Early Season Whitetail Strategies
In the hot and dry West, early seasons are usually where it’s at.
Early Season Whitetail Strategies - Author, Patrick Meitin, offers strategies to pursue whitetail bucks in the early seasons across the West.
In much of “whitetaildom,” October represents the launch of bowhunting festivities, “early season” from the perspective of the average eastern deer hunter. Early, within a western reference, means something else altogether, normally indicating the still-blazing months of a fledgling fall, beginning with the final days of August into the start of September. No matter geographic location, early seasons give bowhunters an edge, pursuing bucks that have enjoyed a long summer’s reprieve and prove as calm as they will ever be.
This relative calm, delicate velvet antlers and thin summer coat produce whitetails regularly feeding in broad daylight, bucks sometimes wandering open ground in bachelor groups making them even more apparent.
Even when November rut dates are available in your favorite western state, early-season opportunities can prove just as productive—but only if you’ve done your homework. Too, in states where season openers occur before the second week in September, tagging a velvet-antlered buck is also possible—a fifty-fifty proposition in most cases. Scouting and preparing stand sites for early season success can turn into sweaty work, and warm weather produces short hunts at the very edges of day. Yet rewards often outweigh the inconvenience of wet, sticky stand-hanging sessions, buzzing mosquitoes (Thermacell and fine-mesh camouflage bug suits are better solutions than stinky insect repellents) and the added caution applied to assure you don’t ruin an area for future hunts by alerting bucks to the fact they’re being pursued.
The number-one goal in early-season whitetail hunting is keeping bucks in the dark regarding your intensions…