Find the Feed and Find the Bucks

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Some areas look deer-ish, but if the food is absent, the deer will be too. Mast is a key to fall hunting.

Acorns, berries, and other mast corps will draw the deer. . Later in the fall deer often turn towards browse and feed heavily on leaves and stems from such ash, maple, wild rose, and snow berry. Remember deer food doesn’t always look like food to you. Learning which native plants the deer prefer in your area will improve your odds for success. A tell-tale sign deer are feeding in an area is the presence of fresh droppings.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Find the Bedroom

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

When I speak of a deer’s bedroom, I don’t necessarily mean where a deer sleeps. What I’m talking about here is areas where breeding occurs. I’m looking for areas with thick brush or with young trees close together. The doe, with her smaller frame and lack of antlers can easily out maneuver an amorous buck in such places. She picks where and when the breeding occurs.

Remember a buck doesn’t like to force his antlers through branches bigger than your thumb. Being able to get a good shot in the thick stuff can be hard to impossible. Don’t set up and hide where you can only see a few yards out. You’re going to be better off setting up on the downwind edge of these bedrooms where visibility is better..

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Summer Scouting

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Summer is one of the best times to scout for trophy bucks. The bucks are very visible while feeding in the early morning and late evening. Being able to pattern the bucks movement will greatly increase your chances come opening day.
Alfalfa and beans are great summer food sources. It’s best to drive by these fields just before dark. Try to stay at least two to three hundred yards from the deer. You don’t want to spook them before the season starts. The bucks will be in bachelor groups and any scouting done now will only be effective if you can hunt before they shed their velvet. After the first week of September the bucks will separate, start looking at other food sources, or feed after dark.
Jim

Get Comfortable

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Make sure your stand is a comfortable one. Be ready to sit for long periods of time-two hours or more- without any noticeable movement. A deer’s eyes are geared to pick up movement. If you can’t sit still your chances are greatly diminished.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Always Assume a Buck is Nearby

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

When calling deer, always assume a buck is nearby. Hunters are always looking for that buck to come charging in, but this doesn’t happen very often. Normally the largest bucks sneak in silently downwind of your location. Always make sure you have a good shooting lane downwind from your stand.

Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Don’t Give Up on Mid-day Hunting

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Most hunters are gone by 11:00 am, and most of the deer know this. A mature buck will often get out of his bed and feed for a few minutes around mid-day. This is an excellent time to catch a buck feeding or looking for does. Staying in the stand will produce more opportunities than eating lunch.
Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Trial and Error

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Most of what I know about hunting its been learned through trial and error. Errors will occur whether you want them to or not. Mistakes are difficult to avoid, especially in hunting.

Hunters mistakenly believe the way to avoid making mistakes is to avoid trying new tactics. I think we should try new tactics.

The truth is that what you been doing is going to get you what you been getting. If you want changes in your success rate, you must first change yourself.

-Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

All Boats Leak a Little

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Every hunting situation has a glitch. There’s always a defect, always a problem, always a slow leak.

The question isn’t, “is this perfect?” The question is, “will this get me close to a big buck?”

Sometimes we make the mistake of ignoring the big leaks, the ones that threaten our success in the field.

More often, though, we’re so busy fixing tiny leaks that we get distracted from the real goal, which is to harvest a good buck.

-Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Where will the Deer Leave the Crop Field?

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Deer prefer to leave a crop field with the wind at their backs. I believe they do this naturally in order to detect any predators which might be following them. A change in wind direction will change where the deer leave the field. There’s no sense waiting for deer to leave the field unless the wind is directly in your face.

-Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/

Beware of the Bottoms

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

I try to keep my stand on the highest ground possible. There is more deer activity in the bottom lands during daylight hours, but the danger of the daytime air thermals lifting your scent and spreading it for several hundred yards in all directions is just too great. Always opt for a stand high on the ridge.

-Jim

http://jimcollyer.com/