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October 12, 2007

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A Four-Day Plan For Hunting Your Property

4_day_driveWhen I was growing up in central Wisconsin, delaying the Big Swamp drive was a short-term investment that paid huge dividends. My family and friends and I knew if that we stayed out of the 40-acre bog during the first several days of the gun season, the gnarly cover would become lousy with whitetails. And it always did.

To apply the same tactic, simply leave a good-size chunk of security cover alone through at least the opening weekend. Meanwhile, between early-morning and late-evening stand hunts, make small drives in the nearby brush. The deer you don’t bag—along with those pushed from surrounding properties—will hole up in your sanctuary. Then it’s time to cash in with a final push. A perfect four-day plan is laid out on the hypothetical property illustrated here (you can click on the image to enlarge it).

[Day 1] Whitetails will use the thin cover of a grassy CRP field only during the first few days of gun season, so it’s a logical place to start. Wait for a north or west wind, and push the field toward the large swamp.

[Day 2] Start the morning with one hunter in each of the stands shown. Then, at a designated time, hunters A and B both leave their stands and make a slow push toward hunter C.

[Day 3] The thick vegetation along this stream corridor is a perfect refuge for deer, and it makes a great spot for two or three hunters to stage a simple drive. Again, push it so that escaping deer move into the swamp.

[Day 4] This is the day you spring the trap. Remember, the deer here are already nervous, so a deliberate, quiet push is the best approach. Designate the majority of your group as pushers who remain within sight of one another and walk slowly, pausing at frequent intervals to prevent bucks from slipping back through the drive. Place standers at major escape routes, downwind from trails. If you do everything right, someone is almost certain to score.

--Scott Bestul


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I hunt land much like what's in the map. Definitely going to try this trick come November.


We do something similar on our piece. It works very well.


Sounds like a great strategy.

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