I cannot believe that the last week of October is already here! It has been an interesting early season so far. I have hunted a fair amount and have harvested one doe so far. The weather has been exceptionally warm for much of the time, but it is looking like that will change soon. The high today is 86, but by the weekend we should be seeing 30s at night, with highs in the 50s during the day.
Halloween is an unofficial marker of the hunting season. In many areas bucks will be entering into the seeking phase of the rut, looking for the first does that come in heat. I’ll be hunting hard this weekend, and most likely be making my first all day, dark-to-dark hunt of the year on Saturday. A good strategy for this time of the year is to setup near a known doe bedding area for the morning hunt. Bucks will begin to check on these areas around this time. That is my plan for the morning hunt, and during mid day I am going to climb down and look for some fresh sign to hunt for the evening hunt. A climber comes in really handy at this time of year. I am not quite ready to setup on my best spots for the rut, but I don’t want to just be sitting early season spots either. The plan of attack should be to stay mobile and hunt fresh sign when possible. Bucks should actively be making both rubs and scrapes. If you can find those signs along or near a oak bench with acorns, then that is even better.
Anytime we start to talking about the rut, our attention obviously turns to bucks, but don’t be fooled… You may be after bucks, but guess what those bucks are after? That is right, does. If you aren’t seeing a ton of fresh buck sign, don’t panic. Do your best to pattern, and stay with the doe activity. There is never a shortage of tips or tricks to nail a big buck, but once we begin to enter the rut remember one thing – hunt does and you will have encounters with bucks.