By Nolan Farr
It’s hard to believe that nearly two and a half months ago was the opening day of the 2012 deer season and the start of archery season, while the day this edition of the Jamestown Gazette hits the news stands is the very last. For some out there this year was quite a productive season; however, I’m sure that others may not have fared as well. Fortunately, some of us discovered that even the last week of the season was a good time to fill a tag, change our season around and improve it even more.
Maybe our season ending experiences this year will help make your next hunting season the best ever.
The last week is definitely a tough point in the season, because not only have the deer been pressured heavily for about a month, but also you either have to go back to archery gear or switch over to a muzzleloader, both of which obviously have their downfalls compared to the rifle or shotgun you’ve toted around for the regular season. In addition, you obviously are faced with the challenge of hunting smaller numbers of deer after many have been taken, but they are definitely still out there. Plenty of people will say “well all the big bucks were already taken.” Well guess what, the biggest bucks that you will see next year are the same big bucks that were still out there at the end of this season! I think the biggest struggle is getting over discouragement and disappointment left from the rest of the season. This year has been one of my toughest to get through. After days of not seeing deer and missing the buck of my dreams with a bow, it was tough to get back out. The idea I relied on most was simply wondering what could happen? What might I see? And sitting at home, you I never find out? As I’m sure many have heard before “you can’t get one sitting on the couch!”
This time of the year can actually be the most enjoyable, and the most successful. With less pressure, the deer are likely to go back to their normal patterns and even more daytime activity may occur. In addition, there will not be as many other people out hunting and you are likely to have an entire area all to yourself. Another thing that many may not know about is the “second rut.” As yearling does and other does that did not come into estrous during the first rut now come into heat, bucks start searching again and give you some awesome hunting opportunities. Some are skeptics concerning this time, but after seeing bucks chasing, sparring, and tending does during this period, I am convinced. In fact, last year within 24 hours my uncle and I both were able to take nice bucks that were tending a doe late in the season.
Regardless of whether or not you get a chance at “late season” deer, it has got to be nice just to be back out in the woods. You may be surprised how much you can really see and learn about the deer and their habits during this time of year. This newly acquired knowledge and insight can certainly be used for other hunts whether even later in the year or in future seasons. Seeing where the deer are now might help you key in on where you should have a stand next year. If you put the effort into this time of year your persistence will certainly pay off, whether it be with a filled tag or a better game plan for next year and years to come. Worst case is you are out hunting more, and isn’t a bad day out hunting still better than a good day at work?