Preparing For The First Archery Hunt Of The Year
Since the temperatures in Minnesota are still very warm when the Whitetail Archery season opens I wait until the 3rd weekend before hunting. By this time the temperatures have dropped enough to have had a few frosty mornings, which will help eliminate many insects and start the leaves to turn and drop.
In preparation for the first night out you will want to make sure you have your natural Leaf scent, a good idea of the Deer (Bucks) in your area, and an idea of where the deer are feeding, bedding, and traveling. Here are two small bucks I video taped, while patiently waiting for the Buck I have choose to shoot.
Archery Whitetail Season
On Saturday morning of October 3rd I downloaded all the pictures from my game trial camera to see what Bucks where in the area, I then went to the edge of the woods and gathered leaves for placing my hunting clothes into (Blocks Human Scent), then I figured out what stand would be most successful based the patterns I saw on the camera and the deer’s diet. At 5 pm I set out to my stand that over looks a small grove of sumac which is still high on their menu.
Using Natural Leaves For a Scent Blocker
Gathering Your Leaves; here any leaf will work, but some will have stronger scents and will not dry out as fast as others. The most important thing is to use leaves that are common in the area you are hunting and not to use poisonous leaves such as poison Oak. I use Popple (Poplar), Cherry, Sumac, wild plum, apple, and thorn leaves. If you have mature Poplar trying using some bark as this holds a lot of scent that will easily transpose to your clothing, now you have the best scent blocker you can buy or make.
Another thing that works well for me since I have an Apple Orchard is to step on dropped apples, this transfers the apple juice onto my rubber boots, which attracts the deer. On this first night I had a small buck licking the steps on my ladder-stand. Once I even had a Buck sniff my boats when I was only 3 feet off the ground. He quickly realized I was not an apple.
Trail Camera Bucks
Her are a few of the Bucks I have on the Trail camera this year, unfortunately I have only one that I would consider a shooter, where we typically have two or three. So I will focus on him, but keeping my trail camera active and checking to see if something larger comes through, especially as we get closer to the rut.