As the end of season nears, the action can still be hot in many areas. Cooler temperatures are finally settling into our area, pushing deer to feed heavier than we experienced all fall. In response to this the Reconyx cameras overlooking Eagle Seed Broadside and soybeans are getting a workout. This information allows us to close the distance on any hit listers that are regularly feeding in our plots.
Although we are hunting the same deer from the beginning of season their appearance may have changed. For instance, a 4.5 year old buck we call Gumby has been showing up across The Proving Grounds throughout the season. Gumby is a hit list buck and showed every sign of a mature buck at the start of season. His chest merged evenly with his neck and had a large pot belly. Now, Gumby looks like a different deer, besides the fact that he has busted multiple tines off his rack. His large belly is no longer present and his neck has thinned down so much you could easily misjudge his age if you saw him for the first time, potentially passing on this mature buck.
Establishing a hit list prior to season allows us to identify and watch bucks progress as the season continues, no matter what shape we may find them in. Just because Gumby does not currently sport the normal body characteristics of a 4.5+ year old deer, does not mean he is taken off the hit list.
Be sure to watch the bucks that frequent your property closely from the beginning of season all the way thru. This will help to ensure that mature bucks who are worn down from the rut don’t get a pass during late season!
Finishing the season strong,