Season isn’t months away anymore. Now it’s only days away. Whether you’ve been spending days of sweat and blood getting ready for this season, or if you’ve only thought about getting ready it will be here soon. Do you have that hit list buck found? Do you have your plots ready? Are your stands ready for you to suit up and climb in? We have a few recommendations for September before season opens.
Trail cameras: if you don’t use them you’re missing out. Even one will make a difference in how you see your deer herd this year. Now is the time to make sure the cameras you have out are ready. This weekend while you check your camera bring extra batteries and an extra, clean SD card. The dreaded feeling of walking up to a camera that has been off for two weeks while you thought the buck of a lifetime would be on it can be avoided. If you have a cell camera, knowing these things is a little easier. A quality cell camera will greatly help with scent control in your woods and knowing your feed supply. Rather than having anxiety wanting to know if your “Hit list” buck made it you will know immediately when he arrives. With any camera you should make your last adjustments to be sure you get the perfect camera angle.
If your season opens September 21st this year you should enter your hunting woods as little as possible. This time of year, bucks are still in a summer feeding pattern. However, as daylight lessens they will begin to search out their winter home ranges. You do not want to get in their way if they plan to make your place their home. Of course the rut seems to change everything but nothing beats a pattern-able deer killed during the opening week.
Pictured is LABH Contributor Harmon Carson watching a young buck nibble on some Greenbriar that he pulled down to the deer’s reach.
For the public land and private hunter alike now is the time to find some of the early food sources. Greenbriar or Smilax is a big part of a deer’s diet in the majority of Louisiana. You will find it growing along roadways and trails. Upon close inspection you will see where some of the leaves have been snipped off by deer. This shows how the deer use human disturbances to their advantage. Smilax is usually the first to shoot up after you cut an area.
Your time spent in the woods should be minimal in the areas that you know produce year in and year out. This time should be used to scout new areas that you plan to hunt this year. This can be a very short scouting trip. It can be as short as a 30 minute walk in a patch of woods you have never been. You will notice last year’s rublines and maybe a pawin that has been cleaned this year. Deer use these travel routes year round and the licking branch above the pawin actually becomes sort of a news hub for the herd. This is also a great spot to hang a camera.
Lastly, spend a few moments practicing shots from elevated positions and make sure that your setup has no avoidable flaws. This is crucial for making the best of the opportunity heading your way. Otherwise, just enjoy the fact that cool temperatures that are heading this way.
-Austin M. Bradford, Louisiana Bowhunter Contributor