Strategies for Success in Deer Travel Corridors
What Are Deer Travel Corridors?
A travel corridor is the pathway that deer use to navigate their habitat. These corridors play a crucial role in their movement patterns, connecting key areas such as food and bedding areas. Understanding the concept and importance of a travel corridor is vital for effective habitat management and hunting success.
Deer are creatures of habit and often like to travel along the path of least resistance. Having the ability to manipulate the landscape to influence deer movement through a travel corridor is one of the fastest ways to improve your whitetail property.
These corridors provide them with a sense of security while minimizing their exposure to potential dangers. By utilizing travel corridors, deer can conserve energy and reduce their risk of predation.
Designing Effective Deer Travel Corridors
Crafting an effective travel corridor combines the natural features of the land and integrating them with strategic habitat improvements. Consider the following when designing a travel corridor:
Understanding how whitetails work their way through the landscape naturally is a priority to creating an effective corridor. Identifying key hill features such as saddles, benches, or drainage tops and natural waterways like streams, creeks, rivers or swamps can work as a guide for design.
Whitetails, especially big bucks naturally want to spend a majority of the daylight hours in thick cover. It is great for bedding, and provides them with safe cover.
As mentioned earlier, deer like to walk the path of least resistance. While this thick vegetation can be great for bedding, oftentimes deer travel along the edge as it can create natural corridors when located next to open timber.
Tapping in to your creativity and utilizing remnants of the past can significantly influence deer movement. Some great examples of this can come on an old farm.
Working with a fence line along the edge of abandoned fields or a fence around an old cattle pasture can create narrow travel corridors. Sometimes these fences are paired with an open gate which works as a great pinch point and can be a perfect place to hang a trail camera.
The ideal width when creating a travel corridor will vary based on things such as location and vegetation. Using a brush hog to mow a narrow strip of cut grass along the edge of a field can be just as effective as dropping trees parallel to a bench within a stand of timber.
The important thing here is to take the wildlife and surrounding environment into consideration and ensure those big bucks have adequate cover and will feel safe while walking the trails.
There are multiple ways to use food plots to your advantage when creating a travel corridor.
Strategically pairing food plots and bedding areas throughout your property and creating systematic travel routes is a great way connect the pieces of a puzzle and keep a mature buck moving within your property rather than through it.
Utilizing trail food plots within the corridor itself is another great way to motivate deer to use it as one of their primary travel routes.
Establishing bedding areas adjacent to the trails can create great rut funnels for big bucks to travel during early November.
Water Holes & Mock Scrapes
These subtle habitat improvements can be great additions along the trail. Installing these in the right location near food plots or a bedding area can provide hunters with a great opportunity to get their target buck in bow range during the pre-rut.
How to Hunt Travel Corridors
Understanding deer behavior within travel corridors and employing effective hunting strategies can significantly increase your chances at tagging your target buck. Consider the following tips when hunting travel corridors:
Use trail cameras to monitor deer activity along the travel corridor and see if you can develop any patterns or narrow down the home range of a certain buck. Great camera locations are near natural funnels such as saddles, old fence lines, or a natural cross of a small creek.
Keeping bedding areas, food plots, and other natural food sources in mind, determine where the deer are most likely to be and where they want to go to determine the optimal set-up to hunt.
Look for pinch points, which are narrow sections of the corridor that funnels down deer movement. This is where you can set up tree stands or ground blinds to increase the likelihood of deer sightings.
Consider wind direction and thermal currents to position yourself downwind of the expected deer travel route.
By understanding deer behavior, identifying key locations within travel corridors, and implementing effective hunting strategies, you can significantly improve your probability of success whether hunting in the trees or on the ground.
Whether your whitetail property is located in the low wetlands along the coast, among the massive plantation of pines in the south, or anywhere in between, a strategically placed travel corridor is one of the most effective ways to funnel deer movement.
Developing and managing these funnels requires dedication and effort, but it is also a highly rewarding project that can help you change your property for good while securing long-term success for future generations.