Make Your Own Deer-Hunting Funnels
Some hunters always seem to have bad luck. When you see them back at camp it is always the same, "The deer just never came into range." That is OK on public land where you do not have any control over the habitat. With a little work on private land that excuse can be eliminated by manipulating the habitat and creating deer-hunting funnels.
It is always best to do major work well before the start of hunting season. This would include cutting shooting lanes and planting food plots. Once the season has started it is best to keep the work to a minimum. The deer will return but they will be more cautious than normal. The more that the deer are used to human activity, the faster they will return to their routine. On working farms deer do not seem to be bothered by a lot of the work that goes on daily.
The purpose of a funnel is to divert the deer to the hunter. This is easiest to accomplish in areas with thick brush. Often in these areas there will be several small game trails. The best areas have a few large trees that are in head-high brush. Start by picking the perfect tree. You want one that will provide good cover.
Once your tree stand has been set up it is time to plan the shooting lanes. The shooting lanes will become the funnel. The plan will be to cut two lanes in the shape of a V, with the hunting stand at the point of the V. Each lane should cross over heavily used game trails. Cut these lanes three feet wide. The far end of each lane needs to be closer than your maximum shooting distance. At the point where each lane comes together there needs to be some thick brush. You want the brush between the shooting lanes and the tree you are in.
While cutting the brush, place the debris that you removed into the center of the V. The purpose is to form a wall of trees and brush in the center. The wall will help push the deer down the funnel. Deer are like humans; they will often take the path of least resistance. To help drive them closer to you, place most of the debris at the far end of the funnel. I have found my best funnels happen when you extend the wall beyond the end of the shooting lanes.
These deer hunting funnels make perfect places for food plots. Not only will the deer be drawn to the easy path but the food plots will give them a reason to stay on them longer. These mini plots are real deer magnets. If corn feeders are legal then place one about 2/3 of the way down the path.
One of the extra benefits of creating hunting funnels like this is that other species of animals benefit from them, too. Rabbits and ground birds use the new habitat to hide from predators. All sorts of animals will use the food plots. When you add these reasons to the excellent hunting that deer hunting funnels provide there is no reason not to build one.