Hanging a camera over the scrapes will allow you to take inventory of the deer in your area as well as teach you where deer movement is concentrated. Over the years, I have often been surprised by which new scrapes receive the most activity and which ones never get used at all.
 
USING SCRAPES AS A SCOUTING TOOL
 
One major reason to build scrapes this time of year is to get deer used to using your strategically placed scrapes. Build scrapes near bedding areas, food plots and travel corridors. Build them in places where you can hang a treestand nearby. By building a scrape months in advance, the scrape may become a place they frequent all summer and fall. When hunting season arrives, you can hunt the scrapes that are seeing the most action. Summer time scrape building is a great scouting tool to truly figure out deer activity.
 
BUILD SCRAPES IN THE SUMMER...KILL OVER THEM IN THE FALL
 
By building your scrapes months in advance and leaving the scrape alone for the majority of summer, there won’t be human odor or hunting pressure.  When the timing is right during the rut, hunting over these scrapes or near them can be a great way to fill a tag.
 
Last but not least, use very little deer urine when building these scrapes.  Tear up the ground and make sure a licking branch is over the scrape. When the rut arrives, put a Wyndscent vapor unit near the scrape when you hunt. The fresh smell of doe in estrus will help pull the bucks into the area where they know a regularly used scrape already exists.
 
Building mock scrapes during the summer is inexpensive, easy to do, and can help you increase your odds of success this fall.

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