What Is Deer Camp? Deer Camp is a tradition dating back hundreds of years. An opportunity for Family and Friends to gather together and enjoy the wild, great outdoors. At first, for newcomers, the meaning and purpose of deer camp seem obvious (to harvest a deer). New hunters tend to focus the majority of their thoughts and efforts on harvesting the all too often elusive deer. As each deer season passes, however, you start to realize that there is a broader, far more important meaning to deer camp.
As bonds between family members strengthen and new friendships forge, you soon look back and understand that filling your deer tag and putting meat in the freezer places a very distant second in priority or purpose compared to the relaxation, camaraderie, and memories that only deer camp provides.
Deer Camp is a meeting place and overnight camp for fellow hunters to gather near their hunting grounds. A tent, camper, school bus, lean-to, shipping container, RV, campground, or cabin can easily become headquarters for your deer hunting camp. Your camp doesn’t have to be much other than a location to meet, prepare, discuss strategy, have a few laughs and drink a few hot cocoas. Deer Camp can be as much or as little as you make it.
Deer Camp Ideas
Many of us start planning and looking forward to next year’s deer season, the day following the last deer season. We reflect on the excitement of the hunt and the stories shared around the campfire or coffee pot. We also reflect on any areas for improvement and any steps that we can take to possibly add to the success and enjoyment of the next hunt.
Deer Processing Station
One advantage of deer camp is that you can process your deer right on location. Set yourself up a nice area for deer processing. Start with a deer gambrel to hang and air out your white-tailed deer. When ready, grab your deer processing knives and harvest the tenderloins, steaks, chops, backstraps, roasts, and trimmings. You can wrap your steaks, chops, and roast in freezer butcher paper or bags. Then process the rest of the venison with a meat grinder.
If you are pressed for time or would rather take your deer to a meat processor, you have a number of deer processors near you.
Deer Stand – Add, Move, Maintain or Improve
Consider purchasing a new deer stand during the off-season. Or even move a current deer stand to a more strategic hunting location. Have the deer travel patterns shifted from when you first placed your deer stand? Next year, moving the deer stand closer to water, a food plot, or a natural pinch point could increase your hunting success rate. Check over your deer stand and ensure that your ladder, stairs, brackets, seats, and platform are all secure and safe.
In addition, plan, prepare and work on your deer food plot. Deer love corn, clover, turnips, and more. If you do not have space or equipment for a food plot, perhaps your area allows deer feeders.
Deer feeders can spread food for deer at a timed interval. Like this Moultrie 30-Gallon Deer Feeder Tripod with a digital timer. Up to four program feeding times per day and you can adjust the length of time for feeding between 1 and 20 seconds. Also, consider using solunar tables to help you forecast deer movement and feeding times.
Nothing is better than warming up next to a bonfire fire pit after a cold day in the deer stand. Make deer camp a little easier on camp participants by cutting, splitting, and stacking plenty of firewood. Also, make sure to trim, clear and mow paths where possible. This maintenance will help eliminate noise and scent when hunters walk to their deer stands. Tall brush, grass, and weeds can easily pick up the scent and hold on to it. Also, leaves that have fallen and dried out can be very noisy when a human walks across them.
Also, periodically review the status of your bathroom or restroom facilities. Is your outhouse clean and stocked with essentials such as toilet paper, wipes, towels, heater, candle (for light and/or scent). Perhaps you have a portable toilet that you carry in and out of camp. Is it ready for the season?
Because deer hunters come and go, it is essential to keep deer camp safe. Therefore, one safety precaution that we recommend is a deer camp stand map. As hunters move in and out of deer stands, they can check the map for other deer stands and locations.
Boot Drying Station
Nothing hampers a good hunt more than wet, cold boots. A Boot Drying Station or Boot Rack can help dry out you boots quickly, so they are ready for the next leg of your hunt. Dry boots can also help reduce the odor emitted from your boots, masking your scent. A boot drying station also makes a great Christmas gift.
If you constantly are dealing with cold, wet boots, perhaps it is time for new boots. Try to use boots that match the terrain and elements expected for the hunt. Here is a helpful buying guide for finding the best hunting boots.
|Rack'em Boot Wader Rack - Storage for Waders - Boots - Shoe Dryer - Wall Mounted Hanger Organizer - Heavy Duty - Holds 3 Pairs||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|JobSite Original Shoe and Boot Dryer - Electric Warmer - Ultra Silent||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|DryGuy Dry Rack Boot & Glove Dryer||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
Deer Camp Look and Feel
Finally, wall mounts and Antlers add to the charm and vibe of deer camp. Hang your deer mounts and antlers on the cabin walls. Just think, every time you see them, you will be able to share your big buck deer hunting stories year after year with fellow hunters and future generations.