The days of staring longingly out the window for the trees to change are over. No more watching your girlfriend eat all of your money in the form of smoothies and frappe’s. No more watching your kid “play” soccer in the blistering heat of summer. Here are a few mistakes to avoid in October.
Mistake #1: Not hunting at all
There is a lot to be gained by hunting the early season even if you don’t have the drop on a buck. I understand that some people either don’t want to hunt when it is warm out, or have a limited number of spots to hunt. But you need to get a practice run in. Find a spot that is unlikely to spook many deer if you make a racket and go for a quick evening hunt. You’ll likely discover it takes you longer to get set up than you thought, a piece of your equipment is too loud, or you just don’t have something that would make hunting all day more convenient. You don’t want to discover your harness clicks, or your coat is too puffy too shoot on October 25th. So even if you don’t have a buck patterened at this point, you should still get out for a hunt.
Mistake #2: Waiting to shoot their does in November
Now that you are going to hunt in early October, you should shoot a doe. I discussed this in a blog last year, but I believe in shooting does earlier in the season before bucks are moving much. It’s an even better idea to do it on public land. While public land may not boast the highest concentration of trophy bucks, and the deer may be skitterish late in the season, there is no better place to fill your doe tag than on public land in early October. The pressure won’t pick up until November, and public land often holds a ton of does that still are in their summer patterns, so watch to see where they are feeding in the evenings and put some meat in the freezer.
Mistake #2: They stop looking for new spots to hunt
With harvest starting, and the temperature finally dipping below seventy, deer are starting to show up in the evening, so it can be tempting to hunt all the time, or focus on the spots you already have. Continue to look for better spots at this point in the season. Summer scouting is good, but a lot of cover makes scouting a lot of land impossible. You will get turned down more at this point in the year, but a lot of farmers let multiple hunters on their land. Don’t get too connected to your land and miss opportunities to hunt better spots.
Mistake #4 Thinking not seeing a deer is a failure
There are a lot of spots, with the corn still up that are just about impossible to scout. You could use trail cameras or you could just go in and hunt them. If you don’t have 100 trail cameras, it is likely you will have to get out and have some slow afternoons. Take a buddy or a kid and enjoy the 65 degree weather, the good thing is it’s been ten months since you hunted last, so just watching squirrels and raccoons is pretty enjoyable at this point in the season. Try to sit somewhere high so you can scan other possible locations to hunt, but you never know what may walk by in a secluded corner of your land. Good Luck.