How to Make the Most of Off Season Work at Deer Camp

How to Make the Most of Off Season Work at Deer Camp

Whitetail deer hunting and time at deer camp are a magical season steeped in tradition and fellowship. However, it’s the offseason sweat equity, the elbow grease, and the hours of preparation leading up to the hunt that makes that magic and tradition possible.

Off-season time at deer camp is the perfect opportunity to take care of those upgrades needing to be made. Whether it’s clearing shooting lanes for existing stand locations, establishing new food plot areas, or developing a brand new hunting spot, now is the time to bust out some tools and invest some off-season muscle to get those projects accomplished.

Time at deer camp is a cherished time shared with family and friends. Why not extend that time to a week's worth of improvement investment during the off-season. By developing a deer camp work-week tradition, the pace of whitetail habitat and huntability will only increase.

Make a Deer Camp Work Week Plan

The old adage: failing to plan is planning to fail seems to hold true more often than not, but with a little bit of prep work, a deer camp work plan can be developed that will offer measurable progress and a sense of accomplishment.

  • Deer Camp Aerial Map - With so many aerial map imaging sources available, it’s silly not to have a clear picture of what a property has to work with. Start with a free KMZ file from Google Earth and a home printer. If budgets allow, think about utilizing a hunt mapping app, or maybe even invest in a drone for aerial photography. Having access to contour lines, overland travel corridors, and visibility to the macro-level landscape will enable a better plan for deer camp work week.
  • Have a Work Week Goal or Two - Setting a goal doesn’t have to be hard. Maybe it’s something as simple as establishing a new food plot area. Maybe the property could benefit from hinge-cutting timber. The point is to establish a goal or two to keep the work focused, and the progress will be evident. Set goals that are achievable during the time that’s allotted. When one goal is accomplished, move on to the next one.
  • Keep it Realistic - Nothing says burnout like overdoing it during leisure time away from home. A vacation to recover from the time at deer camp is not the idea here. Be realistic in the goals, set work hours, and schedule time for campfires in the evening and midday breaks. If the property supports angling, pack fishing gear for a respite from the work. 
  • Invite the Whole Gang - If deer camp and deer season are made up of a tight-knit crew who look forward to the time in the stand when the rutting action starts, make sure they all have a chance to help make the magic happen. Develop a tradition of mutual accomplishment, fellowship, and pride for off-season deer property improvements. The more buy-in and investment now, the better the hunting will be this fall.

 Tools for Deer Camp Work Week

 The right tool for the job always makes any job go smoother. Having the right tools for a deer camp workweek is no different. The importance of quality tools with sharp blades, solid handles and reliable engines should not be missed here. Take the time to develop a toolkit that will serve you for years to come with quality tools that you can depend on season after season.

Deer Camp Work Week Personal Protection - Acting like a midcentury lumberjack for the weekend may sound cool, but suffering a serious injury will kill that vibe in a hurry. When planning and packing for a week’s worth of improvement and projects at deer camp, don’t forget the personal protection for the work.

  • Gloves - Sturdy leather gloves to protect from blisters & briars
  • Ear Plugs - If power equipment is planned, protect your hearing
  • Safety Glasses - Keep eyes protected when cutting and chopping
  • Long Sleeves & Pants - Protect from abrasion, bugs, poison ivy
  • Sturdy Boots - Durable boots prevent accidents & protect feet

Deer Property Hand Tools - Don’t underestimate the simplicity of hand tools, especially when it comes to infrequently used tools. A clean shovel with a solid handle requires very little maintenance, will last for generations if cared for and can do plenty of work. Here’s a list of quality tools that will fit the work for the deer camp workweek.

  • Digging Tools - Round Nose Shovel, Tile Spade, Garden Hoe
  • Cutting Tools - Bow Saw, Hatchet, Full Size Ax, Pruning Loppers
  • Planting Tools - Broadcast Spreader, Rake, Cultivating Fork
  • Building Tools - Hammer, Crosscut Saw, Measuring tape

 Deer Property Power Tools - Sometimes, the extra maintenance of an engine, batteries, gas and oil is worth the horsepower and efficiency they provide. A few powered tools, both gas-powered or battery-powered, can add value to the time spent working at deer camp.

  • Chainsaw - Quickly cut and limb trails & hinge cutting
  • Weed Eater - Choose one that accepts blade attachments


Big Time Work Tools - Sometimes, a big job calls for big-time tools to get it done. Maybe it’s time to establish that big food plot, fix a field terrace, or maybe spread a load of gravel. Many tractors and implements can be rented for a day or even an entire week, making them more practical.

  • Skid Loader - Move dirt, gravel, timber, or even dig a pond
  • Farm Tractor - Cultivate, plant, and pull downed timber
  • ATV - Haul, plant, fertilize & transport

Whether planning a week-long session of planting food plots, clearing brush and setting controlled burns, or establishing trails, stand locations and bedding areas; a week’s worth of off-season deer camp improvement will pay big time dividends when season opens in the fall.