Well everybody, we are almost at the two week point here in Maryland, and what a great two weeks we’ve had. The weather has been perfect for early season hunting, the strong arctic cold front made it feel like mid-October last week, and I was thoroughly enjoying it. I have been able to make it out in the woods six days so far and have been seeing plenty of deer.
I was out this morning in a stand I like hunting for this moon phase, its situated on the edge of a marsh that forms a peninsula in the woods. The shape of the marsh makes the deer move around its edge and right by my stand. The key features of the stand are that it's bordered to the south by bean fields and bedding areas to the North. With the moon peaking over head in late afternoon, I head to transition areas in the morning, and this is one of my favorite. Those deer always want to grab that last bite of food before heading into the woods to bed up, and I catch them on their way back. Not to mention the cool mornings and warm afternoons has got them moving earlier in the day. So, with the perfect SSE wind to blow my scent out over the marsh I watched as 16 deer passed by me. Mostly does and small bucks, but still enjoyable none the less.
I’d also like to share some observations I’ve noted that could help you when picking your next hunting location. First off, we’ve got another cold front headed in over the next few days, and I am anticipating a similar response to last time: they moved heavily right before it came in, and right after. So try to make time to get out and take advantage of the changing barometer. Secondly, the bucks and does are starting to not enjoy each others company as they do in the summer. As you read in my last journal, I’ve been hunting the oaks. I’ve sat in some oak patches and seen doe after doe come in and feed. Then I moved to another more remote and smaller oak patch and watched a nice 8 point feed, he wasn't quite the buck I was going after, but it got my heart pounding as he eased out of the bedding area and I saw the horns. So what I’ve observed is that the bucks and does have declared their territory and they are not in the mood to leave. So as you find a place the does are feeding, you know its time to move on and find where the bucks are feeding, for now. This will all change in a month or so when the rut starts up. Finally, most of the corn in this area is dry and has been standing for some time. The farmers are out working long days to get it all picked. I love being in the woods when nearby fields are being picked; you will see a lot of deer activity. Also, be ready to change your strategy as the deer will be changing their patterns based on a change in food source.