How to Overcome the Mid-Season Lull
Archery season is finally here! Unfortunately, your hard work seems to be in vain because you are struggling to get bucks in front of your stand. This is a common problem during the middle of the season before the rut kicks in. Below are some tips and tactics for how to change up your game and hopefully get a buck in bow range.
Why are we having this problem? For many eastern whitetail hunters, the primary reason we lose track of the bucks we are chasing in mid-season is simply because their habits have changed. This can be caused by acorn production, hunting pressure, or just because the deer has been doing it for years. Hopefully you read our article “Do This ONE Tip for Better Buck Hunting,” and you are saving your best spots for the rut. If so, this is the part of the season when you are tempted to break that rule. DON’T DO IT. Instead try this:
Scout. This is such a simple statement, but it’s often overlooked during the season. When your spots aren’t panning out, go find new ones. Give your spot a rest. The deer have changed their habits during this part of the season. So, grab your bow, get on your feet, and do some stalking. Think back to the pre-season scouting that you did and start hitting some spots that were lower on your list. Go in with a map or a GPS and start documenting your findings. Stay smart with scent control and wind. With some perseverance you should be able to pinpoint where the deer are and why they are there. I’ve done this in the past only to discover that I was missing the activity by a mere three hundred yards!
Employ the scoutless method of hunting. You can read an entire article about the scoutless method HERE. The quick lowdown for this method is simple. Bust out your topo map, do a map study, grab your climber and go. Look for funnels or the first bench off a ridge line. You can also have good luck walking streams up a draw and setting up on stream crossings. Don’t waste more than a day if your spot doesn’t pan out. Keep jumping around until you have the deer dialed in.
Get back to the basics. Don’t be afraid to get back to the basics and simply hunt a new food source. If you know where the acorns are dropping move there for a few nights. If there is an apple orchard in your area, sit on it for a night to see what the activity is looking like. During this part of the season food is still the primary thought on buck’s minds. That will all change soon enough. Sitting and waiting for the rut is no fun, so get out there.
Hopefully these tips can help you out this season. If there is one thing you should walk away from this article with it’s that if your strategy isn’t working, switch it up! During the rut I will sit all day every day on a good funnel. The midseason is a different beast. Habits of the deer have changes, so should your tactics.