Are you a trophy hunter? Want to tag a big one this season? Start looking for these types of locations on properties that you hunt.
Funnels, or narrow travel routes deer use, are productive throughout the entire length of deer season. However, for top-end bucks, the tail end of the rut is the ultimate time to be on stand in a funnel because the bruiser bucks are out searching for the few remaining does still in estrus.
Inside and double inside corners -- half funnels -- are productive during the same time frame as funnels.
Saddles, low spots in ridges, serve as outstanding funnels in hilly regions. They are productive throughout the year.
Field saddles are low spots in fields that can hide deer from view of any nearby roads. Whitetails will use these field saddles, especially during the rut, so be on the lookout for them.
Points, found in hilly terrain, oftentimes are used by deer as bedding sites. They also provide whitetails with perhaps the best terrain in which they can avoid hunters. Slipping from point to point -- point hopping -- allows a mature buck to avoid his pursuers, throwing them completely off track. Points are the most difficult terrain features to learn when and how, to hunt properly.
Breaklines, lines of demarcation between two types of cover, such as a cutover and an open woods, will consistently produce deer of all types. Breaklines can be found in both level and hilly terrain.
Hilltop field funnels are formed when a creek heads up near a field. Deer use this narrow funnel to skirt around the steep hillsides.
Flat benches on hillsides can carry excellent deer traffic. However, an exceptional understanding of how wind moves in hilly regions is instrumental to your success in this location.
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Editor's Note: This was originally published March 25, 2004.
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