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Hunting CommunityReader's StoriesPreparing For Opening Day

Preparing For Opening Day

As we browse through the many different deer hunting magazines, we catch ourselves pondering on thoughts like:

How was such a monster buck killed?

How did that hunter do it?

What was that guy’s secret weapon in the deer woods?


Well, the answer is rarely simple. Behind every BBD there is a lot of hardwork, and time spent out in the deer woods before any deer tags are filled.

The fact of the matter is that behind any successful hunt on an old mature bruiser buck, and with my own success in the field I have come to teach others, as a devoted outdoorsmen that moments like that most definitely don’t come easy. However, a little patience and a lot of hardwork can help you close the deal in the stand this fall.

1. Pre-season scouting is a must if you plan to bag yourself a monster buck. There’s patterning deer – go out and observe the deer on your own, find their crossing points, trails and bedding areas. It’s most important that you do keep the scent you leave behind to a bare minimum. Leaving scent behind in the deer woods; especially, if you’re in those heavy travel areas could spell disaster when the season start. Also, look for good watering points. It isn’t talked about a whole lot. But it’s a need for deer. Find some well trafficked watering holes and you’ll be stacking the odds in your favor. Those are just a few key points for you to remember.

2. Stand location is another critical part of the preparation process. After you have found your deer herd make sure to place yourself off the deer’s trail a few yards. Once again, keeping in mind that scent control will help dramatically with your hunting success. Make sure you have multiple shooting lanes by clearing out tree limbs on shrubs, make sure you are comfortable with the shots you may have and the distances to make a good kill – remember it’s a bow, not the old 30-06.

3. Treestand safety is something that I can not stress enough. Every year hunters are injured, some permanently or even killed due to treestand related hunting accidents – Don’t Let Yourself become one of them!    A real good habit of practice to get into is make sure you always use a hunter safety system. If you don’t own one – GET ONE! It could one day save your life. When choosing a stand remember to think about your comfort in that stand, make sure you have room to move in a safe manner.  Also never climb into the stand carrying your bow or firearm. I like to use a small sturdy hoist rope.  A hoist rope is an extra rope that you can safely tie to your bow or rifle to pull it up-to you after you have everything situated in your stand.

White-tail Buck on Trail Cam4. Timing your deer- this is Super Important and this is a perfect job for trail camera. You set-up your trail cams in and around your stand locations. The trail cams will be your eyes when you’re not in the deer woods.  The cams will record the deer activity – you can look at the trail cam images and times to help you determine when, where and what deer are coming into the stand area. I like to place out a little bit of corn or some other attractant to get the deer to linger a bit longer so that the trail cam can get a good clean image of what sorts of mature animals are coming into your stand location.

5. Know your equipment – whether you shoot a compound boy, stick bow, or a rifle. I must say, practice makes perfect. Be sure to spend a little extra time out shooting from all different shooting situations you might encounter while out hunting. This will prepare you for real life shooting scenarios and will increase your skill level while hunting on-stand. Practice shooting out of your stand helps for various reasons. One because there may be a limb in your shooting lane out about 24 yards or so instead of 20. If you mess up during practice. It’s all good. But mess up in a real hunt situation – well that might just cost you the buck of a lifetime. Pretty much, practice and be ready for anything thing while in the stand. Doing so greatly builds self-confidentence and helps to relieve buck fever.

In parting words – Remember to jerk-out that hunting bow, an sling some arrows from all angels. Make sure to be a smart, safe deer hunter in the stand this season. Keep track of your deer’s movement and be in the stand bright and early on Opening Day, because using these key points you’ll be the one dragging out that monster buck the neighbors have been talking about all summer!

Happy Hunting – JB Coffey, DOA Outdoors


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