Purposefully finding and predicting where deer will travel is the essence of deer hunting. In order to regularly accomplish this, participants need to understand basic deer biology and be able to apply this knowledge in the field. Understanding basic deer biology can be accomplished as an academic exercise that can be learned indoors using the myriad of resources available. The basics of scouting can also be learned indoors, but the application of this knowledge can only be accomplished outdoors.
Most consistently successful deer hunters spend at least as much time scouting in advance of the season as they do actually hunting. In fact, if their scouting activity results in accurately predicting where deer will be, their hunt may be over fairly quickly.
Enclosed are numerous resources to teach the indoor section of your program. However, we recommend that this information be paired with a field session to look for deer sign. The field session can be conducted as a group activity in any location where deer may be present. However, we recommend that this session be conducted with their guide(s) or mentor(s) at the site where they will be hunting. If the latter scenario is selected, it is important to briefly review the scouting material that you have gone over in class with the guide(s) or mentor(s) that will take people out in the field.
We also recommend that the guides and mentors not just take their mentee to a pre-selected spot; the mentees should be actively involved in the scouting and site selection. This is a learning experience; NOT a “guided hunt.”
In some instances, the recommended resources lend themselves to group activities and facilitated discussions that focus on “remote scouting.” Remote scouting can pinpoint high probability areas that deserve a closer look and verified with on-the-ground scouting.