Overall Activity Status: An experienced deer hunter never heads to the woods without toilet paper in his pocket. I used my toilet paper while hunting this morning, but before the conversation gets too crude, it was only to blot the sweat off my forehead and face after climbing into my stand. Kentucky bow season opened on Saturday. Although it’s usually plenty warm during our early season, we’ve had some our hottest weather of the summer this week.
I’ve written about the advantages of afternoon-only hunting in September in the past (and I still believe that advice is valid most of the time). But 94 degrees is a bit beyond my comfort limit. The deer don’t like it, either. So I’ve tried some morning sits this week. I’ve bumped some deer in the dark, just like I was afraid of doing, but overall, my morning sits have been far more productive in the way of deer sightings than my evening sits. Deer have been moving pretty consistently up until 9 o’clock or so. By contrast, the evening movement, according to my trail cameras, has been limited to the last 15 minutes of shooting light and then well after dark.
Fighting: None yet. Bachelor groups are holding tight, although bucks are shedding their velvet like crazy.
Rub making: I haven’t seen any visible rubs yet, but I did watch the buck in the photo attempt to scrape that hanging velvet off his antlers on a sapling Sunday morning (the day after this photo was taken).
Scrape making: Nothing yet.
Chasing: Nothing yet.
Daytime movement: As mentioned, morning activity has been fair. I’ve hunted two mornings in the same stand overlooking a bait site on an oak ridge. I’ve had deer in bow range both sits. Scattered acorns are falling on that ridge, and the deer have been scurrying from one tree to the next to find them, stopping to pick at the bait, and then heading on to the thickets to bed. It seems those thickets are where they’re staying until it gets dark, too.
Estrous signs: None yet
X Factor: We finally have a cold front on the way, and forecast highs are supposed to be in the 70s all weekend. That should give the evening activity a much-needed shot in the arm, although I’m afraid the curtain is closing fast for catching a big buck on a summer pattern. With velvet peeling and acorns falling, the early pre-rut will be here before we know it.