DIY Public Hunting: Early Season




Sometimes you have no control when you take a vacation. You might work in a job where the plant shuts down and everyone has to take vacation at the same time. You might be the low man on the totem pole, which prohibits you from getting a week off during the rut. You might be a union worker who has to make the most of the limited time you get off during a big job. No matter what the circumstances might be you need to formulate plans for different parts of the season.

One of my favorite times to hunt is the early season. The leaves are just beginning to change colors. The mornings are getting cooler and random rubs are showing up in the woods. This is one of the best times of the year to kill a good buck. Not many people have been in the woods yet and most large tracts of public land are void of people. You might see a local guy wandering around, but rarely will you see a non-resident hunter.

Deer are busy feeding during the early season. The mast crops can be plentiful and thick leaf cover offers the deer more protection than normal. If there hasn’t been much human interference the deer will still be comfortable around their feeding areas.

If you find a place with a lot of turned over leaves it’s a good place to set your stand. Deer will return to fill their bellies on the acorns and beechnuts. If there’s a grove of oak trees find the tree they’re feeding under. There will always be one tree the deer like more than all the others. Find that tree! It might take a couple of years to figure it out, but if you keep good notes and pay attention the information you’re looking for will end up in your lap.

While you search for the primary feeding areas pay attention to the small saplings scattered throughout the woods. If you find a lot of rubs within sight of each other you can bet the buck who made them isn’t too far away. Bucks tend to stay close to home during the early part of the season. They take a nap and stroll over to the fast food joint to get a bite to eat. If they’re rubbing right before they get into the parking lot you need to set up where the driveway connects to the main road. In your mind picture what I just explained and transfer it into the place you’re hunting. The acorn flat is the fast food joint. It’s your job to figure out the rest. If you think of this in terms of what you do as a person it will eliminate a lot of second guessing. Second guessing can make a person with great hunting skills become an average hunter instead of a phenomenal one. KEEP IT SIMPLE!

If you cover enough ground in the early season you’ll definitely locate the deer. They might be hanging out next to the road or they might be three miles back in the woods. You need to go where the sign is and hang out there for a few days at a time. They’ll be feeding in a lot of places, so try a different stand couple of days.

The picture at the beginning is a buck I killed on the first day of the Northern Zone in New York. He weighed 187 lbs. If you have any pictures of your early season success I’d love to see them. Send them in.

Hunt hard and hunt safe ——————————–> Todd A. Mead

#DIY Public Hunting #Whitetail Hunting#Bowhunting Early Season



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