Archery hunters have until Saturday to harvest their deer during the regular archery season.
Despite it being the last week, there are still plenty of deer on the move, which should allow for a shot opportunity.
Rut activity is much-anticipated, but it can be a frustrating time to hunt as buck are often on the move. While it is great to see deer, a cruising buck might never pause long enough to offer an archer a shot. Bleating or grunting with your mouth can at times stop a deer, creating a shot opportunity. However, making noise alerts the deer and they react quicker to the shot when alert. Aiming for the bottom third of the deer or shooting for the heart on an alert deer helps to compensate should the deer duck the string.
A deer’s reaction time is amazing, and it’s not uncommon for them to move 18 inches in reaction to a shot. Given the choice between a walking deer and an alert deer, I will take my shot with the deer in movement.
Calling for deer can be very effective now, and an archer would be wise to carry a few calls during the hunt. A series of grunts every 15 minutes helps pass the time in the tree stand and can grab the attention of a buck. It is nice to see the deer you are grunting to so that you may judge its reaction, I have had good luck with unseen deer responding to my calls.
The colder weather this week should make it easier for hunters to harvest and process their venison.
• The fall turkey season ended this past weekend, but those hunters with
a tag in possession have another chance at their bird. A second segment of turkey season is scheduled later this month and will occur Nov. 25-27.
Scouting for a flock in the days to come could give a hunter the edge when the season reopens. Acorns, corn and grapes are favorite foods of turkey and typically they will not be far from these food sources.
A flock of turkey will leave behind a fair amount of signs as they scratch around for their food. Turkey scratchings will be circles of bare dirt perhaps 18 inches in diameter with the leaves pushed to one side. As turkey travel they scratch up the leaves behind them, allowing a hunter to determine the direction of the flock. On rainy days, turkey tend to spend their time in low grass areas such as pipelines and hayfields.
If a flock is located, there is still plenty of time to obtain permission prior to the hunt. Both hens and gobblers are legal to harvest in the fall season. The flesh of a fall turkey is delicious and certainly a change of pace from the farm-raised bird most are accustomed to.
• Duck season reopened today, allowing waterfowl hunters to pursue ducks and geese.
With the migration underway, hunters must scout constantly and watch the weather. A good weather pattern out of the north typically pushes birds south. While birds that have been in the area for weeks may up and vanish, the chance is always there that a new bunch of birds will stop to rest their wings.
Harvested cornfields are a huge draw for migrating waterfowl as they must consume high calories for recovery and warmth.
• Bear season opens Saturday for licensed hunters, and it appears the population is healthy across the state.
Thick cover and abundant food are the two things that interest a bear at this point in the year.
Bear hunting is a great activity that allows the hunter to explore the
outdoors while also having the chance at a unique trophy.