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

How To Find Good Deer Hunting Land – Buying Great Hunting Habitat

Purchasing Great Deer Hunting Land

As some of you have seen or heard in my articles and videos my deer hunting land has been encroached upon by developers. This has pushed the larger bucks out of the area toward the large river that lies a mile away. I have also had people living in these developments stray unto my land during the archery season and walk right under my stand with their dogs. Now I do kindly ask them to leave, however enough is enough and I finally decided to look for a better deer hunting parcel further away from the small City I live near.

Finding the right ground is a labor-intensive process that may take months and possibly years. But, if you invest the time to do it right you will find what you’re looking for. I been looking off and on for the past 10 years, knowing the time would come when I will want to move further out, and that time is here.

What To Look For In Hunting Land

So what do you look for to make sure you are buying a great piece of hunting land? Well as in this article you need water, feeding area, thick cover, and bedding. Now since my trophy bucks have moved to a large river just a miles away I started looking at aerials along this river focusing on; woodland to cropland ratios, low land, high land, wood funnels (large game crossing areas between sections), ridges, and wood fingers stretching into the tillable land.

Once I find a couple of properties for sale I walk them 3 or 4 times and use my camera and a notepad to record the game (Deer, Turkey, Pheasant, etc.) sign and habitat (Water, Food Sources, Bedding, and Thick Cover). I also noted what the Woods versus Tillable land ratio is and what types of trees are on the property. I like to see 75% – 85% woods, 15% – 25% tillable (crops) and would even consider a few acres of wetland or pasture.

Here at a few things I look for:
1- The Woods must NOT have been logged within the past 30 years. If logged then only selectively logged.
2- Having a river on the property or near by is a big plus.
3- The woods needs to have major crossing areas from Crop fields, Water, and adjoining sections.
4- Major Deer trails packed to the mud, with a number of large scrapes and rubs.
5- Plenty of hardwoods such as Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, hickory, etc..

The Hunting Land I Purchased!

I finally decided to purchase a 64 acre parcel just 12 miles North of my present location. The major river in the area runs across the North side of the property and winds down the West side. One major deer crossing comes from the West where there is 70 acres of tillable, 20 acres of woods, and then a narrow wood-line connecting to this land. On the East side are large parcels of tillable with multiple wooded fingers stretching out into the fields. From the deer sign it’s obvious there are Boone & Crockett’s in the area. Talking to the neighbors one took a 189 scored buck and the other a large 16 pt, but did not get it scored. So it’s going to be nice passing up those 135’s and focusing on those 175’s or larger bucks. I’m looking forward to doing videos on this property and sharing them with you.

The land ratio on this 64 acres is 81% Wooded, 16% Tillable, and 7% in pasture (grasses), which can be tilled. The river runs North approximately 200 yards from the property line and West approximately 400 yards away. I have seen many pheasants, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and signs of turkey, fox, and of course coyotes.

Don’t Rely On The Realtor When Purchasing Land

Purchasing land has gotten difficult over the past few years and it takes longer to complete the purchase transaction due to tougher County Regulations and Bank Requirements. Also any realtor selling land has the sellers best interest and of course their pockets, so have your own lawyer it will be well worth the money.

Also do not get discouraged as you will get through the process and your lawyer will help keep things moving. For this piece of Land it took me 3 weeks to get the bank loans approved and another 3 months to get the Purchase Agreement (PA) signed. Why so long for a PA to get signed, well this is what I ran into and was glad I had a lawyer from the beginning, he also wrote my PA. In this case the realtor’s best interest was NOT in the sellers or mine, but had different intentions. This realtor wanted the land or a section of it for himself and was delaying every step of the process, trying to either find a way to purchase the land or get the farmer or myself to sell him 10 acres. So I finally bypassed him and went directly to the owner were we worked out a Purchase Agreement. I then took legal actions against the realtor to keep the process from delaying any longer and within 2 weeks I had the land purchased.

Start Improving The Habitat right Away

This Spring I will start planting Apple Trees, Plum Trees, and fruit trees that produce small fruit for the grouse and pheasants. The pasture area I will put a few apple trees in and let it grow for deer bedding and the pheasants, mowing it once every two years. Since I have plenty of tillable (corn & beans) with oak trees (acorns) along the edges I will not need to put in any food plots. I will however put in a lot of apple trees since it cheap and easy to grow and graft them. For Winter I will leave a few rolls of corn standing and build a wire cylinder to place whole corn (with cob) in for the Pheasants. The tractor lanes going through the woods will be planted to a mixture of Clover & Chicory. I will also start clearing dead trees, downfalls, and thin areas to allow sunlight in, improving the vegetation in the woods.

Guide Series Men’s Outdoor Insulated Camouflage Twill Jacket – Review

The Best Camouflage Hunting Coat For The Price

I have found the best Camo Coat/Jacket I have ever seen when it come to price. This is perfect for the entire Archery Season.

Where To Purchase This Archery Coat

I found this coat, which they call a jacket, in Gander Mountain on sale for up to 60% off. However you do not want to purchase it at the store, since you can get a better price on-line.

What Price Can You Purchase This Camo Jacket for

This Jacket in the store was on sale for up to 60% off. However, the most it ever came down to, from its regular price of $59.99, was $39.99. So I spent a year going into two different Gander Mountain Stores to see if the price would drop lower, as I wanted to purchase another one. Finally after a year I found this jacket on the Gander Mountain website for a much better deal. The Jacket was on sale for $39.99, with $10 off, and free shipping. So the total coast; $29.99 at the door.

Features

The Guide Series Men’s Outdoor Element Insulated Twill Jacket is built tough to withstand a variety of outdoor activities. Crafted from rugged 100% cotton twill fabric, the jacket boasts diamond-quilted insulation throughout with brushed tricot at the body and hood for extra warmth and taffeta at the sleeves for easy on and off.

Articulated elbows allow for a wider range of movement for even greater comfort with minimum noise. The Insulated Twill Jacket features a three-piece hood with draw-cord adjustment; a full-length front zipper; elastic-bound cuffs and bottom hem; and a license holder at the upper back. Bellowed front cargo pockets with hidden-snap flap closures, brushed tricot hand-warmer pockets (behind the cargo pockets), and an interior patch pocket provide ample storage for all your essential gear or camera. The Jacket is imported from China, so it is not USA made.

The jacket is not that heavy, is quite, and the cotton twill does not collect the burrs and tick-tacks like other materials do.

* Guide Series Men’s Outdoor Element Insulated Twill Jacket Item # 783321
* Rugged 100% cotton twill fabric
* Diamond-quilted insulation for warmth
* Brushed tricot at the body and hood
* Taffeta-lined sleeves for easy on/off
* Articulated elbows for added mobility

Product Review – 4.5 Stars*

I first purchased this jacket over a year ago. I like it so much I wanted to purchase another one for future usage and buy one for my two youngest sons, who enjoy Archery Hunting as much as I do. But I wanted to see if it would drop in price more before purchasing, since the sale sign in the stores said up to 60% off.

The Jacket is much larger then US sizes, most likely due to being made in China. I wear an Extra Large and had to go with a Large, which is still a little big on me.

Great for the Entire Archer Season, large enough to put layers of clothing under it, or to wear as is.

The zipper, if not seated completely down will separate, so make sure it seated entirely before zipping up. If it does separate it will take a few minutes to work it back down, but does not seen to damage the zipper.

The Jacket has plenty of pockets for gloves, hats, camera, etc..

I strongly recommend this coat for hunting in both the early and late Archer Season. I give it my thumbs up with a 4.5 Start rating.