Article Written by Isaac Kent, Midwest Madness Prostaff
As the hot dog-days of summer and soybeans fade to the cooler fall afternoons hunting acorns, we have noticed that many hard horned bucks are beginning to show up. As they continue to roll in, we would like to share some of our tried and true tips to help you succeed this fall.
- Location, Location, Location. A typical real estate agent’s mantra, location is truly the key to locating, and harvesting mature trophy whitetails. Many hunters prefer to hunt the biggest, most open ag fields to begin the season, moving into the fall. While there may be a steady concentration of deer in these areas, most likely, you’re missing the big boys. As the soybean leaves slowly begin to gain that yellow tint, the deer will graduate to a more palatable and abundant mast crop. Depending on your region, the deer will most likely key in on mast crop such as White Oaks, for they produce the most succulent acorns that are like candy to whitetails. Go for a walk off of the outskirts of the big crop fields, and check the tops of long flat ridges for signs of dropping trees. Once you have located a stand, try to follow animal trails and droppings to locate the most productive one or two. Hang your set, and wait for that big bruiser to come cruising through the timber.
- Find Where They Sleep. Big bucks in these earlier months are usually in somewhat predictable pattern. They will be moving in a food centered mindset at this point of the year, and so if you find a feeding location, follow a trail leading out of it, and try to find an adjacent path to thick cover, preferably higher than the rest, downwind of the food source. The bucks like to feel safe, and also don’t like to go far for their food. They like to have a view of the area, while also having a quick escape route in case of the first whiff of trouble. Find a bedding area close to a food source, spruce it up with a mock scrape, hang your set, and kill the big boy on his way to dinner.
- Hunt the Edges. If you hunt pressured land, chances are the deer already know that those people are there, and have them patterned. They will move to use those food sources when there are no hunters in the woods, and will become few and far between. However, do not become disheartened, for there are still big bucks in that area. Step One- Find the roads, or other access points like parking lots that become trafficked the most during deer season. Step Two- Find the gnarliest cover you can, chances are that’s where a big buck is hiding out. Most hunters think the farther in to a property you go, the better. And a lot hunt the big fields, or most obvious spots. Whitetails on the other hand, can be quite skittish of these areas once used too much. Step Three- Find a mast crop or food source near the thick cover close to the access points, hang a stand as close to the bedding area as you can, and be prepared to kill him the first time you hunt. If he catches your wind, he won’t be there for long.
Hopefully these tips will give you an advantage over the other hunters in your area, and help to kill that buck of a lifetime.
~Isaac Kent, Midwest Madness Prostaff
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