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Deer Hunting Tips & Tactics Whitetail

10 Keys to Early-Season Deer Hunting

by Travis Faulkner   |  August 29th, 2013 5

Author Travis Faulkner with a nice buck he scouted for in the early part of bow season. Photo courtesy of Travis Faulkner.

Taking steps to accurately pinpoint and pattern mature bucks is what separates deer hunting legends from the hunters who occasionally get lucky. This is especially true during the early days of the season when excessive heat can drastically decrease daytime deer activity.

Bucks commonly escape the hot temperatures by moving primarily at dusk and throughout the night. Unfortunately, many of these nocturnal bucks will also hit their beds well before daylight and stay locked-down until dark.

To make matters worse, whitetails enjoy almost unlimited access to food throughout the early season. As you can imagine, focusing on a preferred food source can really be tough any time of year when bucks have multiple snack options. Early-season foliage also creates an abundance of thick cover and green browse that can be exploited by deer. In this situation, textbook feeding to bedding setups are basically obsolete because bucks can bed down just about anywhere they like. This is why it’s so important for you to take your early-season scouting skills to a whole new level. Here’s how.


Have some tried-and-true early season tactics of your own? Share them with us on Facebook!

  • Glenn Flake

    Great list, I can't think of a thing to add. I use a swing blade to create paths for deer to use, big believer in that. Ditto on the mock scrape with buck urine. I just got in from hanging a clamp on stand on a tree that is between two ready to drop persimmon trees!!! I have had a mineral lick there and trail camera since June. It is on a spillway on the back side of a dam of a 300 acre lake. The nearest water. I shoot a Horton 175lb. crossbow with red dot scope. Deadly and I barely have to move. Thanks again for the fine list of tips.

  • Jack

    Awesome picture! one of the best field pic's ive seen. Great tips. i'm gonna try the mock trail, mock scrape strategy this week. Thanks!

  • Deer Hunting Podcast

    Travis, in the picture at the top of this article, it looks like you're barely holding the deer's head. It's a great picture – did you somehow prop the deer up like that? Just curious, looks really good.

  • carter

    mock scrape believer right here killed my best over a mock scrape 154 inch 11 point

  • cctv cameras Miami

    Good to see you've captured some enormous photos using trail cameras! I'm learning various basics of trail cameras because I'm about to this camera system to capture wile beauties. Thanks.

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