Deer hunting is often seen as one of America’s most remarkable outdoor activities and beloved cultural pastimes because it provides an experience with nature unlike any other.
For most St. Louis locals, deer hunting is a beloved activity that has assimilated into becoming a local tradition. Thanks to the hunt’s thrill, many people find themselves looking forward to the start of mid-fall in September. This period is also the start of the deer mating season, where the stakes are high, and there are more creatures to hunt.
Picking the right time to set out
Before you pack all the pieces of equipment that you have, call your buddies, and head out for camp, there are two crucial details you’ll need to address before hunting: knowing when and where to hunt deer.
Generally, there are four different phases with their respective optimal times and locations for hunting, making it easier to catch your prize systematically. If you’re looking forward to having a far more enjoyable and rewarding experience, here’s the lowdown on the right times and locations for deer hunting:
Phase 1: The Early Season
From mid-September to the second week of October, expect to come across deer that are still following their summer foraging patterns.
During this time, it’s expected to see your potential prizes grazing in open fields to the point where you have a clear shot. Specific areas with tall grass stands are great places to set up and hunt quietly because most majestic creatures flock to such sites to catch a drink. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to be stealthy and careful as this is the time when deer are most alert and capable of fleeing!
Phase 2: Pre-rut
After the early season, herds of deer will enter their pre-rut phases and make a move to thicker woods in preparation for a winter range until the third or fourth week of October.
Contrary to inexperienced hunters’ claims, you can still find bucks and fawns to hunt during this season in areas with nearby food sources and Oak trees. If you choose to hunt during this season, be sure to find bedding areas and camp in them an hour or two before dawn so that you can get a clear shot when a big buck roams around for a quick drink!
Phase 3: Seeking
From the last week of October to November, deer are expected to build up into their rut phases, making for a rise in scraping activities and young ones running around in the open. During this stage of the hunting season, it’s best to avoid posting up near a scraped tree because bucks scrape at night and are bound to cause trouble if they find you around their territories. For a better shot, you’re better off finding a drag trail from a scraped tree and camping in between the bedding areas and their nearest food source.
Phase 4: The Rut
From the second to the third week of November, there’s a golden opportunity to shoot down a prized trophy buck because this is when deers are most careless since they’ll be in full rut. With bucks concentrating on mating to the point where their guard is down, and they’re most vulnerable since they’re busy finding a doe in heat, you’ll have an easier time getting a shot.
During this phase in the deer season, the best spots to camp are near doe in bedding areas where an attempt is wide open. Alternatively, you can set up decoys to speed up the hunting process and find your jackpot early into the mating season!
With the deer hunting season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start preparing for your game plan so that you can find a prized buck to hang up on the wall—including knowing when and where to camp. With this quick guide, you’ll come out with a jackpot during your hunting trip without wasting any crucial opportunities!
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