MOORE OUTDOORS: Archery season opens Saturday
The archery-only season for whitetail deer kicks off Saturday throughout Texas.
It will run through Nov. 6, which is the day before the general deer season opens statewide.
For local hunters, bow season offers two major advantages.
The first is getting to hunt deer in the rut (breeding period). Whitetails in the southern part of the Pineywoods in particular start rutting in October with heavy activity centered toward the end of the season.
The rut offers the best chance to score on a big buck as their defenses go down while they are in pursuit of does.
Secondly, it gives those hunters who pursue deer on public land a great chance at targeting prime areas. The National Forests and numerous wildlife management areas are packed with hunters during the general season but see relatively few bowhunters.
The acorn crop in much of the region should be strong which could keep many deer from hitting feeders. Targeting natural food sources during bow season is often best anyway and is certainly more consistent for taking big bucks. They don’t get big by running straight to a feeder when it starts dispensing corn.
Having been in the outdoors industry since I was 19 years old (23 years) I have seen every kind of gadget and supposed cure all for hunting that has hit the market. Bowhunters in particular are targeted with all kinds of extras to take to the field.
Some of them work. Most however are a waste of time and money.
In my opinion, using a good cover scent or odor blocker along with a cover scent like Tink’s Bandit Coon makes good sense. Avoid using things like red fox urine because red foxes can’t climb trees. Grays can but I haven’t seen a gray fox urine on the market.
Additionally, you might want to consider bringing some doe-in-heat lure to put out incase local bucks might be interested.
There are tons of different kinds of deer baiting products and while some may be good, corn does the trick as good as any. As previously mentioned in the early season, natural food sources are best but sprinkling out some corn doesn’t hurt.
This of course is not legal on certain public lands but if it is allowed, then use a little.
Otherwise do your best to scout both in the field and using tools like Google Earth to check out travel corridors and food sources.
Set up your blind with the wind in your face and hopefully the deer coming out in front and you’ll be just fine.
Take time to enjoy the woods. Listen to the sounds of morning breaking as the birds send out their wake up calls and squirrels scurry up the trees.
If you choose to bowhunt, it is obviously not just about the kill only. Statistics show a low rate of success for archery hunters due to the challenging nature of the sport.
Remember you are being an active participant in nature and let the world’s worries drift away for a few hours. There is great adventure to be had beyond the pavement beginning this weekend.
Enjoy it to the max!
(To contact Chester, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)