So, this is the time of year that you are not supposed to be able to kill big deer right? Well, I won’t argue that there are probably more active times of the year, but this time of year still offers some good hunting. I think hunters who get out and try to hunt mature bucks this time of year often times go about it all wrong. And I think it can most often be attributed to our impatience on the one hand, and not moving fast enough on the other. Mature bucks will move during daylight hours this time of year but their movements are often times very limited. Many times the fall harvest is not yet complete so there is abundant food available. The weather is still pretty good so there is no panic by the deer herd to replenish calories that are burned up by inclement weather. And, for the most part, there is no breeding taking place. The key I think is hunting the most preferred food sources you can find.
Alfalfa and maturing soybeans have been the ticket for me in the past. Interior food plots that are planted in greens are another good spot to take a good buck this time of year. What I really look for are scraping and rubbing areas around preferred food sources that are active right now.
If you are able to find an area that is adjacent to a food source that gets hot with sign (rubbing and scraping) this time of year you need to hunt it right now! I’ve seen these areas get lit up and by the next weekend go completely cold. Don’t ask me why…it just happens this way.
I guess my theory would be the preferred food source is drawing in a good portion of the local deer herd bucks included and the mature bucks are using the scraping and rubbing as a communication means to all the other bucks in the area. This is probably natures way of sorting out the pecking order for the coming weeks ahead when does begin coming in heat. Find the hot sign adjacent to the areas preferred food source and hunt it for mid October action.