How to Hunt an Early Season Heatwave

By Brodie SwisherOctober 8, 2021

The fall season has arrived, but you’d hardly know it with the warm temperatures that continue to linger across much of the country. While the Southeast has experienced an abundance of rain, much of the Midwest continues to endure a drought. However, both regions are experiencing a warm start to October’s early archery season.

The question is, how will you handle these warmer days of deer season? Will you stay home and wait until the first frost. Or will you buckle down and figure out a strategy for making the days count and punch some tags despite the warm weather?  

Here’s a look at how to hunt an early season heatwave.

How To Hunt An Early Season Heatwave
Can you make it happen in the early season?

Tap Into Water Sources

Hunting water holes may seem like a no-brainer in the early season, but you might be surprised at how many hunters fail to tap into this resource. Deer will have their favorite waterhole to use throughout the early season, and this makes for an ideal location to hang a stand.

Even after a heavy rain, when water is seemingly everywhere, deer will still head to their favorite watering locations out of habit. Tap into water sources and you’ll punch more tags when the temperatures are on the rise.

deer standing in water
Do you know what water source deer on your property use?

Get Close to Bedding Areas

While I don’t believe that bucks are straight up nocturnal, I do know their movement is minimal during the early part of October. They’ll move about their bedding area, and begin to venture further and further from it as the days of November close in. Having a stand hung closer to these bedding areas can help you tap in to the minimal movement of bucks during the warm days of the early season.

Dress for Success

Don’t pull out your camo hoodie or jacket just yet! Those days will come soon enough. Now is the time to go in light and comfortable with your camo attire. If you’re hot and miserable, you’ll likely talk yourself into climbing down from the treestand. Moisture wicking clothing and ultra-light garments can be your best friend during the warm months of deer season.

How To Hunt An Early Season Heatwave
Make sure you don't go overboard on camo in the early season. Keep it light and comfortable.

Crank Up the Thermacell

The mosquitoes can ruin a hunt faster than most any other warm weather factor. They quickly make life miserable as they begin swarming your ears and any exposed skin they can find. The Thermacell unit is the single greatest gadget to come along in decades. It’s a lifesaver. Don’t leave home without it!

5 Things A Turkey Shouldn't Leave Home Without
Don't leave home without the Thermacell!

Hunt the Shade

Sitting in the sun on a hot day is not much fun. We naturally gravitate to a shady spot to sit while hunting. Deer are the same. Watch how they feed. Rarely will you see them feeding out in the hot sun if there is a shady part of the field in which they can feed.

Key in to these spots. Make sure you have your stand hung within reach of the shaded portion of the ag field or food plot for your afternoon sit. There’s a good chance that’s where the deer will be as well.

Don’t Leave Before Last Light

It’s tempting to leave the stand early when you’ve sat for hours without seeing a deer. However, keep in mind that the final minutes of shooting light are often the best of the best for an encounter with a whitetail. Just keep telling yourself, “The best is yet to come.” Big bucks will often be the last on the scene, so don’t give up before the final bell rings.

Don’t let a heatwave slow you down this season. If you’ve got the intel to make it happen, keep the items mentioned above in mind, and make it happen in the heat. 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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