Across the country, there’s nothing more synonymous with deer season than the flip from summer to fall — muggy mornings turn into crisp ones, green leaves turn a multitude of colors, and deer activity begins to ramp up. For some of us, however, just because it is deer season doesn’t mean summer has quite loosened its grip. Here are some tips for staying safe and enjoying deer season before the cool weather arrives.
Wear Proper Attire
Most of our deer hunting gear is built to endure long and frigid stints in the woods.
While wearing camo is important, your “deer camo” might just be a little too warm and heavy for the start of the season, particularly in the south.
Instead, opt for using lightweight and breathable camo to stay “cool” while waiting for the velvet to appear. If you don’t want to buy anything new, use your turkey camo if it is lightweight enough.
Moreover, you are more likely to cross pass with snakes during this time of year. Wearing snake boots while hunting warm-weather deer is recommended.
When I think of my go-to deer hunting beverage, it’s piping hot black coffee, but if you’re hunting deer while its 80-something or even 90-something degrees, you should probably bring Gatorade or water, and bring more than you think you need.
Carrying a Thermacell is the all-season mosquito extinguisher. Whether in the turkey woods, the dove field or the deer stand, carrying your Thermacell is always a good idea. This rings especially true when hunting warm-weather deer while mosquitos are about as active as they’ll be all year.
When placing your tree stand, consider using the leaves on the trees to your advantage. Place it in a spot where you will receive shade from the tree during your usual hunting time and a place that will allow you a solid shot if the chance arises.
Additionally, consider placing your stand near water if at all possible. If you’re thirsty, the deer in the area are more than likely thirsty too. Being near water will improve your odds of crossing paths.
During the warm weather, deer are still in their summer behavior patterns and not moving around nearly as much. With more day light during the late summer and early fall, use the extra time to your advantage and stay in the stand a little longer. Having one come within range will be a game of patience and waiting.
While you might want to spend some time taking photos of the velveted buck you just harvested, try take a few quick photos, so you can get your deer field dressed quickly. After you’ve field dressed your deer, get it on ice as soon as possible. Whether you are going to the processor or processing the deer yourself, keeping your meat in an ice cold cooler will keep its taste optimal and prevent it from spoiling.
*Tip: Add a little dry ice to your cooler with regular ice. It will keep the cooler much colder for much longer.
Cover you Scent
No matter how much you try to mask it, humans are inherently smellier during the summer, as we sweat more. Depending on the wind, deer can bust your scent at unbelievable distances. Use a scent masker before you get in the deer stand and once you get in the stand too.