October Whitetailson Oct 2, 2012
The month of October seems to be the forgotten month. Just stop by an archery shop, flip through the pages of your favorite whitetail magazine, or even browse the thread topics on any message boards and you will discover this fact. For the most part, bowhunters want to tell stories and talk about tactics specific to the rut crazed month of November. It seems that in the mind of many, October is not only the prelude to the rut, it is basically just a time to fill doe tags; with little to no emphasis placed on arrowing big bucks.
The author's track record definately speaks for itself. Just days ago, he took this fine "October" buck.
Well, I am here to tell you that to be successful at consistently attaching your buck tag to a nice set of whitetail antlers, maximizing your time afield is a must. Furthermore, the month of October offers some schematic advantages that November doesn’t. The following is my personal break down of those advantages as well as some tactics I have found to be very effective when trying to tag an "October" buck.
Here today and gone tomorrow; that sounds all too familiar when it comes to November buck sightings. However, that’s not so in October. The greatest advantage that bowhunting in October holds over November is that you know that summer bedding and feeding patterns are still the same. Bucks are typically using the same tracts of land you scouted them on in the summer. Apart from the obvious advantages, this sort of info will also give you more confidence. Confidence is a huge part of deer hunting. For example, it is a lot easier to get up extra early and sit a little longer when you know you have a target animal(s) regularly using the land you are hunting; rather than wondering if they are still around or a mile away chasing a hot doe.
Although the RUT gets the lions share of attention, bucks are usally very unpredictable and their travel range is typically widespread during this timeframe.
These early October bucks may have does on their mind to some degree, however they are not totally blinded by the urge to breed….yet. And while they may be spending the vast majority of their time bedded, once they rise from their beds much of their time is spent feeding, socializing, rubbing and scraping. Some effort is also spent establishing a pecking order among other bucks in preparation for the impending rut; but the vast majority of that behavior is yet to come.
The author with additional "October" trophies.
So what does all of this mean? It means that a buck’s predictability is at an all-time high…. as far as hunting season is concerned, during the month of October! And, since we already know what early season bucks are doing (bedding, feeding, watering, scraping and rubbing) we can formulate a game plan to execute and capitalize on some of those behaviors, more specifically, the feeding and scraping behaivor.