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Michael Waddell’s Strategies for Early Season Deer Hunting

by Michael Waddell   |  May 1st, 2012 4

I love to bow hunt probably more than just about anything, and this is the time of year many of us live for. But we need to approach early season much differently than the rut. Bucks aren’t charging around reckless like they will be come November, but that’s okay. If we play our cards right, the early season could pay off much better than even the rut, simply because we’re getting the first crack at these big boys. Here are six tips that will have you driving a wallhanger home in your truck.

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1. Scout It Out

Even if you’ve hunted a place a million times, scouting is important. Deer will stick to traditional patterns from year to year. However, food sources change, plots and crop fields might be planted differently, woods get cut, and swamps dry out or flood depending on the rain. All of this can affect where deer are bedding and feeding, the latter being the most important. In the early season, you’re going to focus on food sources as bucks try to beef up and prepare for the rut. Identify these spots and hang stands well before the season. Set up trail cams and spend time glassing where deer routinely enter a field or food plot. It’s hot, so deer will bed near food, which is everywhere at this time of season, so it’s important to have multiple locations pinpointed.

  • Antonio

    Hey, Michael, good advice. Any suggestions on tactics for heavily hunted areas?

    • Montego

      Do you actually think they've ever been to a heavily hunted area?

  • joshua smith

    your one of my favorite hunters on tv. my son is 8 and i want to get him a good buck this year. i live in south MS where the woods are thick. any advice would be helpful. thanks keep up the good work on your show.

  • landon barwick

    Hey micheal my name is landon I live in nc our season has started and before season we had some nice 8pointers comin to our stands along with bout 7 more bucks and since season has started we have only seen one. Small buck. And on our trail cameras we have only seen one 8pointer and it was at night any suggestions on what has happened

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