Now is the time to be in the whitetail woods
I live for November. Every year I take at least two weeks off from my full-time job solely for the purpose of chasing November whitetails in the Adirondacks. I know a fair number of my hunting brethren across New York’s Southern Zone who do the same during the later part of the bow, and now crossbow season.
I love reading and following the lunar theories and others associated with the whitetail rut. But, no matter how you cut it, the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving, or pretty much most of November, is never a bad time to be deer hunting in the Northeast. And it’s all about time spent in the woods.
Although the wet weather of recent weeks might have been a deterrent, by now hunters should have an idea of what the does are doing in their hunting areas. In the big woods, where hunters are on their feet, this is the key to killing bucks. Our group had some luck early on but we know the bucks that we displaced from these particular areas will be replaced by those who wander in to be with the ladies.
But the message here isn’t how to hunt; it is simply to go hunting. Whatever hunting method you like to employ, short of tracking in the snow (unless we get it), your odds are best in the days immediately ahead. Now is when serious stand hunters do their all-day sits. Where I hunt in the Adirondacks, many of the camps and groups typically plan long weekends or even full weeks in camp during mid-November. Seldom do they come away empty-handed, courtesy of their deer drives and still-hunting tactics.
Luck happens, but it increases greatly when you put the time in, and I consider myself living proof of that statement. A few decades ago, my job only allowed me so much time off. I was also a working musician and spent my share of late nights playing in clubs. As much as I loved hunting, consistently finding time to go was a challenge. A morning here, a weekend with the crew there was often the most I could often muster. I was putting all of my hunting eggs in one basket. If the weather went sour during my time off, so did my hunting. I filled but a few tags back in those days.
With job seniority came more vacation time and I gave up the late-night music thing. Hunting, mostly in November, became the priority. I’m with the crew nearly every weekend on top of those two weeks off. That was 20 years ago and I’ve had much more luck in the past two decades than I did during the two prior. Am I an older, wiser hunter? Let’s hope so. But I really attribute any success I’ve had directly to the time I dedicate to deer hunting.
These next few weeks should be an exciting time in the deer woods. Does are coming into estrous and bucks are itching to breed them. It is the time that all deer hunters live for. Get out there and be part of it.