Video: Scouting in river and ag country ahead of the North Dakota archery deer opener
Eric Morken of Northland Outdoors scouts ahead of the Sept. 2 archery deer opener in North Dakota as he shows detailed maps and breaks down some of his favorite setups in this video.
The statewide archery deer hunting opener is Sept. 2 in North Dakota.
On a weekend in mid-August, I spent two days scouting. These scouting trips this time of year are always done for a couple of reasons.
First, I want to see what the crop rotation looks like and find areas of fresh sign that may indicate where I could find deer on opening weekend.
Second, flooding in the spring along rivers often brings in new dead timber that settles in low areas of tree cover that parallels the water. It can change how deer move along these rivers each season, so a scouting trip in July or August lets me know if I need to adjust any of my best rut locations as well.
Doing this kind of work now is an integral part to success when it comes to trying to fill a tag in a short three or four-day window that I have to hunt out here in November if I have not filled my tag yet. Both my 2020 and 2021 buck in North Dakota came on first-time, morning sits the first week in November where I accessed up the river well before light. Those spots were found and fine-tuned during summer scouting.
In this video below, I break down some of the best sign I found around standing corn the weekend of Aug. 13 and go into detail of a couple specific setups and why I feel confident in them heading into this fall.
This area of North Dakota is along big and small river systems next to agriculture. Below are maps of the setups I refer to in the video — the first one being on the small river system on a little patch of brushy timber east of the river just off an abandoned farm site.
This second map depicts the setup at the end of the video along the bigger river system where both the 2020 and 2021 bucks were shot.