Tricks For Early Season Bowhunting

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Heather Ray bagged this 14-point buck while bowhunting near Columbus. She downed her buck with a 25-yard shot using an Xpedition bow and Gold Tip arrow.

Early Bowhunting

Summer is coming to a welcomed end in the lone star state which means deer season is fast upon us.  Bowhunting season kicks off the 2018 deer season and In most areas of Texas it brings mixed emotions.  On one hand it’s deer season and that’s always a good thing .  on the other hand it will still be dang near 100 degrees in the first half of the season. 

Heather Ray bagged this 14-point buck while bowhunting near Columbus. She downed her buck with a 25-yard shot using an
Xpedition bow and Gold Tip arrow.

Being capable of staying in the stand is a huge task with dehydration, mosquitoes and deer flies just to name a few difficulties. Be sure to carry plenty of water to the stand with you. I always carry double what I think I can drink. Better to pack out the excess than have to leave the stand early because you didn’t bring enough. Stay away from sodas on the stand. While sodas may taste good they do little to keep you properly hydrated.

Hydration is a key component I like to use when selecting stand locations.  In early bow season most of Texas is in near drought if not pure drought conditions so setting up on a watering hole or a creek/river bank is about the best scenario.  Searching out a stand location can be as simple as finding the spot where just about everything is coming to the water. Large numbers of tracks and a beaten trail will show the way.  On the flip side being close to water in summer time means mosquitoes and insects will be at a premium so a good unscented repellent will be a must, maybe even a head net to make it so you have to move as little as possible. I personally use one of the butane repellent devices such as a Thermacell and have had great success.

Early season also means that estrus scents have little to no positive results but plain old doe pee does.  I like to take a plastic baggy with me in my preseason scouting and collect deer droppings wherever I find them.  I will then scatter the deer droppings around my stand to get the deer of guard. The more deer scent that is in an area the more at ease the deer in said area will be.

On the scent side of things Try this trick. Take a bottle of vanilla extract and mix it in a clean spray bottle with water and start spraying a particular sapling or low hanging branch. You will find that deer will pattern to visiting the sapling or branch regularly.  If you use a feeder or pour supplements out try sprinkling a box of vanilla flavored pudding mix on a punky log at your feed location. Even if you don’t use feeders or supplemental feed you can still apply the pudding mix to a soft punky stump or log in your area to entice your deer to stop long enough to get a good look at them.

Jeff Stewart

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