How To Hunt the Pre-Rut

Whitetail Deer

The Deer are in the Pre-Rut cycle now and in two weeks they will be in full Rut, it’s going to get exciting. During the pre-rut we have rattled and grunted in a lot of bucks, but just no shooters yet.

Where are the Larger Bucks

The larger bucks seem to be traveling during the early and late hours, when it’s still dark out, but that is soon to change. When those Doe come into Heat (reproductive cycle) the bigger bucks will start chasing and it will be all day long.

Signs Of Larger Bucks

Here we see large trees and even a telephone pole hit.

Bucks Taken by Archery

Here are a couple of Deer taken in the past week by a couple of friends, but I’m still waiting for something that will score higher.

Here are a couple of the videos from the first week of Gun Season

Midwest Whitetail Pre-Rut in 2 weeks

It’s the second week of October, the corn is still standing, the first frost is yet to come, and the long awaited Whitetail Pre-Rut is coming quick.

Current Deer Sightings

Right now we are still seeing many doe in the fields and woods edges, with very few Bucks, so where are they? They are in the standing corn waiting for the cooler days and a few of the doe to get them excited. So get ready as in the next two weeks the bucks wills start hitting the woods and chasing doe(s).

Pre-Rut Best Archery Season

So how do you hunt the archery season before this starts; focus on the corn, beans, and hay fields, especially where you have oak trees hanging over those corps and dropping acorns. But in two weeks when the corn starts to come off and we get a good frost things will change quickly. The bucks will either be forced to the woods for cover or for searching out doe(s) that are starting their estrus cycle early. Either way this time of the season is better than the Rut, why? Because bucks are not fighting for dominance yet, they are a little dumb focusing on finding a doe in heat, and they will be traveling in groups still. I have seen as many as 5 bucks traveling together during the pre-rut with the last buck typically being the dominant one.

Here are a couple of videos from the night of Sept 30th and the morning of Oct 6th

How To Make Deer Stand Skirts – Whitetail Hunting

How To Make Camo Skirts For Dual Ladder & Self Climbing Stands

If you have been searching for Deer Stand Skirts you have most likely found it difficult to find a camouflage skirt for a Self-Climbing or a Dual Ladder Deer Stand. In the following videos I will show you how easy it is to make your own and how they look on the stand.

Materials You Will Need

For materials go to the Joan Fabric website and print the 50% and 60% off one item coupons along with one for Thread (typically buy one get one free), next go to the Joan Fabric store and purchase your materials. For Fabric and Velcro purchase them by the yards to get multiple yards for the one coupon price.

Completed Deer Stand Skirting

Self-Climbing Deer Stand Skirt
Dual-Ladder Deer Stand Skirting

Cost To Make One Skirt

Wait for the sales/coupons, then you should be able to purchase all the materials for just under $13. It will take you ~40 minutes to make one of these skirts using a sewing machine, maybe less if you are efficient in sewing. if interested I would make one and include shipping for $25/skirt. *Note, for Dual Ladder Stands you will need two skirts.

Making The Skirt Step By Step Video

Assembling Onto A Dual Ladder Stand

Morel Mushrooms Are Popping – 2017 Crop Best In Years

Where to start searching for The Morel Mushrooms – Early Grays & Yellows

When I first start searching for the Morel Mushroom the ground is still be very moist (or too wet), the soil is not at the ideal temperature, and the ground vegetation is limited. However, based on the buds just starting on my apple trees the Morels are out there. So I start my search on the Southeast facing slopes, these are the areas that have gotten the most sunlight, allowing the soil to warm sooner than other areas in the woods. Next I look for patches of moss on the ground, as the moss will hold just the right amount of water and will be warmer than the soil.

Once on the slopes I target two levels, the level just below the top (flats) and the level just above the bottom (flats). These ridge-break areas seem to generate the first vegetation in the woods and will produce the small gray & yellow Morels (best eating) first.

Second Week Into the Season – Finding Mushrooms

After the first week you will start to see Morels popping up in other areas such as the top and bottom flats and the West facing slopes, but it’s still a little early for the large Grays & Yellows.

Third Week Into the Morel Mushroom Season

Once into the third week of the Morel Season you should be finding mushrooms in all areas of the woods, low and high. The Morels during this time of the season are the large ones and are not quite as tasty, but still good. It’s also not uncommon to find a few hundred Morels in one spot, filling up a nice bag of Mushrooms.

Hunting & Gathering Tips:

A. Early season, start your search on the Southeast facing slopes, look on the break of the hills.
B. Find the best areas of vegetation on the slopes and stay parallel to the top and bottom as you search.
C. Leave a few Morels for next years production, I like to leave one in every group of Morels I find. Typically the one with the highest elevation for the best spore exposure.
D. Use a netted bad for carrying your Morels in, as this will allow the spores to escape and drop to the forest floor.
E. Find areas of moss growing on the ground for both early and late Morels.
F. Move to the West facing slopes toward the end of the season.
G. Check fence lines, wood edges, road ditches, and along the sides of power lines cutting through the woods.

Videos

In these two videos I show how we find Morels in the roadside ditches and where to look in the woods.

Morel Mushroom Hunting – Are You Ready For The 2017 Season

It’s mid April, the days are warmer, the rain has come and so will the Morel Mushrooms. Now how do we know when these tasty fungi are popping, when the fruit trees start to bloom.

The Mid-West Morel’s

In the Midwest we typically see our first Small Gray Morels by the 3rd week of April, but the weather has been cooler this year, pushing them back a couple of weeks.

For myself, I will be out there again this weekend (April 22), but I’m guessing we are still a week away. The Rain is here and the days are warmer, but we are still seeing 30s for night time temperatures. The best temps for the Morel Mushroom is 60+ degrees for daytime and no lower than 40 degrees for night temperatures (soil temps 45 to 55 degrees).

My prediction for the Midwest states this year (2017) is; small grays and yellows will be popping around April 29th, the large Morels will be in their peak the week of May 15th.

Where To Find Morel Mushrooms

Check out a few of my articles on Morels, but here are a few tips;
A. Look in areas of dead Elms and Ash (decaying bark).
B. Look in old Apple Orchards.
C. Search the South East facing slopes/hills for the early Morels
D. Search the edges of the woods and fence lines.
E. Check out the roadside ditches and steep banks.
F. Look in dry creek bottoms that are moist.
G. Search for areas that have a mix of clay, sand, limestone, and decaying matter.
H. Make sure to search areas that have been burned off or had forest fires in the past year.
I. Look in areas where the woods have been recently logged.

Spreading The Morel Spores

One recommendation is that you use a netted type bag to place your Morels in. This will allow the spores to fall out and spread through the area as you’re hunting.