8 Tactics To Reduce Hunting Pressure
By Space Coast Daily // June 26, 2023
You’re out in the wild, engrossed in the thrill of the hunt. You’ve been scouting this area for weeks and know the game patterns like the back of your hand. But today, something seems different. Could it be hunting pressure? The likely answer is a resounding yes.
But don’t worry. This issue isn’t a dead-end situation. Here are eight methods to alleviate hunting pressure, yielding more successful hunts and healthier game populations.
- Explore Hunting Land Leasing
Have you given thought to a hunting land lease? It’s a powerful strategy that many hunters overlook. When you lease hunting land, you create a controlled environment exclusive to you and those you trust. The area becomes your private place to hunt peacefully without disturbance from other hunters, non-hunters, or wildlife photographers.
You determine the amount of hunting pressure exerted in a leased hunting land, which has four types, namely:
- Daily land lease
- Short-term hunting land lease
- Long-term hunting land lease
- Exchange of services
The first three options have a free-lease agreement. Meanwhile, the last one requires the hunter to exchange their services with the landowner instead of money.
Leasing hunting land allows you to cultivate a tranquil habitat where wildlife can thrive, ultimately leading to more rewarding hunts. It’s a significant advantage and a tangible investment in your hunting future.
- Craft A Varied Hunting Schedule
In hunting, predictability is your adversary. Breaking away from routine hunting times keeps the game from recognizing a human pattern, lessening the hunting pressure.
Consider diversifying the hunting schedule. You could go for an early morning hunt today, then switch it up with a late-evening session next time. The unpredictability will keep your prey guessing, giving you an edge in the hunt.
Additionally, you could refer to your trail cameras if you bring them on your hunts. Review the footage to see if the game’s pattern changed and adjust your hunting schedule based on that. Hunting within a broader window may also help you spot game more frequently.
- Minimize Scent And Noise
One fact to remember is that the more the game smells or hears you, the more it learns to avoid you. Reducing your scent and noise exposure to a bare minimum is vital.
How, you ask? Use scent-free soaps, wear rubber boots to minimize noise, and tread lightly during hunts. Additionally, avoid consuming food or drinks with strong odors before a hunt since the fragrance could stick to your clothes.
The lesser you intrude in their environment, the lesser the hunting pressure you create. It’s a minor adjustment with a significant impact.
- Use Feed And Attractants Strategically
Commercial or homemade deer feed and attractants serve as effective lures to entice game into your hunting area. But be warned, overuse can make game overly accustomed to human presence, making them more elusive when they sense humans around.
Another tip is to place deer feed in the right place at the right time. Mature bucks sometimes prefer nocturnal activity to avoid being hunted during the day. A possible solution is to put attractants near their bedding areas. The time that deer spend moving from there to a feeding spot will be reduced, giving you better hunting results.
Implement your tools sparingly and strategically to maintain effectiveness without escalating hunting pressure. Eventually, the game will approach your designated hunting spot given the right circumstances.
- Rotate Your Hunting Stands
While hunting stands to provide valuable vantage points, repeatedly using the same stand could establish a pattern, enabling wildlife to avoid the area. Regularly rotating them disrupts this pattern and gives you diverse perspectives of the hunting ground.
In addition, recovering your stands could help. Try waiting ten days before returning and hunting in your chosen spot if deer still won’t appear after long periods. Being unpredictable keeps you one step ahead of the game, making your hunts more effective.
- Invest In Post-Season Scouting
Scouting is undeniably a cornerstone of successful hunting. However, shifting your focus to post-season scouting can help significantly reduce hunting pressure. This off-season surveillance allows you to familiarize yourself with animal patterns without contributing to the pressure during the hunting season.
During post-season scouting, check bedding areas, preferred food sources, and tracks, among other tell-tale signs of animal activity. This knowledge will give you a leg up in the next hunting season without disturbing the game’s natural behavior.
- Create And Respect Sanctuary Areas
Create sanctuary areas within your hunting land to promote wildlife conservation. Designate these locations as safe havens without human activity where game can find solace. This approach protects the overall health and diversity of the game population and attracts more game to your hunting land.
- Practice Patient Hunting
Patience is an essential virtue in hunting. It’s easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm and spend every moment in the woods. But remember, every intrusion into the wild increases hunting pressure.
Smart hunting doesn’t mean constant hunting. If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with pausing momentarily. Use your knowledge of game patterns and behaviors to optimize your hunting trips. This patient approach could keep you safe while hunting and yield improved results with less pressured game.
Alleviating hunting pressure is about hunting wiser, not less. Adopting these strategies above creates a more relaxed environment for the game.
These steps lead to more rewarding hunting experiences and contribute to healthier game populations. So, why wait? Implement these tactics and gear up for your most successful hunting season yet.