Tips for Trimming Shooting Lanes in the Off -Season

August 23, 2022 2 min read

After you’ve set up your hunting blind in a prime location, you might need to take a saw to the surrounding trees to create shooting lanes for the moment of truth. Going overboard or winging it can do more harm than good, but these tips will ensure you’re set up for success.

Time it Right

Trimming too early in the year could mean new growth fills in your shooting lanes by archery season, while trimming too late won’t leave much time for deer to adjust to the change. Aim for doing the bulk of heavy trimming in late summer, and you’ll likely only need to snap a few branches come fall. Deer will be hyper-aware of any changes to terrain and lingering scent, so it’s important to minimize disruption and impact even months out from hunting season. 

Be Strategic

Rather than haphazardly clearing lanes from your blind where it would be easiest for you to shoot, put in the legwork to determine where you’ll have the best chance at a clear broadside shot. Investigate the area for sign and determine the travel routes deer are taking — trail cameras can be incredibly helpful here. Focus on spots where deer are not only traveling but will be most likely to stop for a few seconds.

Maximize Opportunities

After you scout the area and gather trail cam intel, cut a few shooting lanes around each ambush site. Give yourself as many opportunities as possible without sacrificing your concealment. It’s helpful to do this with a hunting buddy so you can consider both the view from your angle and the deer’s perspective before taking down tree limbs.

Make Lanes Not Highways

While you should trim enough to give yourself a clear window of opportunity, you should cut conservatively to start so you don’t create gaping holes that will kill your concealment. But you also don’t want any low-hanging branches to deflect your arrow. It’s important to strike the right balance between stealth and a clear flight path.

Take all these factors into account, and you’ll up your odds of the perfect shot opportunity this fall!