Summer is the time when trophy deer hunters seem to be the most active. There are several reasons for this but let\’s lay out what the year looks like beginning in hunting season.
Early fall across most of the whitetail\’s range finds eager hunters hitting the woods. For many this will be with bow or crossbow in hand. The weather is still warm in September and October, so everyone is wearing their light camo and trying not to sweat. Most hunters will have bow or crossbow in hand and be excited about recent sightings of a bachelor group of bucks.
Early season hunting also puts you in the woods with the bugs so be sure you have protected your clothes with Permethrin. Permethrin will protect you against ticks and mosquitos and chiggers.
Bucks will be on a pretty predictable feeding pattern that revolves their group between water and some green food source. Ag fields like soybeans are a favorite early season spot. This is a time of year when big buck hunters really hope to punch that tag. The deer have seen very little pressure over the summer and the patterns are somewhat predictable.
Here are some common activities successful deer hunters put into practice year after year.
Take Big Buck Inventory
Start running cameras in late summer to take inventory of your bucks. Late June and into July is a good time to set up trail cameras because antler growth is well on its way. I like to use cellular trail cameras for all phases of hunting because it keeps pressure low and keeps you away from the deer.
Great Trail Camera Locations;
- Mineral Licks
- Watering Holes
- Trails Entering Ag Fields and Food Sources
Plan for a Clean Getaway
The importance of going undetected is paramount. Getting winded or spooking the bachelor group will likely crush your chances of killing the big dominant buck. Planning for a clean getaway is a very commonly overlooked mistake for most deer hunters.
The bucks are feeding every night in the back corner of soybean field. I mean, they arrive every night with 30 minutes left of legal shooting light. Getting a shot on the first hunt would be ideal but we all know things don\’t always go as planned.
- How do you enter the field without leaving your scent in the wrong place
- What are the prevailing winds in your area during early season
- Where can you put the stand to remain downwind of the feeding
- HOW WILL YOU LEAVE YOUR STAND AFTER DARK WITHOUT SPOOKING THE DEER
A trail screen like Egyptian Wheat might be the perfect solution for your farm.
Long Distance Scouting
Driving for bucks and long distance scouting can be a great activity during the grueling heat of August. Deer and big buck bachelor groups will still be active during the last hour of daylight.
Long distance scouting and driving for bucks is pretty simple. Grab the kids, grab the binos and jump in the truck for a drive. Cruise the backroads near your farm looking for deer.
You can also post up on their preferred food source. Be very cautious not to spook any deer. Applying any pressure at all is a terrible thing at this point. You want the deer to be 100% comfortable with your land and your food source.
Archery Practice is a Must
Consistently practicing with your bow or crossbow is super important. Reps build muscle memory and develop good habits. You need all the help you can get to lessen the symptoms of Buck Fever.
This would also be a great time if you are considering making a change with equipment. I would never buy a new bow the week before season. I would never change my release, my sight or my broadhead three days for the opening day of archery season.
set yourself up for success and make these changes early. Practice with a purpose and practice consistently. Practice at long range to build confidence. You may not shoot a deer at 60 yards but practicing at 60 yards will make you Robinhood at 25 yards.
Deer Hunting Can Be Year Round
The summer to-do list is not work, it can be fun for the entire family. Get everyone involved and get our there and find some deer.