This coming fall will be my seventh season bowhunting for whitetails, and I have learned quite a bit about the sport during that time, and still have a lot to learn. One thing I have learned is that there are no certainties in the whitetail woods. That being said, however, I have come to expect a peak in anticipation for the upcoming season during mid to late July, and this year is no different. While the recent country wide heat wave will do it’s best to prove otherwise, I feel the onset of autumn more and more with each passing day. Fortunately, I was able to spend a couple days on my property in Virginia last week prepping for the quickly approaching season.
I was excited about the possibility of pegging a potential shooter this fall while glassing a couple weeks. Unfortunately, all I saw was does. Maybe next time!
My trip home was short lived, so I had to make the very most of time in the woods. I arrived in Virginia during the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday the 13th, and immediately went glassing for bucks. I have permission to glass and shoot photos on a neighboring property, so I made the quick drive down the road and set prepared to enjoy a hot summer afternoon. The evening came and went with no bucks spotted. I did, however, see 10-15 does feeding the hayfields I was glassing, but they were a good 300 yards away and I wasn’t able to snap any photos or record any video. Alas, such is life!
I was able to snap a photo of this doe as she effortlessly jogged through the tall grass. I was particularly offended by her taunting me by sticking her tongue out at me as she ran to safety. Hopefully, this won't be a recurring theme this fall!
The next day, also my last day home, would be spent hanging stands. I had 5 Lone Wolf stands I wanted to get hung, and was able to get all 5 of them hung in a day’s time. I was pretty proud of myself, but I have been hunting this piece of property for what will be my 16th season, so I know my away around the woods pretty well. Now, if I could just figure out how to kill these mountain bucks; but, I digress. After I hung my stands and got my shooting lanes trimmed out, I wanted to check on my food plots. If you have followed my blog and Bowhunt or Die episodes throughout the offseason, you know how excited I have been about a particular clover food plot and its impact on my hunting this coming fall. Well, I must admit that the key to my success was taking a hit as of a week ago, and is likely in even worse shape as we speak. July has been an abnormally hot and dry month in Virginia, and what was once a thick, green jungle of clover is quickly getting eaten to the ground by the deer and burnt up by the heat. There is still a good bit of clover, and given the conditions it has provided a nutritious and consistent food source all summer, but it sure could use a drink of water! You hear that Rain gods? I am talking to you!
My Lone Wolf stand sitting in a tree between a bedding area and a clover food plot; how many more days until opening day?!
After an exhausting day hanging stands and looking over my food plots, I was anxious to get home and check the trail cameras I had placed over my Monster Raxx minerals. To my disappointment, I only had shooter buck visit the minerals, but it looks as if he will be quite a dandy. The photo was snapped in mid-June and he was already a main frame 10 with some junk around his bases and something funky growing on his right main beam. I am hoping to get another picture of this buck and hopefully have the chance to put my tag on him this fall!
My clover went from this...
... to this, all in a matter of two months! It really is amazing what a lack of rain can do to your food plots!
Unfortunately, my trip home was short lived. I really had only one goal while I was home, and that was to get my stands hung without disturbing the deer too much; a goal I feel I accomplished. I will be returning to Virginia in a few short weeks so I can begin work on my fall food plots. Then after that, all that is left to do is continue shooting my Mathews and count down the days until the season starts. I am sure I say this every year, but I have literally never been more excited about a hunting season than I am this one. I can’t wait to document my entire season on video and through photography, so be sure to follow my blogs throughout the season. God Bless and happy hunting everyone!
With a little over two months remaining until the opening day of Virginia's archery season, all I have left to do is a little food plotting, and a lot of dreaming, particularly of this big boy! October 1st, October 1st...