The anticipation of a cool morning in late October to early November during the pre rut, rut time frame. These days are often what most whitetail hunters dreams are made of.
Placing yourself in a high traffic areas during this time of the year and spending a considerable amount of time on stand can often times lead to a tremendous amount of success.
By far one of the most effective ways to hunt during this time frame is positioned over narrow travel routes, whether it be natural corridors or influenced through habitat improvements. Let's take a look at the nuts and bolts of what makes up a great travel corridor setup.
Travel corridors, the highways of the deer world, occur in areas where there is a condensed amount of deer movement. These trails come in all shapes and sizes, but let us take a look at some of the key locations you can find these, or implement them on your whitetail property.
Pinch points are natural funnels in the topography that influence deer, especially rutting bucks looking to save energy to pass through them more often than surrounding areas. A great pinch point example is a hilltop saddle between two hill peaks.
Bedding and Feeding Areas
Connecting a bedding area and a primary food source with a direct path of travel turns in to a high odds location when paired with little to no human intrusion.
A great strategy for success in this type of travel corridor would be to position yourself on the downwind side within close proximity of a deer trail that is located on the downwind side of the bedding area or food sources. This is a great opportunity to catch a big buck scent checking during daylight hours, presenting you with a great shot in bow range.
One of the many benefits of owning a whitetail property is having the ability to craft a well-designed travel corridor that can significantly increase your chances of encountering a mature buck and improve your overall chances of success.
Mock scrapes are a valuable tool in your deer travel corridor setup. These artificial scrapes mimic the natural markings that deer make by pawing the ground and they serve as communication hubs for deer, especially during the rut.
We often loke to place these mock scrapes directly on or just off the travel corridor so the deer have the least resistance when checking them. Proper placement and maintenance of mock scrapes can enhance the effectiveness of your travel corridor.
The introduction of trail cameras with cellular capabilities has revolutionized the way hunters monitor their travel corridors. These cameras provide real-time updates on deer activity, allowing you to adjust your hunting strategy accordingly.
While non-cellular trail cameras work just fine, having the ability to implement a cellular trail camera allows you to monitor activity without leaving a bunch of ground scent in and around your corridors.
By strategically placing cell cameras along a narrow strip of your travel corridor, you gain valuable insights into deer movement patterns and can make informed decisions.
A well-placed tree stand is the cornerstone of your hunting setup within a travel corridor. It offers a vantage point that conceals your presence and provides a clear line of sight.
Proper tree stand placement is essential for capitalizing on deer movement, and understanding the terrain is crucial for choosing the right tree. If possible, look for a tree that has thick vegetation as a back drop to conceal movement making the deer feel safe.
Once they have the right location picked, most hunters stop there for planning and execution. It is also important to take other things into consideration such as:
Hunting early season food sources or late season?
Consistent wind direction or swirling wind directions?
Food Plots and Other Primary Food Sources
In the world of deer travel corridors, food plots are like oasis points that draw deer in. These carefully cultivated areas provide a consistent source of nutrition and can be strategically planted to maintain travel throughout the hunting season. Food plots can include a variety of crops like clover, soybeans, or even specialized deer forage.
The key is to choose plants that cater to the local deer population and create a reliable food source throughout the hunting season. By incorporating well-planned food plots into your travel corridor setup, you can increase the attractiveness of the area and boost your chances of encountering deer.
On top of food plots, other primary food sources with also impact how much deer activity your corridor will receive. Large agricultural fields and acorn producing oak ridges are both areas whitetails will consistently travel to depending on time of year.
Bedding areas are where deer seek safe cover and rest during the day. Understanding these locations within your travel corridor is crucial for a successful hunt. Deer often bed down in thick cover or even abandoned fields to minimize their visibility and protect themselves from predators. Identifying or developing these bedding areas and their proximity to travel routes is essential.
You can strategically position your hunting setup to intercept deer as they move from their bedding areas to their feeding areas. Bedding areas play a pivotal role in a deer travel corridor setup, and knowing how to utilize them effectively can make all the difference.
Not to be confused with bedding areas, there are multiple ways to use this to your advantage for trails. Creating narrow travel corridors through a thicket can imitate a natural funnel and provide the deer with security to get from one destination to the next quickly and quietly.
You can also use this cover to your advantage by focusing the corridor on the edge of it and the open hardwoods. This creates a hard edge which whitetails love. These hard edges act as a compass and allow the deer to keep bearings on their location and desired travel throughout their habitat.
In the world of hunting, a deer travel corridor setup is a complex and intricate puzzle that requires careful planning and execution. From understanding the significance of travel corridors to incorporating elements like mock scrapes, cell cameras, tree stands, food plots, bedding areas, and thick cover, every piece plays a crucial role in achieving hunting success.