Spring is for Whitetail Hunting: Get Prepared for Fall Now with These Tips

David McClureCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2009

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  A deer walks on the seventh fairway during the second round of the Northern Trust Open on February 20, 2009 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

For many of us spring means it's time to go fishing or perhaps lock for a big tom. For the die hard white tail hunter, though, spring has a whole different meaning. It means that it's time to lay the ground work for success this fall.

There are five sure fire things you can do in the spring to help you have a better fall. So lets get right into it:

1. Find the right spot...

In order to be successful hunting deer of any kind, you have to be where the deer are. The spring is a great time to find that new location you've been dreaming of. Do some research and find some quality locations.

Next, go to the owners and ask for permission. Don't be discouraged if they don't permit. Instead, keep looking and asking. You may even offer to help a little around the place.

I once put in a food plot that was heavy in clovers and some other flowering plants at a house near my home in Michigan. The purpose was to feed the deer, keeping them away from the garden plants, and also to increase the looks of the wood edge of the property.

I was able to install a food plot, which I like to do anyways, in exchange for rights to hunt that year.

Ultimately I was able to harvest a nice eight point buck with my bow!

2. After you found a spot...add some nutrition.

Spring can be, perhaps, the most vital time for deer development. As the temperatures rise and new plants emerge, most bucks begin to develop their antlers for the fall. Diet is much a factor in the development of large racks as genetics.

Young deer that have just been born are in the most critical stages of development in their life and the more nutrition, the better quality of deer that you will see in the following years.

Check out the property and determine a good location for a food plot, preferably a safe location with ample sunlight and moisture. Make sure you match the crop to the location and plant a crop that's meant to be planted in the spring.

3. Go hunting for bones...antlers that is.

Early spring is the best time to find sheds. Once the snow has melted away and the bucks have dropped their antlers you should get out looking for them. Finding antlers is the best way to know what survived the winter and what you should be looking for in the fall.

Keep shed antlers in a safe place. You can actually track a deer's individual growth year after year by finding sheds. This can give you vital information about the development of the antler's and the age of the deer.

4. Check for sign...

Finding trails and sign from last fall can give you a general idea of how the deer use the land. Inspecting areas that you should avoid in the fall can be done in the spring with no impact on fall hunting.

You can look for fall bedding areas and areas that larger bucks may frequent. Finding locations that saw increased activity during the rut in the previous year can help you locate areas you can concentrate on in the upcoming season.

Try getting a map of the area if it's large and mark sign and locations of interest. You can later assess this information you gathered. You may be surprised at what you learn. Deer often do the unexpected so the more prepared you are the better!

5. Practice makes perfect...

The best thing any hunter can do is be sighted in. Sometimes luck plays a major role in the opportunity to harvest a deer. However, if you are unable to hit the broad side of a barn, your probably not going to be successful. regular trips to the range will increase accuracy and confidence.

For bow hunters, try siting in your bow the first time. Then, a few times a week during the spring and summer, go out and take just one shot. Make it count. This simulates the real hunting experience.

Many people can adjust and hit a bulls-eye by the second or third shot. Unfortunately, you don't get that option when hunting. make your shots count and be ready when the time comes!

Although white tail hunting is considered a fall sport, it takes year round commitment to be highly successful. Enjoy some time outdoors this spring preparing for fall hunting and you'll be sure to enjoy the rewards!

David McClure can be contacted at DaveMc883@yahoo.com

For more you can visit: http://bleacherreport.com/users/85709-David-McClure

Or: http://bleacherreport.com/outdoor-sports