Question: I have recently leased 497 acres for whitetail hunting in Northeast Texas. In the past, I only hunted public lands where hunters were not allowed to have feeders or food plots, etc. I will not have full access to this deer lease until late October. The property is loaded with pine trees and has some power line right of ways and is surrounded by heavily-wooded areas.
So, what would be the best way to start establishing a decent place to attract whitetail deer and hogs? Please keep in mind that I do not have any equipment such as tractors, disks, and etc to create food plots.
Answer: First, let me say nice job at finding a deer lease! Most hunters have a harder time finding land to lease than they do finding deer once they have a place to hunt. Ideally, you would like to have access to the property earlier, but late October will work. The big advantage you have on leased land is that you have it all to yourself.
Second, I suggest that you walk as much of the property as you can and look for deer travel corridors. These areas can include low swags or creeks or tree lines where deer will travel. They could also be the power lines you spoke about. Just look for sign such as deer tracks, pellet groups (feces), and even buck rubs.
Find out where the water is and also if there are any other features that would attract deer, such as preferred deer foods or salt and mineral blocks used for livestock.
Once you have all of this information, find a “pinch point” where you think deer are likely to be and set up a deer feeder nearby. You don’t have to be right on the trail and I really would not recommend that, but get close.
Lastly, find out when deer rut in your area and hunt during that time. The rut is your best shot at seeing bucks, and if you play it right you will see lots of bucks. Feeders can work for shooting bucks, but the biggest thing a feeder will do is help attract deer to your area. If you have bucks that is great, but feeders attract does too and those will ultimately bring in the bucks.
You are getting a late start, but you still have some great whitetail hunting ahead of you. Get out there and learn the property and position yourself for success!