- Keywords -
- Category Deer Hunting
- Region -
- Prostaff Member Steve Johnson
There are plenty of reasons early season deer hunting can be tough, bugs, changing deer patterns and it's usually very hot and humid. However, this might be the easiest time of year to pattern the giant buck of your dreams.
Bucks are in bachelor groups this time of year and usually feeding in the same fields night after night. Setting up down wind on the edge of the field for a few evenings should give you a real good idea of which trails the biggest bucks are using to enter the field.
After watching where the bucks enter the fields, where they feed, and how they interact with the other deer on the field I setup a game plan for getting a stand setup. I like to setup off the field edge 100 or so yards down the trail I think the bucks are using. This gives you a little more time for the buck to get to you. As the season begins you’ll quickly notice the biggest bucks aren't making it to the field during shooting light. That extra 100 yards might be exactly what's needed for that buck to get to you during shooting light.
Another consideration when planning your early season strategy is the food source. If the field you’re watching is filled with green soy beans, you need to consider that the beans may not be green when the season opener arrives. If the beans turn brown or are harvested before the season opens, there's a very good chance the deer will move on to other food sources before you get a chance at them. If you think the deer's main food source will be changing about the time the season starts it's a good idea to start trying to locate the next food source such as acorns.
Once you have your plan, you want to get in and get your stand setup without alerting a single deer that opening day is near. I like to slide in just before a rain and get setup quickly and quietly. Giant bucks didn't get that way by letting hunters scent go unnoticed. As we said before, it's hot and humid so sweat and scent is impossible to completely control. The impending rain will wash away any scent left behind and your stand will be set without any disturbance to the deer.
With your stand set well before opening day you’re well ahead of the game. The final and most important step is patience. Making sure you have the right wind before hunting the stand set is a MUST. Hunting the wrong wind just because its opening day will almost always yield poor results and all your sweat and hard work will be thrown out the window before the slightest glimpse of antlers is seen. Wait for the right wind, get to your stand early and wait for the right shot. With a little sweat and patience you might just bag the buck of your dreams right off the bat this year!