The Race Is On
November is here and the deer are really starting to move. Crops are being cut and the rut is picking up. Reports from around the area have people talking about mature bucks on their feet during the day and chasing going on. I have seen many dead deer along the roadways and that is a hint as well. So what can you do to help put a tag on a buck? Here are some suggestions for the last part of the season.
1. Find the Does
This is the time of year that does are the key to success. If you can locate and find the does you are headed in the right direction. Bucks will be cruising and looking for receptive does! This is the time to position yourself where the does travel, feed, and bed. Key in on the does and the chances of seeing a good buck dramatically increase.
2. Hunt Scrapes and Rub Lines
The woods are starting to get torn up! Just about every overhanging branch has a scrape underneath it and the poor saplings are getting shredded. Bucks are cruising and leaving their mark to let other bucks know they are around. The scrapes are also a way for the bucks to let the does know they are available. If you can locate a community scrape or an active rub line you might want to hunt that area. This is the time to hunt those bucks.
With bucks on the move, this is the perfect time to get that decoy out of the box. Make sure you spray down the decoy so there is no human scent on it. Use the wind and a wise stand location to set the scene for the buck. I like to use some Evercalm on my doe decoy and also some doe in heat. Be careful how you place the decoy so that you can maximize your shot opportunity. The decoy can distract the buck enough for you to get off a lethal shot.
4. Calling and Rattling
Calling and rattling are great techniques to use right now and up to the end of the season. With bucks on their feet and establishing the pecking order, these two tools can bring bucks into range. After you do a rattling sequence be on the lookout. Bucks can quickly and quietly come into bow range. When they come looking for the source of the call they will not stay long when they don't see what they are looking for. This might be a time to use that decoy! Deer communicate all the time but this time of year they have other things on their minds. Put those calling and rattling skills to good use when you are on the stand.
5. Funnels and All-Day Sits
Hunting funnels and travel corridors are always advantageous during the season. Right now it is even more of a benefit to hunting those funnels. While you are at it you might as well sit all day. Deer movement is usually very good at these funnel areas and since the bucks are on the move take advantage of this natural feature. Purchase a comfortable hang on stand or a climber and sit from dawn to dusk. Many bucks are killed this time of year between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm. Bring some snacks and maybe even a good book. Plan to sit all day and make the most of those funnels.
6. Scent Dispensers and Drag Lines
Everyone knows bucks love to follow does when they smell just right. There are many cool products on the market to help you leave the scent that say, I am over here, come and get me. Buck Cage, Wyndscent, and other products help you get that scent into the air. Find a reliable all-natural scent that is irresistible to those searching buck. Create a dragline and pull it behind you to your stand. Create a semi-circle around you of what bucks want to smell. Be on the lookout for bucks coming to find that lonely doe.
The season is quickly coming to an end and the best time to hunt is here. I hope these tips can help you wrap your hands around that target buck! Best of luck, keep safe, and happy hunting.