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Introducing the concept of pinch points, a phenomenon that can help hunters score a better shot at bagging mature bucks. So what are pinch points in deer hunting? Pinch points are terrain features which narrow down to one smaller gap and create areas of blockage or restriction for deer travel. Knowing how to accurately identify funnels and pinch points is vital when it comes to planning your strategies as a hunter. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly these “pinch” points are and how they can be used strategically to increase your success while afield.

Understanding Pinch Points in Deer Hunting

Funnel Created by Agriculture Field and River

Pinch points are crucial to successful deer hunting as they provide strategic locations to place your tree stand and see more deer. It is important for hunters to understand how to identify pinch points and find funnels in different locations and can increase success, especially mature bucks. In simple terms, funnels and pinch points refer to specific, narrow areas that obstruct or hinder deer movement and force them into a smaller opening—an area often referred to as a “funnel” in hunting terminology.

Natural Funnels and Pinch Points

Pinch Point

Natural features such as a ditch or water crossing, hillside benches in large blocks of timber, and ridgetop saddles that funnel animals down while traveling from food to bedding areas frequently create ideal pinch points for hunters wishing to capitalize on their presence. Similarly, crop fields separated by a thin strip of timber can generate excellent opportunities for bow hunters hoping they encounter deer traveling within bow range.

Man-Made Funnels and Pinch Points

One should not overlook man-made types of funnels. Deer love to travel the easiest route or path of least resistance when moving through the woods or food sources. These funnels include a tightly strung fence, an open gate, or an old logging path through thick cover. Open gates are often made for some of the best funnels due to offering the least resistance for deer to move when a fence is involved.

How to Locate Funnels and Pinch Points

Funnel created by two creeks

Knowing how to locate and hunt funnels is essential if you want increased success when out in the field.

To locate these areas start by looking at an aerial map, aerial photos, and a topo map of the location you are planning to hunt. With this type of map, you can find many funnels we discussed earlier, like hillside benches, ridgetop saddles, open gate, fences, etc.

It is important to note that not all funnels are created equally. It is important that once you find them on the map, you should walk and scout the land while looking for optimal trees for a stand, trails/deer trail, and animal sign/buck sign.

While scouting, it is also a good idea to place a cellular trail camera in the funnel or funnels that look to have the most potential so that you can gather intel while not disturbing the area during hunting season.


Utilizing funnels and pinch point this deer season can offer strategic locations from which to set up your deer stand and improve your chances of success during the season. By traveling down the funnels and narrowing down to a smaller opening, known as a pinch point, hunters will have access to an “x-marks-the-spot” site for spotting wildlife.

Hunting from treestands in pinch points also provides an improved field of view and improved shot opportunities not found when hunting on foot. Additionally, knowledge of agricultural factors such as rich black topsoil also comes into play when scouting for pinch points since it is often an attraction for deer movement patterns.

Ultimately, understanding the concept and importance that locating a good pinch point has on successful deer hunts should not be underestimated – scouting strategies are essential skills every hunter should develop in order to improve their game results.

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