Oh deer! I have been racking my brain trying to get my game plan together. Yes, the countdown has begun . . . while most people are enjoying summer boating, fishing, golfing, beach time, and other wonderful outdoor activities, some of us are counting down the days until deer season starts. If we are not thinking about it, we are probably sleeping and dreaming about it. I know I am. It is all about preparation, and this season, we are focused on hunting mature bucks. All hunters know that four- and five-year-old bucks don’t live that long making themselves easy targets. Our main focus will be keeping our human footprint as light as possible so as not to put pressure on the deer.
How do I smell? Do tell!
Camouflaging our human scent is extremely important, and this year, we are adding dogfennel to our scent control plan to mask unnatural odors from our boots. It grows everywhere in the Southeast and it has a strong odor that will be perfect to hide our scent. We are not sure exactly what method we will use to get our boots covered with the scent, but I have visions of stomping our feet in the stuff as if we were squashing grapes for wine.
The answer is blowing in the wind . . .
Next, we will focus on wind direction, which goes hand in hand with our scent control plan. Since a buck will use his nose to detect danger approaching, knowing the wind direction is one of the most important details to take into account. We have several stands to choose from and will select which stand to hunt based on the wind direction, always wanting to be downwind to best control our scent. Having options with the right stand for the direction of the wind can make the difference between seeing a buck and not. Otherwise your answer will be just blowing in the wind. A ScoutLook weather app is great to pinpoint your stand so you can check for wind direction.
Stand by me
Besides the typical preparations such as pruning and clearing shooting lanes of fallen trees and debris, my stand will need to be cleared of any potential for wasps. Wasps are my phobia. I am OK with spiders and snakes, but not wasps. Letting out a scream because of a wasp will not help with hunting a trophy buck! I also need to check the swivel seat on my stand for squeaks and groans, as well as giving the stand a thorough checkup to make sure it is structurally in solid shape, as safety is my number one concern.
This ain’t your mama’s golf cart!
The most exciting addition to our preparation for deer season is our new ride! We found the perfect camouflaged electric cart designed especially for hunting. It is equipped with heavy-duty tires, and we added a brush guard in the front so we can take on some punishing paths. Being stealthy is one of the most important aspects of deer hunting, and this will ensure a quiet ride to get close to our stands. We’ll look cool, too. The only problem is we will probably argue over who gets to drive. We bought a sleigh attachment for the cart, trying to thinking positive that we will have a deer to cart back to the truck.
Smile for the camera
I have been spending a lot of time studying trail cameras and found one that sends a text when a deer is in camera range. It will be hard to contain myself and not grab my phone when I’m driving! But I will refrain, as my stand is about an hour away, and so far out in the country that there is no need to go grab my gun. It is just exciting to know the times of day I may be getting activity near my stand. My husband’s extensive research reveals that trail cameras should be pointed north so that sun and shadows are not an issue. “Putting cameras in areas that do not point to trees is another benefit so that squirrels and raccoons will not set off the camera with their movements,” he explained. That is interesting since, in the woods, it might be hard not to point the camera at from a tree. Guess we better think about that tip!
Off to Backwoods Quail Club to use the rifle range and make sure my gun is perfectly sighted in. More than likely, Dave will be there and always happy to help. A little practice never hurts, and I love any excuse for range time!
My goal this year is to go lean and mean for hunting. I’ve been known to carry along every conceivable item that I think I could possibly use. But I have learned that carrying too much in my backpack invites creating excessive movement, when keeping still is what you need to do. This year I am only taking necessities: Ammo, Thermacells Binoculars, Handgun, Water and snacks, Walkie-talkie (in case cell service is weak), Hunting license and tags
Keeping your cool
The keys to buying hunting clothes are comfort and performance. Hunting in hot weather can be challenging, as you need to be camouflaged but also run the risk of overdressing. That’s why I love wearing my Próis apparel—the wicking fabric performs well to keep me cool even in the hottest weather. I also added an Enduracool Towel and yes, it comes in a camo pattern. In case you get too hot, you can cool down quickly with these amazing towels. Just drench in water, snap, place around your neck, and enjoy the relief!
Here’s to all my fellow deer-hunting fanatics. I am hoping everyone has a fun, successful, and safe hunting season.