Here are some early season deer hunting tips that hunters can use to increase their chances of success. The early parts of deer season differ from the later parts for many reasons. Two of the primary differences is that the early season is often before the rut and takes place in warmer weather.
Know Water Sources
In the early season, water may be difficult to find. If conditions have been dry, knowing where to find water is a good way of finding deer. Spring fed creeks, farm ponds, and other reliable sources of water may be a deer magnet in the early season.
Hunt Near Food Source
During the early season, there may still be some agricultural plantings left for deer to feed on in many areas. If this is the case a hunter needs to gather this information when scouting and use it to their advantage. In areas without significant agricultural plantings, heavy mast can cause deer to stay in the woods while light mast will make deer more dependant on browsing in fields and pastures. Early season often means bow hunting, if so it is often more useful to set up along trails to feeding areas and not on the feeding area itself as shots have to be of a shorter distance. Choose multiple stand locations on both sides of likely trails in order to be able to adjust to the wind.
In the early season, bucks are moving from being in bachelor groups to going alone. Heavy fighting may be unlikely, but light sparring may occur frequently. Some gentle rattling may bring in curious bucks to see what is going on.
If the early season corresponds with the pre-rut period, hunters should try using doe in heat scents. As few if any does will be ready to breed, a buck that smells signs of a ready doe may travel long distances to find her.
The warmer temperatures of the early season means that deer hunters will have to deal with some problems not typically encountered later in the year. First, bugs may still be an issue. Bug spray or a bug suit can help a hunter stay comfortable in the woods. Another issue caused by the warm weather is field care of the deer. Hunters need to have a plan to get the deer quickly field dressed and to a cool place. Bugs are a problem for deer as well, hunters should consider buying on the many commercially made game bags that allow the meat to cool while still protecting it from flies and other bugs.