Opening Day Stand Selection

By GrowingDeer,

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Archery season opens tomorrow in Missouri!!  The temperature tomorrow morning is predicted to be 63 degrees with south winds that will be 5 – 13 mph.  It rained about 1/4“ this morning.  There are very few white oak acorns this year and not many more red oak acorns.  There is likely a white oak or two dropping acorns somewhere on The Proving Grounds, but I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to locate these trees.  Such efforts can lead to fast action, or can spook gads of deer before locating a stand location that is approachable without alerting deer.

I’ll probably hunt a stand on a ridge top where wheat was planted last week.  The wheat is already germinating, but is still less than 2” tall.  It’s not a food source yet.  However, this ridge is a known travel route that deer frequently use.  My Reconyx trail camera images have confirmed that some bucks on my 2010 Hit List have been using this ridge as a travel route between a feeding and bedding area.  Most of the images of mature bucks have been at night.  During the past two weeks, the trail cameras in that portion of The Proving Grounds have captured some mature bucks during daylight hours.  The bucks tend to be traveling from a larger field north of my stand location to a bedding area just south and west of the stand location.  I need to approach from the north also.  I will need to approach well before light and count on the thermals carrying my scent south (down the valley).  If I approach too late in the day the sun will heat the earth’s surface and the thermals will change direction and shift to the north.  In the early morning, I’m counting on a cross wind to carry my scent about 20 degrees away from the route I anticipate a mature buck will approach this stand.  20 degrees isn’t much, especially if the wind swirls.  However, in hilly/steep topography, it’s about as much as I can expect.  That’s my plan, unless the forecast changes.

If the wind shifts significantly during the hunt, I’ll exit early so I don’t condition the deer to avoid that location during daylight hours.  I’ll keep you posted.

Growing (and hunting) Deer together,