We are back on our southern public land unit doing a little velvet scouting. This particular piece of public land is where we are planning on spending the majority of our time this fall. With opening day only 3 weeks away it was time to find and hopefully pattern some bucks we could go after on opening day.
We had sat over a large soybean field on the north side of the property 2 previous times with no luck. One evening we saw at least 20 does and fawns, and the next evening we saw only 4 does, each with a fawn or two tagging along. We were hoping this evening would be different. We had our friend Drew with us and we were planning on splitting up to cover more ground.
Brody was going to walk way to the back corner of the large soybean field we had sat over on our previous attempts and Drew and I were going to sit over a spot Drew had seen a few bucks using in the previous year.
Watch the video below to see how the evening went!!!
Now that you have watched the video, we are going to go more in depth to give you a better idea of why we sat at the spots we did, our history of hunting this area, and what we now plan to do after seeing multiple shooter bucks.
First, why did Brody sit over the large soybean field on the north side of the property?
This soybean field is an area we have hunted over and have seen plenty of shooter bucks in over the last 3 years. We have even seen Limpy, one of the largest bucks in the area, using this field in years past. Because of all the history of nice bucks and does (sometimes up to 30-40 at a time) we knew we would have a good shot at seeing some deer.
It is also one of the only open areas on the property. This is a river bottom piece of public land that has lots of timber. This open ag field allows us a large field of view, so it only makes sense to sit there.
Have we hunted over this field before?
Our very first year we hunted over this field, we actually almost shot a velvet buck the second evening we hunted. That first year we got some good bucks on trail camera, however, it was always in the middle of the night. That told us that the bucks were actually bedding far away from our trail camera location.
We would consistently see 15 plus does an evening and several small bucks using the field. However, while doing some early season scouting we counted at least 8 tree stands on the field edge.
We hunted that area way too much that first year. The bucks on trail camera in the middle of the night and the heavy hunting pressure on the field edge we clear signs that big bucks would not be in that area. In hindsight we should have moved locations after a week or two of hunting that area.
Big bucks will not take that much hunting pressure and they definitely will not be using that field in daylight. Last year, which was our second year hunting this property, we hunted one time over this field. On opening day there were 3 people hunting the field, 2 of which were later arriving. All of them were hunting their stands for the wrong wind and smoking cigarettes before they got to their truck. Needless to say… we pulled stands the next day. Too much hunting pressure and human scent for big bucks.
The lesson we learned was we needed to find areas where other hunters were not going. We were successful in doing that and our buck sightings went up.
What is the plan for opening day after seeing those 3 shooter bucks?
We were not planning on hunting over this soybean field because of all the hunting pressure mentioned earlier. Our focus is now on hunting the bedding areas the bucks are coming from which are hundreds of yards from the field edge.
However, after seeing that group of shooter bucks we have decided it is worth it to go after them. The plan is to go after them just a few times, 3 at the most. We are going to target them as soon as the season opens. Hunting pressure is going to increase on that field and force these bucks to not use the field during daylight, that is why we have to target them as soon as possible. After the hunting pressure increases going after those bucks in that particular area would be almost useless.
One of the most important things that Brody did that evening on the way out in the dark, while the bucks were feeding in the field farther away, was sneak over to where the bucks entered the field. Once there he saw the bucks were using a small low point to enter the field. He followed that low point back into the timber where he saw the bucks come from. He followed it into the timer and could tell that deer were using this trail on a regular basis. He also found a prefect tree for us to hang our stands in.
The plan is to go right to this tree opening evening (if the wind is right) and do a hang and hunt. Know exactly what tree we are going to is important because we are hunting in the timber away from the field edge and a lot closer to where those bucks and other does are bedded. We need to know exactly where to go and make minimal noise doing it. Brody’s scouting that night allowed us to do just that.
We are going to get there super early to beat other hunters who will likely be sitting on the field edge and to beat any early deer movement. That way we are set up and ready when the deer starting moving and other hunters show up.
In short, we are moving closer to the bedding area the bucks are using, on the trail they are using. We are not setting up on the field edge with the other hunters. We are going to cut the bucks off before they get to the field edge and the other hunters. We only have a few shots at these bucks in this area because of all the hunting pressure they will see on that field after a few days of the season being open.