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The heatwave of 2023 is officially over! Unseasonable, warm temperatures have made it hard to get into the treestand during the first part of the PA Archery Season. Temperatures in the 80's are not great for hunting. Deer movement has been slow thanks to the warm temperatures during the day and even at night. Big Buck sightings have been minimal on my Spypoint Trail Cameras. Scrape activity has been slow except for at night. Hunters I have talked with are excited for the first cold front to make its way to Pennsylvania this weekend. Even with rain in the forecast, many of my friends are excited for the cooler temps and a chance to see better deer movement.
Drive by any farm, and you will see the beans are dry and ready to be picked. Many farmers have started to take beans off their fields, and corn will soon come down. In areas where there are oaks, the deer have been hitting that food source hard. Locate a producing tree and hang a set. A deadly combination to look for is an oak flat between some agriculture fields. I have a stand located in a spot like that, and I can't wait to plant my butt in that stand! As October moves on, the food sources will change again, and food will be less of a focus to hunt around! I believe there are about two more weeks of hunting food sources until the bucks begin to focus on breeding hot does. Get out now and hunt those food sources.
Scrape activity has been meager since the heatwave started. All summer long, I watched velvet bucks hit my mock scrapes. I am testing a new product from Smokey's Deer Lures called Headscratcher. The mixture is something I asked Smokey to mix up for me to try. The deer have reacted well to the new mixture, and I am excited about the results.
Right now is a great time to get out and make mock scrapes. Deer will ramp up their activity at scrapes building up to the rut. A well-placed mock scrape can bring success on a curious buck. Areas to concentrate on are outside bedding areas, pinch points, inside corners, and food plots. All these areas are places where deer will congregate, and bucks will be checking these areas for the first few does to come into estrus. Create a licking branch and use Smokey's Preorbital gland lure to introduce a new buck to the area. Make the scrape beneath the licking branch and put a few drops of Smokey's Interdigital Buck Gland lure in the scrape. Hang a camera and watch the bucks work your scrape. If you want an easier solution, check out the amazing products from BuckStik.
Every fall, I like to try new products. This year is no different. Left In The Field Outdoors has a new sponsor this fall. Triple Point Outdoors is the new broadhead sponsor for 2023. The Clovis broadhead is a revolutionary breakthrough for mechanical broadheads. Triple Point Outdoors uses earth magnets to secure their blades in place. The broadhead flies like a dart and cuts deep. I am excited about this new sponsor!
Wyndscent has done it again this fall. Their new product is the E-Thermal. This product will heat up scent pads so you can use them as a cover scent or an attractant. The E-Thermal pads can be used in a Thermacell as well. The pads can also be laid on the ground or hung in a tree. This unit has a remote for easy control. According to Wyndscent, the E-Thermal battery life will last about 6 hours before recharging. Wyndscent keeps coming up with great products for hunters to use.
One of the things I make sure to do throughout the archery season is practice. Recently, I purchased two targets from Big Shot Target Company. The company is based out of Pennsylvania and makes fabulous targets. The Titan 10X target has become my favorite target. There are 10 sides to shoot with multiple dots to shoot at. The best part about the target is how easily the arrows pull out. Big Shot Targets has plenty of targets to choose from for any archery hunter.
I want to wish everyone a safe and successful season. Remember to properly identify your target, shoot your bow often, and always remember to wear your safety harness. Keep checking my YouTube channel for updates and videos throughout the season.
Brian R. Kightlinger
Left In The Field Outdoors