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It’s tough to get in the woods and fight off the mosquitoes, ticks, and various other little bugs that bite and sting you. I have to say, my main motivation when setting up treestands during the hot, humid summer months is the fact that I will soon be sitting in that stand on a frosty morning hoping to get a shot at a rutting buck. However, our weather seemingly changes every 15 minutes and it’s not unusual to be sweating like crazy in a treestand during the fall. Time spent in a tree during September can sometimes be almost inhospitable.

I hear many hunters say that they would rather wait until the weather turns cool before trying to fill their freezer. I don’t blame them, it’s much more enjoyable when the temperatures drop. However, as I’m writing this I have two bucks scoring in the 120-130 range on the wall behind me that were taken during archery season. Both of those days were brutally hot and I actually considered not going hunting. Man, I’m glad I went anyway! Here are a few reasons why you are missing out big when skipping the early season.

A buck becomes very unpredictable when the photoperiod shortens. The declining amount of daylight causes the onset of many biological factors. In short, their testosterone begins to rise, antler velvet peels, and a buck’s tolerance of his buddies he spent all summer with begins to dwindle. During this time a buck may begin to stake out new areas and assert his dominance. Or he may stick around his summer grounds. If you can get to these bucks before the bachelor groups break up, chances are you are hunting relatively predictable deer. On the other hand, if the bachelor group has already split, you may be able to catch an unsuspecting buck passing through your area.

Top to it off, food sources are plentiful during this time of the year. Persimmon trees are hanging full, soybeans are in their prime, corn fields have most likely been picked, and numerous other types of forages are present that attract whitetail deer. The weather this time of the year may not feel like hunting season, but it is. If you do your homework and are patient, you may be able to capitalize on an unsuspecting deer long before other hunters who are waiting on cooler temps do. Luck is defined as “when preparation meets opportunity.” Now is your opportunity!

Andrew Walters