Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Time Is of the Essence


Depending on where you live, deer season is either upon us or quickly approaching.  For instance, bow season in California started in July.  For the majority of the country, it lands somewhere around October.  For this reason, I wanted to write an article focused on a bit of a checklist of what needs to be done while still leaving time for a quiet period before the beginning of your season.

I am going to start from the outside and work my way in to your stand to get us through the necessities.  The first item to discuss is completely outside your hunting zone...it's you. You stink... and so do I!  Scent control is premium as you prep your hunting area.  Just think about the fact that this patch of land hasn't had much human scent in it for months and now all of a sudden, there it is.  Ever wondered how deer seem to magically know it's hunting season?  Doe urine (non-estrus) is a very inexpensive and easy way to mask your scent.  It has a very calming effect on deer. It is a signal of sorts to other deer that everything is ok.  If you can walk, spray some on the soul of your boots.  If you are in a wheelchair, DON'T SPRAY IT ON YOUR TIRES!  There is a product called Nose-Jammer that you can spray on your tires to mask your scent and stop your wife from shooting you!

You should be planning your entrance and exit routes based off of the winds you might encounter during the hunting season.  You will want to keep in mind to having a stealth approach the closer you get to your hunting area.  Cutting walk paths is critical for quietly getting in and out. Be sure to leave some cover that will help hide you as you draw near to high deer-activity areas.

Placement of deer stands and ground blinds is premium during this time frame.  Remember to take into consideration the changes that autumn will bring so that you won't need to make a lot of moves during the season.  Acorns are an important ingredient to my success.  Although the deer will be showing sign this month in the food plot in an open area, by October, they will be inside the tree-line and won't venture out very much.  My ground blind will need to be positioned to cover both of these areas.  Once the acorns are finished, the deer will once again target the food plot for forage.

Once your stands or blinds are placed, cutting shooting lanes can be one of those details that may be the difference between success or failure when the moment presents itself to making a shot on a good Buck.  Be sure that your shooting lanes cross natural trails that deer use all of the time.

Corn feeders and trail cams are great tools to attempt to understand the pattern of deer.  They are creatures of habit and are also keen to picking up on your habits also.  I like to place these two items in areas that the deer are already feeding in.  It's less intrusive.  It gives them a new target close to where they are naturally moving.  Having a trail cam adjacent to these areas may help you identify travel corridors, possible bedding areas, herd size and even buck to doe ratios.

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