What Is Deer Camp? Deer Camp is a tradition dating back hundreds of years. An opportunity for Family and Friends to get together and enjoy the wild, great outdoors. At first, for newcomers, the meaning and purpose of deer camp seems obvious. 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 as a broader, far more important meaning to deer camp.
As family bonds are strengthened and as new friendships are forged 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 when compared to the relaxation, camaraderie and memories that only deer camp provides. While adding venison to the freezer is a bonus for many. Enjoying venison jerky over the course of the next year is simply icing on the cake.
Deer Camp is a meeting place for fellow hunters to gather near their hunting grounds. A tent, camper, school bus, lean-to, shipping container or cabin can easily become headquarters for your deer hunting camp. It doesn’t have to be much other than a location to meet, prepare, discuss strategy, have a few laughs and rest. 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 last year’s 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. Steps that we can take to possibly add to the success and enjoyment of the next hunt.
- Deer Processing Station
- Deer Stand – Add, Move, Maintain or Improve
- Food Plots
- Camp Maintenance
- Look and Feel
One advantage of deer camp is that you should be able to 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 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.
What better time than the off season to consider purchasing a new deer stand. Or even move a current stand to a more strategic hunting location. Have the deer travel patterns shifted from when you first placed your stand? Moving the stand closer to water, a food plot or natural pinch point could increase your hunting success rate next year. Check over your deer stand and make sure that your ladder, stairs, brackets, seats and platform are all secure and safe.
In addition, plan, prepare and work 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. Feeders that can spread food for deer on a timed interval.
Nothing is better than warming up next to a bonfire 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 cut, clear and mow paths where possible. This will help eliminate noise and scent when hunters are walking to their deer stands. Tall brush, grass and weeds can easily pick up scent and hold on to it. Leaves that have fallen and dried out can be very noisy when a human walks across them.
Because deer hunters come and go it is important 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 their locations.
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 deer hunting stories year after year with fellow hunters.