You may have your stand in place, but is the trail leading to it as inviting as the smells emanating from a Cinnabon store? If you want to ensure whitetails take the off ramp to your stand, make sure the path is a can’t-miss highway.
First, scout your hunting area extensively and rely on your past experiences to pinpoint prime whitetail routes. You also need to remember that whitetails will follow the path of least resistance and they’ll take direct routes as long as they don’t feel vulnerable, or pressured along these paths. Knowing this tidbit, you can create a detour funnel directly to your tree or ambush site of your choice. You have two options. You can by simply make the original route more difficult to travel or create an easier route to the final destination.
If you’ve read any of my past articles you probably know I carry a machete with me often during the fall. I use it to hack trails through thick brush past my ambush sites to lure whitetails into a funnel situation.
Thick brush restricts the movement of whitetails so opening up a path of least resistance invites whitetails to travel a woodland freeway that’s obviously easier to travel. Not only does a little constructive hacking put whitetails onto a trail past your stand, but the remaining thick brush surrounding your ambush site restricts the view of whitetails giving you more latitude to move your weapon into position and take the shot as situations unfold.
Brush isn’t the only vegetation you can take on with a machete or other cutting device. When I hunt tracts with tall stands of native grass a little hacking goes a long way into funneling deer movement. Cutting wider trails invites deer past your ambush site by traveling down a path that’s less restrictive.
The path of least resistance works even better if you construct a path of more resistance on their original path. Once you have your ambush site chosen and make sure you have a route offering a firearm or archery shot, get to work and block alternative whitetail routes in the vicinity. Take tree limbs, trunks, branches, tumbleweeds, thorny vines and whatever to make a barrier that is only passable by taking a detour past your stand site.
This strategy works best in areas exhibiting thick, dense vegetation so if you hunt environments with this combination, add some sweat equity to a road construction project that you’ll actually love.