Factors To Consider With Ambush Hunting
Many bowhunters are focused on the November rut and it can be easy to forget one of the most consistent patterns you will find in the year. This is field-edge hunting for whitetails during the first few weeks of the season. There is nothing better than hunting deer whose lives are revolving around the goal of filling their stomachs with as much easy-to-access and abundant protein.
A big part of the field-edging strategy is to know where the deer are more likely to end up. However, there is a lot more to consistent field-side success. It is important that you know what factors to consider.
Patience Is A Virtue
It is recommended that you start your field hunt from a distant vantage point unless you have intimate knowledge of where the local deer are going to be. Fence rows and high points are a good start as your goal is to lay back and watch the deer movement.
You should consider pinpointing their preferred field trials before you place your ambush hunting blinds. You could have only one chance with reclusive bruisers so make sure you give it your best shot.
Forget The Morning
Morning hunts should be avoided as they are not as effective as afternoon hunts. An afternoon hunt may also be your only option. This is due to the fact that early morning is fraught with peril in the early season.
Navigating in the dark could result in you bumping the deer en route and causing them to head back to a higher elevation and this could be anywhere. Camping over to get going at first light is a good tip as it allows you to get out by first light.
Additionally, most of the mature bucks will be bedded before you reach first shooting light. If you go in the early afternoon, you will know exactly where the buck is located. You will also know where they are going to be, the tasty ag field.
Remote Or Isolated Fields Are The Best
There is nothing that alters a whitetails feeding habits more than human activity. This is why you need to consider the remoteness of the field as this will help you determine when you need to be on stand. The more remote the field, the earlier the deer will be up.
Of course, you should always hedge your bets and arrive earlier than you need to. Most hunting fields are close to a lot of activity so you should count on the deer lingering in areas just off the field. While it might be hard to give up an open shot to a hot field, hunting a staging area with a lot of fresh rubs could be worthwhile.
Sneak In And Out
When planning your access routes, you need to consider the wind and be prepared to go the extra mile to avoid spooking potential targets. This will include carrying your outerwear in your pack to avoid sweating and waiting until the deer are a good distance away before exiting your stand. Spooking the deer close to your stand is a big mistake and you will find the extra effort really pays off.
Strip Cover Funnels
There are times when a field-edge stand can be the second-best field-hunting options. This will generally be when the area of strip cover is surrounded by sparse vegetation making it a killer funnel. In the best cases, the thin bands of secure cover will be mature buck magnets. Anything from drainage ditches to creek bottoms could create a funnel for a shy old buck to move past your hung stand.
Keep The Deer Guessing
Mature deer will never use the same trail for 2 days in a row and there is a reason for this. A smart bow hunter will mimic this behavior. Hunters that use the same stand sites, parking spots and access routes will be patterned by the local deer. This is why you need to rotate your locations and routine to keep the deer guessing.