2018 Whitetail Rut-cation Journal
- Pressure 29.9
- East winds 5 MPH
- Low 48 degrees
- High of 60 degrees
- Waning Crescent – 19% Illuminated
- Rise: 5:36 AM
- Set: 5:05 PM
- Roll the dice with a “Just Off” wind
- Fresh Start on a new farm
The morning hunt started by hunting an East Wind at my Big Rock stand. This wind is what you would call “Just Off”. The wind was blowing out into the overgrown field at a slight angle. The expected travel pattern of the deer would be just off the wind at my shooting lane. A buck traveling would feel safe with this wind direction, but allow an opportunity for a shot before he got into my downwind side. Just off perfect for the deer and just off perfect for me. In essence, things had to go as planned or the deer would get my wind. Definitely a high risk, high reward scenario.
When the first light hit, I stood up to get ready. I was greeted by the sound of a deer in the timber blowing at me. The deer was upwind from my stand and probably caught my movement. The woods were damp, making it difficult to hear anything moving around behind me. Not the way I wanted to start this hunt.
Thirty minutes later, I spotted movement in the overgrown field. A nice buck was cutting through the middle of the field, just off of my downwind side. I grunted at the buck without a response. I was afraid of him circling back into my scent stream. I decided not to call further and watched him walk over the crest of the hill out of sight.
It was good to see deer on their feet this morning. It had been a while. I am left to wonder if the deer blowing at me impacted the travel route of the buck. For certain, I need to be positive of what is behind me in this stand moving forward. Either remain sitting or standing well prior to daybreak. Either way, I cannot repeat this situation in this stand and expect to have success.
The afternoon, I decided to head into a new property that I acquired permission on after the season opener. I had not scouted this property and used ON X maps to get an aerial and topographic view of the land. I settled on a corner of the timber where agricultural fields and a thin timber and brush strip meet up with the woods I have permission on. The deer travel is pinched down in this corner, and while they can go out across the open agricultural fields, they are more than likely to enter the timber. At least, that is what the maps showed.
Walking in along the cut bean field, I found several large sets of track moving to and from the block of timber. A good sign for sure. I entered the timber and began to make my way towards that back corner. There are trails coming through the woods along the edge of the neighbor’s crop field and through the center of the woodlot. I chose a set 60 yards inside the corner where multiple trails come together. I was surprised to not find any rubs or scrapes in this woods. I did not walk the entire block of timber and focused on this corner and setting a stand in the tree.
Setting a stand proved challenging. The area in this corner is pretty open woods. I contemplated moving out of there due to the open timber and the telephone pole type of trees. The trails and natural edge habitat told me to give it a try. If I do not see deer, I can always move the stand. I set my stand about 12 feet high in a tree with excellent back cover. In this open woods, I felt having lots of cover in the stand was more important than going above 15 feet.
I sat the stand until dark without seeing any deer.
It is going to be raining on Tuesday 11/6 with thunderstorms in the forecast for the afternoon. I plan to let everything rest on Tuesday and go back out for the remainder of the week. The forecast also shows a good drop in temperature with morning temps in the low 30’s on Wednesday and Thursday. The barometer is expected to rise above 30.2 on Thursday and should have the deer on their feet.
More to come.