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Deer Movement Lull = Fake News

Every year there is an initial change in a deer’s behavior that throws some hunters for a loop. You’ve most likely heard the term “October lull” used to force the blame on the deer. Multiple gps tracking studies have shown that there is no such thing as an October lull. Deer don’t move less right before the rut. In fact studies show they actually increase their movement during this time in both daylight and after nightfall. What has changed is they have adjusted their patterns from the previous months and for some reason we refuse to make that move with them. Let me explain. Over the summer months you probably enjoyed daily photos of bucks eating in your food plot, regularly using the same trails, and entering and exiting fields in the same location. Once the velvet comes off, POOF! They disappear. That’s because the hardening of their antlers by the higher levels of testosterone building in their bodies can technically be considered the first phase of the rut that triggers a plethora of changes in a buck’s body. A few examples of other changes taking place:

  • Bucks that have been friendly and huddled together over then summer will start to lose interest in each other’s presence and begin searching for the doe groups they’ll soon be chasing.
  • Their food sources are changing. There are undoubtedly dozens of feeders staring to fire off within the boundaries of your lease and acorns of certain types will begin falling soon. The deer know that!
  • There is more activity in and around their core, home area. Hunters are taking to the woods to set stands, clear lanes and plant fall food plots. The deer take notice of that. While the doe groups may not mind the old mature bucks sure do.

So how do I adapt you ask? Easy, move your cameras! Get them off the food plots, feeders, and mineral sites and near acorn trees. Get them on trails leading from known bedding areas to hard wood bottoms that will soon be full of their absolute favorite snack, acorns. Get them to an area you haven’t been this summer or where no one else goes. Seclusion is a big wary buck’s best friend and it will be yours too if you are careful about going in and out.

Something that is also an option with recent advancements in technology is taking an Ozone generator to the woods with you while you’re checking cameras. If you are searching for big bucks you will agree that every drop of scent you leave in the woods matters. Ozonics has developed a back pack that carries the HR-300 and allows it to eliminate your “scent tracks” while you’re checking cameras. A cutting edge tool to ensure you’re leaving no trace of your presence.

The Ozonics Kinetic Pack allows you to get in and out completely undetected.

Another helpful tool that will save you time and gas is the recent price drop in cellular trail cameras like the Spypoint Link -Evo. I put mine in the middle of a sanctuary area in May and have been able to hold bucks in that area ever since due to not having to venture in disturbing them checking that area. Both game changers for those that like to have the latest and greatest.

Using cellular cameras keeps you out of the woods!

So before you blame the deer for the October lull, or in parts of southern Louisiana the “September Lull” change your tactics up. Cover your scent and noise tracks while you’re preparing for the season and move those cameras. Where did you find them last year at this time? That would be a good place to start!

 

Give Ground Blinds a Try

After falling 20′ while setting up a stand last summer my hunting strategies have changed, to say the least. While I used to thrive hunting from a lock on, ladder stand or climber, now I find myself being satisfied on the ground. Shocker, I know! While I am no stranger to ground hunting I used to do so without the constraints of a blind so I could move around, be aggressive, and find my own cover. However with limited mobility those days are long gone. So this year I already have 3 ground blinds set up. Yes, they are already out there and in position waiting on a last minute brush in. Why so early you ask? Here’s why:

This doe has been coming to a protein feeder just out of frame for the last 6 months. Every day, every night, no issues. But something changed that has her on high alert; my ground blind. I placed it 35 yards in the woods nearly 24 hours before these photos from my Spypoint Link- Evo were taken and guess what she’s staring directly at? You got it. She refused to eat from the feeder that day and didn’t come back until nightfall. Deer are extremely observant, especially the older ones. They are highly aware of changes, even the subtle ones. If someone snuck in your house and moved your couch, your tv, and your recliner in the middle of the night would you notice? You bet you would. That’s why when it comes to ground blinds the earlier you get them out the better. Most importantly make sure to take your time brushing them in. The less obvious the intrusion, and longer  it’s there the more used to it they will be by deer season. The last thing you want to get into on opening day is a staring contest.

Another major strategy change while hunting from the ground is the increased importance of scent control. You had better take it up a notch or just plan on enjoying the day watching young immature deer and squirrels. One thing I won’t go in a ground blind without in my Ozonics. When it comes to scent control I don’t take any shortcuts. If you are after the dominant buck on your property you can’t afford to either. Having a careless entry and exit path, or being lazy with your scent control is the easiest way to ensure you’ll have a nice quiet uneventful day in the woods.

Being eye level with your target buck is an adrenaline rush on the next level.  It takes extra care, caution and preparation. What’s he worth to you?  It’s an addiction all over again like you first experienced when bow hunting all together. Give it a try this fall.

 

 

Justin Lanclos- LABH Editor/ Founder

info@louisianabowhunter.com