Pre-rut bucks are thinking about breeding, but they know the importance of putting on weight before rutting voyages take a toll on their body. As the food sources change, you will need to change where you hunt to find the whitetails in your area. Rubs and scrapes will provide information on patterns as well as core areas. This is the information you will need to have to pinpoint where the bucks are, whether they are bedding or feeding.
Don’t put all your chips on scrapes and rubs as bucks will start to shift to spending more time checking does on fields and in bedding areas, it is not uncommon for some does to come into heat in this window. As you make out your game plan, put all the pieces of the puzzle onto the table. With the rubs, scrapes, and feeding patterns, a hunter can put together a good strategy that will increase their odds of success, and put you in a pretty good scenario for a opportunity at your target buck.
Hunting whitetail deer is an ever changing challenge, especially hunting mature bucks. Just because one spot was good last year does not necessarily mean that it will be a productive area the next. Remember, deer patterns can change rapidly. Just as soon as we think we have them figured out, hunting pressure can cause deer habits to change very quickly. Early gun seasons before bow season and youth firearm seasons can contribute to this change in deer habits. So, it’s important to keep your options open, be observant, and not get complacent.
Let the wind dictate your stand choice for a morning or evening hunt. Always be on the downwind side of travel routes. Never risk sitting in a stand with a questionable wind. If the wind is wrong, wait for more favorable conditions. On days with unfavorable wind conditions, you might want to find a new stand location or set up a ground blind. Fence rows can be ideal locations for ground blinds, as they are frequent travel paths for deer. Even a perch in between the branches of a downed tree can work well in a pinch. Always be on the lookout for new stand locations. As deer habits change do not be afraid to adjust with them.
Weather patterns have stabilized this week after the last cold front, and you can plan on a few days of similar winds and temperatures. With that said, keep an eye on the tail end of the Red Moon as predicted by the Moon Guide, where the next couple day peak feeding times correlate to the major moon times. Deer Cast is holding steady and “good” predictions for the next few days amongst most of the areas we cover, and Huntstand is predicting moderate deer activity, mostly concentrated in the evening.
Pre-rut bucks are not an easy animal to hunt. As long as the hunter puts in the time and effort to gather information and spends the time hunting, it will come together for the hunter sooner than later. Pay attention to the weather, and the next cold front could bring a flurry of big bucks on their feet during shooting hours!
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