Next Steps In Patterning

One of the main themes over the next few weeks on Whitetail Season will be the behavior of the bucks during the transition from summer patterns to fall patterns. You will be able to see that play out right before your eyes on the episodes. Normally, the bucks are very visible in early August and become decreasingly so as the month goes on. Their testosterone level increases and their food sources change—both causing a change in their behavior. By the first part of September they start to lose their velvet—again as a result of rising testosterone levels caused by the shorter length of daylight. At this time the summer bachelor groups start breaking up.

If you have a bow opener in very early September, you can sometimes catch the bucks before summer bachelor groups start breaking up. I have hunted them under these conditions in Montana and Alberta. In those situations you can still-hunt them on the tail end of their summer patterns.

However, by mid-September the change is really picking up pace and the bucks are very hard to find in open areas, especially in years with a good acorn crop. That is when the real work begins. If you have a mid-September opener, you will find a few bucks still coming to their summer food sources in daylight, but most will be on new food sources (acorns and browse) or they will be hitting the summer feeding areas after dark.

Summer scouting is fun but the real business begins around the middle of September. In the next few weeks I will go into more depth on this subject; in fact, as I said, this will be the main theme of several episodes of Whitetail Season that air in mid-September.

Now for a bit of good news (at least for me). We did find that buck back that I had nicknamed G5 Buck. He is at least 10 inches bigger than last year, making him a true stud. We will bring him to you in this week’s episode.

I am actually shocked that we found three of my four primary hit-list bucks. Now we will try to find the fourth. I don’t have a lot of hope for him as he seemed to be a deer that lives here only during the late-season.

Until next week, good luck scouting.

Check out this week's video, "Deer Personality."

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