Opening Day

December 07, 2011

Opening day doesn’t mean much to me as a bowhunter, but to our family it means much more. The kids are busy, thus they don’t have the time to dedicate to mastering the bow and arrow right now. Drew has vowed that he will kill another deer with a bow someday (he shot one back in 2009 when he was 9) but in the meantime, both he and Jordan (our daughter) love to hunt with a gun.

The Last Week of November

November 28, 2011

If you are relying on natural movement at this time, you need to know what you are up against. In most parts of North America north of the Mason-Dixon line, the peak of the breeding phase of the rut has come and gone. If you think of a graph of the number of estrous does this time of year as a bell-shaped curve, you will see we are on the downward slide on the back end of the curve. There are still a few does in estrous but each day that number declines fast. By roughly Nov. 26, in my experience, it is mostly over. Sure there could be the odd doe still in season after that date, but a hot doe in late November is a rare find.

How I Finally Killed “Daggers”

November 02, 2011

I shot a great buck on Sunday evening. We have a fast-paced version of the hunt on the Whitetail Season episode this week so I won’t go into the details of the moment, but you can tell when he steps out that I had a good dose of adrenaline surging at that moment! He is a great buck that I had some history with. I was actually hunting him when he showed up.

This Old Buck is Surprising Me

October 26, 2011

The most ironic development of this season has been the behavior of one of my top hit-list bucks named “Big.”

Cold Fronts are Helpful

October 19, 2011

 

This past week was characterized by a mid-October cold front that passed through much of the central part of the U.S. Buck activity really spurred up after the two weeks of warm days. Several of the members of the Midwest Whitetail Pro Staff were hunting and a few actually took nice, mature bucks. This is the first flurry of activity we have seen since very early in the season. Don’t think you are the only one that has been experiencing tough hunting. Everyone is seeing the same thing. Other than the odd buck here and there being killed, it was very slow prior to the cold snap.

Dealing with the October Lull

October 12, 2011

I haven’t been hunting, but I got to thinking about where I would go if I did hunt. Some people hunt every weekend regardless of the time frame. If the season is open they are hunting. This, as I have stated a few times in the episodes, can do more harm than good at times. If you are leaving scent and intruding into your good areas at times when the bucks aren’t moving during daylight, you are taking the risk of educating them with very little hope for a reward. Okay, we get that, but where would I actually hunt?

The Secret to Nocturnal Bucks

October 05, 2011

Nocturnal bucks are the biggest challenge I run into at this time of the year; in fact, nocturnal bucks are the biggest challenge I run into at all times of the year, but it seems to be more prevalent during the first two weeks of October than at other times. Starting in early September I was getting many daylight photos of the bucks I am hunting on my trail cameras; however, as September came to an end and October started, the number of mature bucks I was getting on my cameras in daylight dropped off to almost none. This is common. There is even a term for it: “The October Lull.” The bucks are still feeding, they are just doing it at night. Knowing that this naturally occurs will help you sort out changing buck behavior at this time of the year, but it won’t necessarily help you to tag one. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do or say that will help there. It is not possible to make a nocturnal buck move naturally during the daylight.

Low-Profile Stand Placement

September 28, 2011

I believe there are two ways to scout and to place stands. You either need to get perfectly clean and do it without alerting any deer, or you need to make a bunch of noise well before you get anywhere near the area, and give the deer plenty of warning before you arrive. They seem instinctively to have a different reaction to obviously loud human activity than they do to sneaking. They don’t like to be surprised.

What I Learned From My Trail-Cam Photos

September 20, 2011

This past week I made my first card pull from my trail cameras. I will move the cameras around quite a bit throughout the early fall to find the bucks and to see which ones are moving during the day. It is truly exciting to stick the SD card into the reader and see what pops up. With that first pull, I was not disappointed. I found a number of nice mature bucks on the farm and that really got me excited for this coming season. In this week’s blog, I want to take a few minutes to tell you what I learned from that first set of photos.

Trail-Cam Strategies

September 14, 2011

Now is the time to start putting out the trail cameras. Many people put out trail cameras in the summer, but as I have stated a few times in this blog and on the videos we have been producing for AmericanHunter.org, bucks have separate summer and fall ranges. The photos you get in the summer are fun, but are not as useful when forming a hunting strategy as many hunters may think. Instead, it is the photos that you get well after the bucks break up their bachelor groups and settle into their fall ranges that reveal the most information. That effort starts right now.