Area deer population in need of help

Over the past week, I’ve gone from one extreme to the other seasonally.
Last week, for instance, I was fishing in Texas in shorts and sandals. This past week, I’ve been dressed in long underwear and boots, tromping around in the woods looking for whitetail deer.
Each fall I run a little deer guiding camp that keeps me busy for about a month. I guide American hunters until their season ends on Nov. 15.
Usually I have the entire fall season to prepare for these hunters to arrive. This year, however, with the opportunity I had to fish down in the U.S., I was a little bit rushed when I returned home to get things scouted and set up for my hunters.
There is no rest around here! I’m not complaining, though, as busy beats the alternative.
My feeling is that our deer population outside of the towns, where they are protected, is getting better, but there still is a big hole in the population compared to where it was five or six years ago.
There are still large areas that had healthy populations of deer that are missing the numbers, but hopefully we’ll get another good winter with nice temperatures and an average amount of snow.
One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot more fawns out there than there have been for a few years, so hopefully they’ll get a chance to grow up.
I understand many of the folks in Kenora and Fort Frances are annoyed by the large deer populations that live in our communities because it’s tough to grow flowers or a garden, and they are a safety hazard on our roads.
But I can tell you that outside of these towns, the deer population does need a little bit of help.
As far as the deer season and where it’s at right now, I’ve noticed quite a bit of rut sign starting to show up over the past few days. There are plenty of trees that are rubbed up and some ground scrapes are popping up.
One thing I’ve learned over the past seven or eight years, when I’ve spent nearly every day during late October and early November in the woods, is that during the pre-rut period, which is where we’re at right now, ground scrapes are the best thing you can find in the woods if you want to find a big buck.
Both sexes of deer use these scrapes to leave scent and mark their territory, and bucks will check them regularly for the next couple of weeks.
So if you’re looking for a good place to put up a trail camera, find the biggest scrape you can and you’re sure to get plenty of photos of deer.
Many of the new trail cameras actually have a video function on them. If you set your camera to shoot video clips around these scrapes, you’ll be amazed at all things you’ll see these deer do in their natural environment.
What I’ve been finding in my scouting is that there are little pockets of deer out there and if you can find some of these areas, you’ll see a lot of animal sign.
These are the areas you want to consider putting up trail cameras, as well as setting up a ground blind or tree stand.