Outside Chance

Getting read for peek deer season

By Jack Payne

When possible I schedule as much time for hunting around the solunar tables and the book from Charles Alsheimer, (Hunting Whitetails by the Moon) as possible. Years of record keeping has shown to me that both of these tidbits have proven money on more often than not.

With that said, October 25th should be the kick-off for some great hunting that should last right almost to the opener of gun season. The best dates I plan on hunting all day, bouncing between stands. Last year on the best solunar dates it showed major movement during the mid-day hours. This proved spot on.

Having more than one stand is great for all day hunts. If you need to stretch you can walk over to a second stand and sit there for half a day. Try the following tips from two hunters that I know well.

Mitch Johnson’s favorite time of the year is the period stated earlier. Best time for a big buck. Sparks excitement! Bucks cruising, scraping makes sitting on a stand all day great. His best time you ask? 10 am until 2 pm – awesome time, best time for Mitch and his group. Move if the wind switches ASAP. Mitch carries extra cloths to his stand in a scent free tote bag. Uses dead downwind cover scent. Changes cloths at the truck. Does not allow anything into his truck.  He never over hunts a stand. You only get one chance.

He uses scent and grunt calls sparingly. Force your call to throw the sound away from you. Calling can be very effective. Rattle horns work, just not as much as calling.

Deer bed on ridges, evergreens, wherever they can use the wind or cover to their advantage. Never hunt the bedding area. Hunt near but do not bust the bedding area. Always hunt the day that a drop of 10 degrees or more is forecasted.

Chris Parrish likes calling to deer, much like Charles Alsheimer. All of Chris’s big bucks came in to calling. He rarely blind calls, instead he prefers to see the deer or movement. If blind calling, he does such where the terrain forces the deer to travel where he needs them to go. A steep ravine or a stream will do this. Older bucks are going to swing around and get down wind. Chris likes keeping things simple, carrying only what he needs into the woods. His favorite call is the outlaw call, a combo deer call.

Chris also likes some scent. He uses the Code Blue calming zone scent all season. It is a masking and relaxing scent, not a buck lure scent. Calms the deer down. H runs a drag line for 100 yards. Using doe estrus scent or buck lure together during the rut.  Run your line to a preferred shooting window. Chris also enjoys hunting from the ground when the conditions are right. Ground hunting contains your scent best but offers limited viewing.

I like water and thick cover. Water and thick cover provide security for the deer. My stand locations are on this edge, tucked into a bit of cover but where I can still see the edges. Water also serves as a sounding device. Deer can be heard coming well in advance. I avoid field hunting always. I prefer to stay away from the fields. Bucks will roam the inner edges smelling tracks of a hot doe before venturing into the filed.

I love hunting the 20 days prior to the opener of gun season. Plenty of deer sightings and limited hunters as compared to gun season.

Give it a shot, hunt all day when you can.