It’s the greatest day of the year! It’s Bowhunter’s Christmas. October 1st is the official start of deer season across America and most of Louisiana. To say we’re excited would be an understatement. The hot and dry forecast for this week is a little different from recent past seasons but that won’t stop us. Between avoiding cottonmouths and the spiders you might as well hunt from the sidelines if you’re arachnophobic or ophidiophobic. Nothing a big stick won’t fix.
Don’t count out the early season for hot weather, though. The deer have seen this before and it isn’t stopping a thing. Deer use the amount of daylight hours to know where we are on the calendar and they’re preparing for that first cool front just as we are. As deer become hard horned you’ll start to see rublines pop up and scrapes become clean. Take note of everyone and their location and realize that early season sign typically doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be later in the season.
Right now if you’ve had cameras on food sources you should know if your hit list buck is using daylight hours; Get it while the getting’s good. A buck on a pattern during daylight is not far from changing that come October. Bucks are still in bachelor groups for the next few weeks and could very well give you the best chance at killing your target buck early if you play the wind right and catch him by surprise.
With Daylight Savings Time on November 3rd that means you have about a month of late evenings you can make hunts. Even short, one hour, hunts can be profitable. Last year I made good of an hour hunt during a late afternoon rain shower and killed a doe leaving her bedding area. It was such a thrown together hunt I didn’t even pack a stand. From the depths of a wild hedge I stood for an hour waiting for her arrival from the thicket. A dark spot in the bushes proved a good stand location when I released an arrow her way.
Deer are crepuscular creatures naturally. Crepuscular - Of or resembling twilight or dim. Basically, deer wait till it’s almost too dark to see to get up and move. If you get off at 5pm you still have 2.5hours to make it happen. Take that chance on a few hunts after work you may be glad you did.
Be safe and hunt smart this season we’re looking forward to hearing of all the success across Louisiana.
-Austin M. Bradford, LABH Contributor