By Jude Mastaler
Besides using calls, scents, baits and deer attractants, there are a few cheap and easy things you can do to persuade deer to travel exactly where you want them to end up.
Deer like to take the path of least resistance, so hunters can take advantage of this trait by making the trails to our stands a little easier for deer to travel, or even by creating new trails.
I like to take a pair of pruning shears, a limb saw and hatchet to my hunting area well before the season begins and create or improve entrance routes to my stand. I simply clear the way for deer, near their known trails and travel corridors to encourage deer to walk into areas where I want them.
I also like to place the clippings, along with fallen limbs, logs and other debris, along the route to discourage deer from traveling in places where I do not what them to walk.
Deer walk around brush piles. Let's say there is an immovable object such as a big rock or fallen tree on a well-used trail. If the deer like to skirt around it on the far side, make a brush pile on the far side and clear the trail on the near side. A few minutes with the pruning shears during the pre-season might mean the difference in you having a 40-yard shot or a 20-yard shot come time to draw your bow.
In essence, you will be creating your own funnels by using natural items and things that do not cause a deer to spook.
This will be my fourth season using this tactic, and I'm confident it'll work as well for me this year as it did the previous three years. Hopefully, it will help put venison on your table, too.