hallelujah it’s finally here! I thought I would never make it! Tomorrow many will start the pilgrimage from civilized citizen to life in the woods as the 2010 Archery Deer Season begins. Here are just a few tips for this early season.
1. Buy a ThermaCell
2. If Scheels or WalMart are out of ThermaCells steal your buddies ThermaCell
3. Cut a clean path to your stand. That way you are not leaving your scent on all that green vegetation you had to wade through to put your stand in the tree. Plus, as these annuals die back, they get brown, dry and noisy. Walking through this stuff in the fall can be like sending off a warning siren to deer
4. Focus on good feeding sources. Remember as harvest kicks in, deer will rapidly change their movements to take advantage of waste or spilled grain areas but for now, patterning can be good.
5. You have the whole season to score so don’t get too bold and take risks, such as hunting a bedding area, that could send deer to the next county.
6. Scout field edges from a distance (what those binoculars are for) and determine best locations to hang a stand where deer consistently enter fields. Even then, I like to hang stands 20 or so yards back into the woods. You will be more likely to catch deer milling around in the woods waiting for sundown.
7. If your buddy shoots big deer each year…hunting with him/her more!
8. This early season can be a great time to harvest does.
9. Don’t waste your time with too much grunting or even rattling this early. Good early season calls to use include fawn-in-distress (easily made on your predator call) and doe contact bleats are always good but still use sparingly!
10. Deer are not in rut yet (hardly thinking about it I imagine) so stay away from estrous lures, scents, etc. and focus on controlling your own scent (that time of year to bathe again).
11. Ground cover scents such as earth or pine can work well to help confuse deer and mask your odor. Better yet, next time afield, take several young bows of cedar and place them in a bag. Then at home, store some cedar with your hunting clothes. When hunting, rub fresh crushed cedar bows on your clothes.
Several years ago my brother-in-law Dave and I were bowhunting for deer. Dave used the earth scent a bit strong and I have grabbed handfuls of weeds and rubbed them on my clothes (two genius hunters for sure-no deer was going to smell us). On the way home…you guessed it, the counties finest wanted to discuss the speed limit. When we rolled down the window I could tell he caught a huge whiff of earth scent and weeds (by now our eyes were watering as I have allergies too). My first thought was this may be a long night. But as luck would have it, our good servant of the public was a hunter himself. He even guessed the scent we were using. We all laughed so hard - I guess he just didn’t have the heart to write a ticket (Still not sure why he stopped us). Thank God for hunters!
Get Em’ Out There