Whitetail bowhunting kick-off season: Think up-to-date food sources
It’s common to hear bowhunters say how it is best to leave the woods alone in the weeks and days leading up to the bow opener. This is true if you can get away with it considering human intrusion is the No. 1 enemy of hunting success. However, whether the opener is in mid-September or the beginning of October, it might be better to ditch the trusted mindset of leaving things be and sneak in for a close look.
The reasons are many, but for me the most important aspect of hunting around the bowhunting opener is food sources. If you’re fortunate to have a couple of quality food plots to sit on, this might not be a big issue. If you’re depending on agriculture, soft mast, or hard mast, it’s a good idea to learn as much as possible in the days leading up to the opening bell.
Even in good years hard mast like acorns, or soft mass like apples, can disappear quickly. Deer will hit those natural sources of food until they are cleaned up, and many of these opportunities are occurring right now. Similarly, some agricultural fields are transitioning from appealing to undesirable, like soybeans turning yellow or alfalfa fields being cut one last time. Either way, up-to-date information is much better than crossing your fingers and hoping that things will shake out the way you’ve been planning all summer.
Risking a little intrusion now to understand exactly what is driving deer movement can pay dividends within the next few weeks, especially when you consider how much is changing right now in the deer woods.