It’s hard to believe November is here already. While it feels like the season is flying by, there is still a lot of hunting left. The next 2-3 weeks are arguably the most important, but I will continue to hunt whitetail deer through January 31. A lot can happen in 3 months, though my best chance of arrowing a mature buck will likely be November 1st through November 21st.
It has been a good season in terms of hunting. I have killed two does, my freezer is well stocked, and my shooting is dialed in. I had tinkered with my saddle setup a lot over the offseason, introducing new climbing sticks, a new pack, and using different ropes for my tether and lineman’s belt. I am also integrating some new camo gear from First Lite that I did not have last year. So far I feel great about my mobile hunting system. I can get up in a tree completely setup in 15 minutes which seems pretty good.
I am also happy with how I have stuck to my plans so far. An imperative of mine from the first day of bow season was to not overhunt my spots and burn out properties in October. The private land I’m hunting has only seen me once a week so far. On the several pieces of public I’m hunting I have varied my setups a lot, only sitting the same location twice so far. I have been close to a lot of deer and have seen dozens of does and some young bucks. Passing on 1.5-2.5-year-old 4 and 6 points has been a mental challenge, but I went into this season with the mindset of targeting a different class of deer.
Unfortunately, I have not yet located a mature buck to chase. Early season shining (per Michigan regulations while not hunting), trail cameras, and lots of glassing has not yet produced the one I’m searching for. In other words, I am excited for the chaos of the rut to lure in a shooter buck on one of my properties.
Sunday morning I am going to crank up my intensity level. The morning is going to be a cold 27 degrees and I will be set up on my private land spot bright and early waiting to see what shows up. The plan is to start a series of all-day hunts. I will set up in the morning on the downwind side of doe bedding areas and move my saddle closer to a food source for the evening. Planning to capitalize on increased daytime movement, I want to be in position and ready if luck strikes and a buck comes walking through.
I will hunt the first 3 days of November all on the same private land parcel, hammering it after barely hunting it the past month. After that, I will switch up between that spot and several public land locations, hunting dawn to dusk each day I am in the woods.
On November 13th, I am going to switch gears and drive North to prepare for the opener of firearm season. I will ground hunt and scout with my bow on the 13th and 14th and hopefully get on some hot sign I can sit near on the morning of the 15th. Hunting in the general firearm zone I will be using my 300 winchester magnum rifle which I am shooting really well this year. After a few days of gun season up North, I will head back home and assess the effects of the increased pressure on the properties I hunt down here.
It’s going to be a whirlwind the next couple of weeks. Late nights, early mornings, and all-day sits will test my mental and physical stamina. While it’s not all or nothing and I have a couple more months to chase whitetails, I am going to treat it as if it were and give it everything I have. I’ll keep you posted if I find that mature buck I’m chasing. While you hunt hard and hope for success, remember to enjoy your time in the woods. We look forward to this time all year and any bad day in the woods will always beat the best day at work. Good luck!