Contributors to this thread:
Making deer trails
Since everyone is sitting in their deer stand these days, on their phones waiting for Mr Big, I figured Id have a captive audience and ask a few questions about making deer trails thru tall grass/weeds
A place I hunt has changed in vegetation as they removed all of the cedars and some other trees in efforts of water conservation.
This has changed the deer patterns/trails.
So the question is if trails are 'made' near/under tree stands,will deer use them?
Many of the spots are now over-grown with wild marijuana and that stuff grows 5-7 ft tall and the deer make their own trails thru them, but not always in the best spots
When would be a good time to make trails? Summer?
Take a lawn mower or weed trimmer and cut trails where you want them the deer will find them and use them as it is the easiest path to follow. I have done this in the past and it works great. Also block trails you do not want them to use with dead trees, branches a fence etc, I have had excellent success doing this to force them closer to me for better shots.
A place I used to hunt had a lot of CRP land. Prior to season a month or two I would drive the truck in and out a few times to my stands where I wanted the deer to establish trails. Worked great! I've always said deer like people will follow the path of least resistance. Also when near a fence I will tie the top strand down to the second strand down to inhibit the deer to cross there as it is lower and easier to cross but, doesn't let cattle out. I've also used the technique spoke about above using down trees to direct deer movement a certain way.
Agree works well. They follow the paths I make with a brush hog on my property rather than their pre established ones.
I should have stated that this is on public land
I cleared some paths to my stands so I would be quieter on morning entry. The deer seemed to like them and unfortunately they were very quiet too. I cleared them with weed eater and a hand sickle in the summer then walked the tall grassy parts with a back pack sprayer of round up. In two weeks it was a deer highway. The problem is I needed signage so the deer would know which were my downwind entry paths and which were their paths to my shooting lanes.
I've hunted 2 different properties where the landowner brushogged a path through golden rods in the summer and I killed deer on those paths in October and November. They will make connecting paths but if the path you make goes the direction they are wanting to travel they will use it.
public land just use branches and small fallen trees to block paths and redirect them your way.
these use the skidder trails in areas logged that are made....maybe not right away so i dont see why not
Rock gave you the answer. As to when, doesn't really matter, just keep them open all year.
‘Tis true that the animals will follow the path of least resistance - they’re really skilled at finding a path through the topography. So no matter what you do, they will probably “want” to stick to the ancestral paths.
For that reason, I would suggest doing as little as possible. Especially on public land. Find a good spot and if you need to divert the path in one or two spots to get them a bit closer to a good, safe tree, then you can get your shot without a major project that tells the whole world what you’re up to and where you’re doing it.
Besides - that crap turns into WORK!
In my experience, yes they will. But they still disappear like ghosts in the thick sh!t like its a wide open door
Use a lawn mower it works really well. I have loops all around the trees to have them follow the way I want them to follow and keep them mowed all summer long
I don't make trails but I do block some to force the deer to take another path. I have also cleared downed trees that blocked a path the deer regularly use.