I got an email from a guy who landed permission to hunt a 30-acre block of woods. He had 2 questions. Is that spot big enough to kill a good buck, and if so how should he hunt it?
First, hell yeah, 30 acres or even 20 is big enough. Monsters are shot in small habitats like that every year.
On any new property, you’ve got to find out what kind of terrain and vegetation you’re dealing with. Right now is time to check the property. Spend a day and walk every inch of it; carry an aerial map or consult Google Earth as you go for reference. Walk and look for funnels, edges, little ridges, etc. where deer will move onto and off the land. Don’t worry if you spook some deer, they will be back.
Check the treetops for green acorns. When the nuts start falling, deer will find them, so look for an afternoon stand site close by. While the timber on the 30 provides some cover, the more thickets in there the better. If the whole place turns out to be basically one big thicket that is okay, it will be a great place for morning hunting, especially if there are crop fields nearby.
Set out at least 2 cameras on trail or funnels on either end of the 30, and check it regularly to get an idea not only of the bucks there, but also deer travel patterns.
A big key to hunting 30 is not to push deer out when you go in. Look for easy, quiet, downwind routes that won’t take you busting through thick cover where deer bed. Plan your in and out routes to skirt spots where deer will likely be.
My favorite stand on a small spot is off-wind of a super trail on a ridge or near a creek that cuts through the entire property. Watch the main highway enough and you will see some bucks.
Hunt in early bow season, but don’t overdo it and burn out the 30. The November rut is the best time to kill a monster. Also, you have a great opportunity when gun season opens later this fall. Climb into your best stand on the 30 and sit all day. When other guys swarm and shoot on lands all around, some bucks will flee to your little spot, especially if it’s thick. I guarantee that without even seeing the land.