It happens every year. Hunters get pumped up about deer season and begin running trail cameras in June through July, August, and September to monitor antler development. This is a great way to get an idea of what bucks are still around and let's face it, who doesn’t love a picture of three or four nice velvet bucks on their camera in daylight? Almost makes you want to rush out and hang a bunch of stands doesn’t it?

It almost makes you want to rush out and hang a bunch of stands doesn’t it? Well, you may want to reconsider…



A Shift in Behavior 

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a state with an early deer season opener, a lot of factors change just prior to deer season. By Mid-September most bachelor groups have broken up and movement becomes more nocturnal. I see a lot of hunters get really disappointed come October that the bucks simply aren’t in the area anymore.

Stand Placement

The key is to base most of your stand locations on funnels and travel corridors. This involves knowing where bucks are feeding and where they are bedding – then, setting stands close enough to experience daylight movement. 

History Repeats Itself

One of the biggest assets to review is trail camera pictures from previous years. Deer won’t be on their summer schedules in October but there is a very good chance they will be on the same schedule as last October! Weigh last year’s experiences and trail camera pictures far heavier than pictures from August. 

Exceptions to the Rule

Now don’t misread all that. Early season, especially for states that open as early as September 1, can be one of the best times to target a specific buck. If you’ve been on a specific deer all summer there is a good chance you have his summer pattern figured out and can hunt him the first week of the season before he feels pressure or breaks out of his summer routine. The chances of this playing out diminishes the later your season starts.

Good luck this Season! 

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