Sitka Mountain Gear
Ever mow paths for deer?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Thornton 08-Sep-19
Pat Lefemine 08-Sep-19
Nimrod90 08-Sep-19
Shawn 09-Sep-19
badguybuster 09-Sep-19
TrapperKayak 09-Sep-19
Old School 09-Sep-19
M.Pauls 09-Sep-19
Bow Crazy 09-Sep-19
APauls 09-Sep-19
Ben 09-Sep-19
pointingdogs 09-Sep-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 09-Sep-19
t-roy 09-Sep-19
SBH 09-Sep-19
BigOk 09-Sep-19
35-Acre 09-Sep-19
wildan 09-Sep-19
GF 09-Sep-19
t-roy 09-Sep-19
35-Acre 09-Sep-19
Shawn 09-Sep-19
Catscratch 09-Sep-19
Big John 09-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 09-Sep-19
BigOzzie 09-Sep-19
Reggiezpop 09-Sep-19
Aluminum Rain 09-Sep-19
GF 09-Sep-19
Schmitty78 09-Sep-19
JL 09-Sep-19
Woods Walker 09-Sep-19
sdbowhunter 09-Sep-19
RMhunter 09-Sep-19
RMhunter 09-Sep-19
bowhawk75 09-Sep-19
sitO 10-Sep-19
tonyo6302 10-Sep-19
Bow Crazy 10-Sep-19
mattandersen 10-Sep-19
Copperhead 10-Sep-19
HH 10-Sep-19
From: Thornton
08-Sep-19

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
I burned off the back of my farm last spring and we've gotten more rain than usual. The bluestem is taller than I've ever seen it. I decided to mow some paths that the deer usually take from the neighbor's that end up under my stands. Just curious if any of you do the same and do the deer use the mowed paths more? In the picture, there's a bed in between me and the mower

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Sep-19
All the time

From: Nimrod90
08-Sep-19
Mowing Paths is one of the best things you can do to steer deer the way you want em to go or make easy access for yourself. They will almost always use the paths especially if they cut through thick cover. I like to find a good tree for the wind direction and make my path accordingly, also very effective with mock scrapes on the path within distance of your stands.

From: Shawn
09-Sep-19
Most places I hunt it is hard to get something in there so we weed whack paths. It is amazing how quickly deer start using them. Shawn

From: badguybuster
09-Sep-19
Virtually all animals will follow the path of least resistance

From: TrapperKayak
09-Sep-19
I have been known to cut lanes through brush, for shooting and for my own ease and stealth in access.

From: Old School
09-Sep-19
Do it all the time and deer use them like a road.

-Mitch

From: M.Pauls
09-Sep-19
Does, fawns and immature bucks will be a majority of the use. Which isn’t bad. That’s helps them be more consistent for you so they don’t mess things up. But I’ve rarely seen a mature buck come strolling down a path

From: Bow Crazy
09-Sep-19
Interesting, I read an article or Facebook post by Don Higgins saying he doesn't have luck with mature bucks walking down mowed paths either. We mow trails in our 3 acre prairie and I have never seen a mature buck walk down the trails. In fact, almost all the deer we have seen walk on the mowed trails are yearling bucks cruising through. I'm really not sure why. We don't seem to get much fall/winter bedding in the prairie either. It is mostly Big Blue, little blue, Indiangrass and a mix of flowers. BC

From: APauls
09-Sep-19
Of all the mature bucks I've seen I can hardly remember any of them on any real trails of any kind. Except for way back when I started bowhunting and killed a 156" 4x4 on a quad trail path. It's always the rookies lol.

From: Ben
09-Sep-19
Yes basically, we used to drive the truck multiple times in the same place to pack down the grass making a trail and the deer would use it very well.

From: pointingdogs
09-Sep-19
All the time. It works.

09-Sep-19
Do it all the time as well. This will be the best traffic control year you will have in your grass field with the trails. The year after a burn, the grass is so thick and full the deer hardly want to walk thru it, so they use the trails a lot more.

From: t-roy
09-Sep-19
Like Bow Crazy and the Pauls bros. stated, I rarely see mature bucks using the same paths that the does and young bucks use, however, I have seen on more than one occasion, an estrus doe running down a well established trail with a mature buck in tow.

I’ve mowed trails in grass and CRP for years, both for ease of getting to some stands a bit more stealthily, to try and steer deer past me, as well as trying to keep their travel movements to the downwind side of a particular stand site. I like shooting does, too.

From: SBH
09-Sep-19
Guess I'm in the minority here. I did it a few times and the deer seemed to go out of their way to avoid them!

From: BigOk
09-Sep-19
Every year.

From: 35-Acre
09-Sep-19
I agree about does and fawns using them. I weed-whack through briars and into my plot to direct activity. It definitely gets used. I think big bucks tend to cross those trails (perpendicular) to cover more ground when cruising. All they have to do is cross it somewhere to see if a hot doe has gone by.

From: wildan
09-Sep-19
Every year for sure;also creates shooting lanes.I have one area where the cut trails are like spokes on a wheel.We have killed many bucks at this set-up.Cuts are 5-6' wide ;done with tractors/bush-hogs. We cut in the middle of August;time enough for new green shoots to start.

From: GF
09-Sep-19
You guys sure do have a knack for turning this stuff into work!

From: t-roy
09-Sep-19
GF.....you sure have a knack in finding fault, flaws or stupidity (in your opinion) in.......pretty much everything!

From: 35-Acre
09-Sep-19
t-roy X2

From: Shawn
09-Sep-19
Must be where some of you hunt or where and how the trails are cut. If you make them narrow and through real think stuff mature bucks will use them. Shawn

From: Catscratch
09-Sep-19
Do it all the time; keep trails mowed, tie fences down, open gates, move brush to block paths (which I've found is difficult, an old buck will go to great lengths to go where he wants to regardless of blockages), etc.

You can't make a deer walk a certain path but they do tend to take the easiest path when given the choice and aren't pressured.

I "think" older bucks tend to parallel these paths while staying in heavier cover. Not a rule by any means, but certainly something I take into account when hunting.

From: Big John
09-Sep-19
Did it this weekend

From: BIG BEAR
09-Sep-19
I plan on using a leaf blower to keep the path to my stand ultra quiet......

From: BigOzzie
09-Sep-19
I guess this would work awesome if you know where the deer beds and where he wants to feed for drink. In reality I hunt 500 acres of private that is covered with browse and water, and a short walk to thick cover to bed in. Therefore patterning a buck enough to build them a trail is not an option. For example I have been seeing on large buck in a fence corner on the north edge all summer, but I am yet to see where he comes from or where he goes because it is different every time. depending on wind, disruptions by humans, other deer, wolves, coyotes. I have patterned him and that is he likes the thick cover on the North line but from there I have no idea.

No food plots to draw them in or any other attractants.

I do see game trails coming and going but I am yet to get him on camera on any of the game trails.

oz

From: Reggiezpop
09-Sep-19
Mow the paths, and then plant with clover.

09-Sep-19
Big bear x 2

From: GF
09-Sep-19
Must be a Generational Thing.

Just seems to me that you guys have an awful lot of this stuff backwards....

SMH....

From: Schmitty78
09-Sep-19
I mow mine all the time. The deer use them like crazy!

From: JL
09-Sep-19

JL's embedded Photo
JL's embedded Photo
Yes....I figured many folks do it. From last week using the trusty rider. This morning I set a cam up on another new path I cut last week. It already has some nice size tracks on it. More to follow on the next cam check....

From: Woods Walker
09-Sep-19
I've never mowed paths, but I have on numerous occasions cut trails through blowdown timber and such and they definitely use them. It figures that mowed paths would do the same.

09-Sep-19
Yes. Two weeks ago I cut several with my 6' three point brush hog through my native Grass. Deer are already using them.

From: sdbowhunter
09-Sep-19

sdbowhunter's embedded Photo
sdbowhunter's embedded Photo
Yes

From: RMhunter
09-Sep-19

RMhunter's embedded Photo
RMhunter's embedded Photo
These pics are on paths we mowed with DR mower

From: RMhunter
09-Sep-19

RMhunter's embedded Photo
RMhunter's embedded Photo

From: bowhawk75
09-Sep-19
Been doing it for over 25 years with great success.

From: sitO
10-Sep-19

From: tonyo6302
10-Sep-19
Yes, to the OP question.

. . . .

. . . .

My experience with cutting trails through woods, is cut a big one for the deer to use, and a smaller one to your stand.

If the paths have the same amount of clearance, deer will use both, and you can bust deer getting to your stand.

From: Bow Crazy
10-Sep-19
Cutting trails in the woods is another thing, mature bucks do use them in our woods. The thicker the woods, the more use these trails get. I toured a woods with clear cuts, with trails cut through them. You want to see deer usage, holy cow! This year we mowed our prairie trails thinner to see if we could get more activity by all deer. We shall see if that makes a difference.

Maybe mature buck usage of these trails depends on how the property is layed out? BC

From: mattandersen
10-Sep-19
Bucks regularly use logging roads that I maintain. They are obviously thru the woods but they always get torn up with rubs and scrapes as well. Most of my stands are with in 50 yards of these logging roads.

From: Copperhead
10-Sep-19
I have been doing it for years and it seems to work very well and you can get to your stand much quieter. I have walked to within 10 yards of deer feeding along the edges of my mowed path as I'm going to my stand several times throughout the years. The last doe I killed last year on January 1st walked to within 25 yards of me as I was standing on a wide open path alongside of a cedar tree to keep the north wind off of me. She was a very mature and wary doe and I was wearing hunter orange.

From: HH
10-Sep-19

HH's embedded Photo
HH's embedded Photo
We cut narrow two trac through our log out areas all the time.

We cuting lanes here just a few weeks ago. In flat we hunt by River. Deer will use gravel bar to cross walk up this cut right by one of four trees we have groomed for climbing.

Easy. Hard part is cutting this every August.

KH~

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