Time for your pre-deer-season check-up

Deer archery season will open soon and give hunters the first crack at bagging a trophy whitetail. Now’s the time to make sure you have taken the necessary steps to succeed this season.
Time for your pre-deer-season check-up

Grow Bigger Deer With Game Feeders

Now is definitely the time to set out your game feeders, if they’re not already in use. With several high-tech feeders available from Moultrie, you can easily accomplish your management objectives. Ranging in size from 6.5- to a 55-gallon feeder, with capacities of up to 400 pounds of corn, these feeders are an excellent way to attract deer to your hunting areas.

If you have already set your feeders out, now is a good time to top them off with corn. Double-check the batteries on your timers and replace them if necessary. You don’t want to come back later and find that your feeder’s batteries died weeks earlier.

Set Out Your Game Cameras

If your game cameras aren’t already out and taking photos, set them up now so you can reap the benefits of their surveillance. Game cameras should be placed near feeders, overlooking food plots, and in high traffic areas like deer trails. These covert units are great tools for scouting the habits of whitetail deer. Game cameras will definitely help shift the odds in your favor and allow you to form your own “hit list” of which deer are available.

Practice With Your Bow

Practice with your bow and become proficient, so you can quickly and cleanly dispatch a whitetail. When sighting in your bow, remember to follow your arrow with your pins. If your arrow hits high, move your pin up. For shots left or right of the bull’s-eye, move your pins accordingly. After the sight pins are sighted in, make sure to tighten them. Experts I know take liquid paper or a Sharpie and mark the locations of each pin. This will save time if the pins come loose and you have to get them back into position.

Know your limitations and always carry a rangefinder when hunting to make sure of yardages. Many archers boast of making extraordinarily long shots. Instead, hunters should pride themselves in scouting and setting up tree stands where shots will be close and easily accomplished.

Practice often and keep your shooting skills honed. Most successful archers practice year-round — some even practice from a tree stand.

Unless you are shooting certain mechanical broadheads, remember your field tips shoot differently than broadheads will. Practice with the broadheads you are going to hunt with, and tune your bow accordingly.

Inspect your bow often for any fraying on the string or cables. A tube of bowstring wax is relatively inexpensive and will extend the life of your bow string and cables.

Plant Your Fall Food Plots

If you haven’t already planted your fall food plots, make sure you do by September 15, or worst case scenario, before the end of September. Contact your local soil conservation agent or agricultural department beforehand for suggestions on seed blends that will work best in your area.

Decide if you are going to drill or broadcast your seed, and then proceed with your food plots. You might consider putting up barbed-wire or hog panels near the feeder to keep cattle and wild hogs away.

Hang Your Tree Stands

If you haven’t hung your tree stands yet, better get on the stick. The least amount of time you spend in your hunting area, the better. Always wear a safety harness when hanging a tree stand or trimming shooting lanes. Remember the odds are that 1 out of 3 hunters will suffer a tree stand accident in their lifetime. Don’t become a statistic!

Before hanging tree stands, make sure to inspect and tighten (if necessary) any loose bolts or cables. Inspect all ratchet straps and chains, and replace anything that appears worn or unsafe. Remember, you owe it to those you love to come home safely.

A Few Final Tips

Launder your hunting clothes in an unscented detergent like Code Blue’s EliminX. Store your scent-free clothes in a Scent Tote bags where they will not absorb any unnatural odors.

Remember, the first time you hunt a tree stand, your odds are the highest to score. Two weeks before season and during the season, care must be exercised to not contaminate your area by walking around in it.

Be safe and always be sure of your target before shooting. Obey all wildlife laws and respect the animals you are pursuing.

Photo credits: Greg Rodenberger/Getty Images/iStockphoto/Thinkstock


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