Location: Southeast Colorado
Temperature: 88 degrees and dropping
Wind: 16 – 25 mph from the NW
Barometric Pressure: 29.76 and holding
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous
I’ve been blessed to kill some great mule deer over the years, but this buck is different. He’s tall, his tines are bladed, and he has non-typical points. I want him! Unfortunately, my trail cams haven’t captured a daytime photo of the brute since mid-September. Not at all uncommon, but, as many of you know, zero daytime activity gets to be frustrating. I’m trying to play it smart and hold off until the rut – trying not to get overeager.
I have a Double Bull blind situated in an isolated pinch between a large pond littered with acres of prime bedding cover and a monstrous corn pivot. His pattern is super predictable. He beds by the pond and makes his way to the corn field after dark. I get images of him almost every single night. Yes, I’ve thought about trying to stalk him around the pond, but the 8-feet-high tamarack bushes make this task virtually impossible, and the pond covers multiple acres. Plus, I simply don’t want to blow him out. There are plenty of does in the area, and once the rut arrives, he won’t be such a recluse.
My only worry is the situation of the corn. Typically, the farmer doesn’t harvest his crop until mid-November. This year, however, is different. After a record-setting August in terms of moisture, my little region of Colorado has baked. We haven’t had a droplet of rain in over a month, and the corn has dried to a perfect golden crisp. Yesterday, my choice field had a Case combine plowing through it. I made the decision to move to my blind at 3 p.m. and see if the corn devouring monster would send any deer through my tiny pinch. It did, but it was four does.
Typically during the month of November, the does stay in the area for several weeks after the corn is cut, and, of course, the bucks stay as well. This is the time I move in for the kill. The bucks are on their feet most of the day and bed in semi-open cover. However, I may not have that luxury this year. What will they do after the corn is out at the end of this week? That’s the question keeping me awake at night.
The plan is to keep sitting in the evenings as it will take several days for the harvest crew to remove all the standing corn. After it’s all out, I will be glassing the fields in the mornings, hoping to catch a buck headed back to bed. In the evenings, I will be right back in my pinch point.
Due to a hailstorm in early September, there will be more corn remaining on the ground than normal, and I’m hoping this will be enough to hold the deer in the area through the month of November. I need to hunt smart and do my best not to invade their bedding cover, especially once the corn is out. Bumping them once may send them scrambling for property that I don’t have access to and has way more cover — property they go to every year toward the first of December when snows bow the tamaracks and cover the tumble weed patches.