Early season has gone and the primary rut has come and went. Bucks are kind of in a holding pattern waiting on the secondary rut which should hit East Texas about December 15th give or take a few days. What should you be doing to get ready for it.
I guess the biggest thing you can do is keep those does coming to your stand and make them feel comfortable being at your location. Feed is the easiest thing to make sure they stick around. Corn is the obvious choice but has little nutritional value or scent to keep them coming to your spot vs the next one over.
I like to put out small piles of 12 percent sweet horse and mule feed around my food plots. The molasses in it has a strong odor and draws the deer in. as long as you keep the does feeling secure in feeding near your stand then the bucks will be close by.
Try not to do too much shooting out of your stand. I know it is hard to not bust every yote and hog that passes by but if you are shooting too much it will make every deer near your stand be on edge and the bucks will generally stay back in the edge of the woods or brush and not show themselves. Save your varmint hunting for after deer season if you can.
Don’t play around your stand. I often see too many hunters get out of there stand and walk around their feeders or take strolls in the woods near it looking for deer sign. You should have done your scouting prior to season. Leaving all that human odor all over every bush near your stand is a red flag to any mature buck.
The next booboo most hunters make is with personal hygiene. Honestly if you wake up at 4 am and shower with body wash or Irish Spring I hope you are hunting in a 20ft box stand with glass windows cause you are about as offensive smelling to a deer as a 4 day old dead dog is to us. Use unscented soaps and shampoo. If you want, you can use any of the numerous scent eliminator products, but I find plain old unscented soaps and shampoo as well as unscented deodorant to work well.
Don’t go to all the trouble of using scent free and odor killers only to jump in your truck that smells like Polo cologne because you have scent deodorizer on your truck that smells like a strip club on Saturday night.
The last half of season is the toughest. You have got to pull out every trick and tactic from your goody bag in order to bag a decent buck. But don’t give up, I have killed some of my best deer after Thanksgiving.