If there ever was a way to simplify whitetail hunting, this is it: only hunt near fresh tracks of a deer that walked next to or into a feeding area (not necessarily a farm field or clearcut).
There are lots of kinds of deer tracks, fresh tracks, old tracks, tracks of a walking deer and tracks of a bounding deer are some. Fresh tracks mean the deer that made them passed through the area where found minutes to a few hours earlier. If the deer was walking, meaning it wasn’t alarmed, such a discovery means you are now in a portion of that deer’s home range currently favored by that deer. On any one day, especially during hunting seasons, whitetails generally limit their movements to only about 10% of their home ranges. An important question is, will the deer that made those tracks walk through this same vicinity again later today or tomorrow morning when deer are active? If so, this might be a good place to stand hunt later today or tomorrow morning. If the deer was trotting or bounding, however, meaning it was alarmed, hunting there would be a waste of time.
The trouble is, whitetails generally have a dozen or more routes to use to get to whatever destination they have in mind, the choice during hunting seasons are typically dependent on quality of cover, the current wind direction and trails and sites known to being used by hunters. The odds for hunting success at any randomly selected deer trail are therefore not particularly good. Such odds can be greatly improved, however, by hunting within sight of where whitetails spend most of their time while active in early morning and late afternoon, namely, feeding areas. All deer trails funnel down to whitetail feeding areas where the odds of seeing deer are infinitely greater. Until the deer that made those tracks discovers a hunter waiting in ambush adjacent to its current favorite feeding area (mature whitetails are very good at this), it is almost certain that deer will return to that feeding area later today and early tomorrow morning (don’t count on it happening more than two days). Taking quick advantage of such knowledge provides the best odds there are for hunting success in whitetail hunting.