-By Brandon Wikman
We are officially on the cusp of a new beginning and fresh start to the opening of the whitetail archery season. A very short window of opportunity awaits us, and we must take advantage of it, right now!
I’ve soaked-up enough wisdom from professional hunters, television shows, magazine articles and first hand experiences to know your odds of firing an arrow into a buck opening weekend is extremely high! It can be just as good as the rut. Why? During the rut, it’s difficult to pinpoint a buck. There’s no telling what trail he’ll use or field he’ll show up in. The only surefire way to tell is to smell out a hot-doe, but our noses aren’t near that great. Unless your hunting a funnel or pinch-point, there’s no telling where a buck will cruise.
During the early-season, whitetail are more apt to show up in the same field, using the exact trail, time-and-time again. It’s the same routine schedule they’ve been doing for the past few weeks. With enough luck, and patience, we’ll be able to make a sneak attack on him.
Early-season is a time when deer haven’t been heavily pressured. They’ve been left alone to recuperate and adjust for nearly a year. The only true harassing they’ve received was potentially vehicles stopping on the road to look at them.
If we’ve done our basic homework, our location should already be plotted, stands hung, and a general idea of the deer in the area. All of these components will grant us an ‘A’ for effort. We must realize that this is a fresh start and we need to try to keep it that way so deer won’t know we are hunting them.
I always like to play the game, musical stands. It is a term used by some hunters, which primarily means alternating after 2-3 consecutive sits. This will keep your stand fresh. Every single time we take a step into our hang-on or climber, we’ve already scent dusted the entire entry route with human scent. Minimizing our odor with scent eliminators is helpful. Using sprays, clothing detergent, and carbon lined suits isn’t going to fool a whitetail’s nose 100% of the time. Be sure to have enough stands scattered around your property, or soon the deer herd will be hunting you.
Any farmer who has been around long enough will tell you that whitetail are consuming soybeans, right now! This is a very brief timeframe to cease. No food source is better at this particular time than soybeans. Once soybeans begin to ripen within a few weeks, acorns will substitute the whitetails craving.
I have placed two stand setups along a soybean field. I’ve strapped a stand in each corner of the field, which is where I’ve observed most deer activity. I am not planning on hunting there opening morning for the simple reason that I’ll spook every deer out of the field by making an entry. Most field stands are primarily for evening sits.