5 WAYS TO RECOVER YOUR HUNTING SEASON
It is the end of November and despite having a strong preseason of scouting and planning, I have yet to go out hunting. This is the reality for real people and real hunters. Life with a full time job, financial burdens, and social obligations–it happens. Now what do we do with little time left and no current intel on deer activity?
1. Past Knowledge
The past knowledge of what our spots produced for years past (relevant to time during the rut) is very important. This information can make great starting points to at least cut out some of the guess work in an already desperate situation to fill our freezers this year. Patterns change throughout the year; the only relevant knowledge gained from this year’s preseason scouting is doe bedding areas. For the most part, those should be unchanged (depending on hunting pressure). As far as buck patterns, you can be sure they are far off from August and September.
2. Be Mobile
Right now a mobile climbing treestand is our best friend. Since we for the most part do not know if preset hang-on stands have any relevance at this point, it is important to be mobile. You might have to move to a tree 100 yards away, or maybe even 10 yards away. The point is that you can do so with minimal invasiveness.
It is also important to get out on the roads, drive around, and spot deer. We can use this suburban America to our advantage. Aggressive tactics like spot and stalks from the road can pan out, as well as give you valuable intelligence about where to set up next. Suburban hunting is a very different world of tactics and understanding.
3. Combine Scouting and Hunting
For the most part, I step into the woods with a very solid plan when it comes to hunting. I know what stand I am headed to, or at least an idea of what tree to climb up. Since I haven’t been in the area for some time I try and read the current sign that I cut and let it tell me what is going on. It is possible that my set up may be off, but at least I have a starting point to start adjusting and closing the gap between no knowledge and a harvested deer.
4. Be Aggressive
Essentially we have already lost the majority of our season. These is no reason why we should fear getting aggressive because for the most part we have nothing to lose. In my book, I targeted aggressive tactics like hanging up right in bedding areas very early in the morning or using suburban adapted deer drives to force movement and activity. We are all closing into the end so it is time to force results no matter how harsh you may pressure the deer you are hunting.
5. Trail Cameras
If we were lucky, we still have trail cameras in the woods that haven’t been stolen (this is suburban America after all) and the batteries are still alive. That could be a saving grace to give us relevant up to date information on deer movement and deer inventory. It also is not too late to put cameras out. I still find myself bringing them in on the hunt. Setting them up and hoping that whatever obligation has kept me from this coveted activity already does not doom another camera setup. A week of deer movement on a camera can in fact warrant a full recovery of our seasons.
- A.J. DeRosa