Using Your Truck For Scouting
Brought to you by Driving Line | October 23, 2017
Even with hunting season underway, it’s often during the actual season in which you make your final chess move to get on top of your target. From checking trail cameras to moving or hanging new treestands, the way you are active in your hunting area can be critical. For many, the thought of driving a vehicle to a spot to check a trail camera card or hang a treestand is off the table. The assumption is the loud noise, and left behind vehicle fumes will ruin an area. In some cases, this might be true. If the area experiences little to no human presence, like spots in the Yukon, then animals may be deterred by a vehicle. But for most of us, particularly those hunting in the whitetail’s range, people-presence is not uncommon at all. In fact, the use of a truck to get around the property during the season just may be better than walking in on foot.
Access Is Key
Getting to the “right” place is one of the greatest keys to a successful hunt. The fact is, if the animal isn’t there, you aren’t going to harvest it. For many hunting small tracts of land, this is relatively easy, but if you hunt larger acreage then getting there is more than half the battle. The longer you are on foot, the more scent you will disperse and potentially greater risk at spooking game. This is extremely critical if you are hunting at the start of the season. Early in the season in many areas can still sport summer temperatures. There is not much worse than sweating profusely as you finally arrive at your treestand.
Utilizing a truck to get back to a spot not only allows you to transport supplies much easier, but it will often make the trip in and out much faster. Though an ATV or UTV might be an acceptable alternative, it is often much louder than a truck and that can make it less appealing to hunters. The scent laid down by the vehicle will also be much different than when you walk in to hunt, potentially separating your scent from being associated with past disturbances.
Packing for Success
It’s obvious that we tend to cut down to the most necessary items when we have to walk into a spot to hang a new treestand or set up trail cameras, but when you have your vehicle you can make sure you are fully prepared. The ability to carry everything from climbing sticks to tree trimming equipment makes setting up so much easier. Again, in these situations, it’s all about timing. The least amount of time spent disturbing an area, the faster it will recover. If you spend an hour after hiking back to a spot, laying tools all over the ground and dropping scent, you can bet it will take much longer to recover. Keeping everything up off the ground in the bed of the truck will allow you to leave less of a presence and get the job down complete and efficient.
Bring Some Help
The only worse thing than you trudging and sweating through your hunting spot, is you and your buddy doing it. Sometimes setting up stands can be a multiple person job, and as such, having someone to help you is critical. Loading up the truck is much more efficient in getting you both to the spot, and the project completed. Whether you are putting up a large, ladderstand, or looking for some advice on a new area, it’s best you both jump in the truck. The odds are you will be able to slip back in to that area in the near future to wrap your tag around some antlers.
Driving a truck into an area is not for every situation. There are plenty where a truck’s role ends at the parking area. But stop to think about the amount of time, energy, and potentially disturbance you are putting on an area before you instantly say “No.” The fact is your truck might give you the assist this season you need to be successful.