I had really high hopes heading in to this season. First off, it was the first full season worth of self filming my hunts. I was coming off of a year where I shot my biggest buck ever. I had practiced every single day with my bow in the yards. Shot thousands of shots over the summer and was as prepared as I could possibly by for the upcoming season. This deer season wrap-up is one you don’t want to miss.
If you’ve hunted long enough, then you know my previous statement is a complete pipe dream. If you think you have nothing left to learn, you’re wrong. Whether we admit it or not, there is always something else we could have done to make our season just a little bit more successful. For me, it was scouting for bucks.
I’m going to start by talking showing you all the unused pre-hunt interviews from all the public land hunts via my video wrap up posted on my Youtube channel. From there, I’m going to dive in to a few of this seasons’ lessons learned.
Check out these in Depth Updates from the season: Early Season Doe Harvest, Illinois Shotgun Season, Reader Success – Nicholas Dawa, and Public Land Doe.
This one was obvious. If you only have access to doe bedding areas to hunt locally, bucks are hard to come by. Basically, the only bucks I saw for the entire season were during the very few rut hunts I was able to do this season. I’m thankful that I took a doe early. Had I waited, I very easily could have eaten 3 tags instead of 2. Believe it or not, I only saw bucks on 2 sits during the entire season. One was at the funnel location during early an November morning hunt when I saw 3 or 4. The only other sit was Sunday morning of the shotgun deer season. That was a nice buck but didn’t stick around long enough for me to even get him in the scope.
If your food plots fail, you’re in trouble for deer sightings. This year, we had a good rain within a week of putting the seed down. Everything came up great! The problem came in over the next few weeks. Zero rain. Everything dried out and died before we got another rain. Our food plots pretty much ended being grass fields by the time the season rolled around.
The camera’s didn’t pick up much activity around the property this year due to the lack of food. We were lucky to be in the travel pattern over to the neighboring property that was planted in soy beans still from early summer. That would have been during the early season when I couldn’t get down there. However, by the time I did get down there, it was picked over and the temps were still warm enough that the deer were not yet feeding on the pods that were left over from the harvest process.
I’d like to end this deer season wrap-up with positive thoughts. I had a great year! 2 deer with a bow is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I’m sure that there are plenty of hunters who would kill to even have 2 shots at deer during a single season. That being said, it was also eye opening. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at hunting. If mature bucks, or bucks in general, don’t live where you hunt, then you aren’t going to see them! It seems so simple, but it’s easy to overlook. This coming off season I plan on doing a lot more scouting for bucks specifically. I also plan on trying to gain access to new lands that contain those bucks during the season. Another key component this coming season will be the food plots. We will need to keep a closer eye on the weather before planting.
This will be the final update on my 2016/17 deer hunting season. I hope you had a successful year like I did!Stayed tuned over the off season for scouting missions, shed hunts, and food plot work. I will also be bringing you a lot more how to videos and gear reviews this spring and summer. Until next season, Happy Hunting!