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Monster Bucks and early season

July 31, 2012 by  
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Illinois 2011, during the October Lull

Where has the summer gone, and all the giant bucks? Usually by this time of the year I have been able to pinpoint the location of a couple big whitetails to concentrate my early season efforts on, not so this year! I know this hot and dry summer has had an impact on the deer and my trail camera success, which seems to be the common theme with most of the hunters I’ve talked to lately, so now what? In my last column I spoke of the importance of fall food plots and how important they may be this year along with keying in on water sources for early season success, but what else can we do to insure that we make the most out of our hunting season before the rut gets here?

Anybody that has followed me knows that I’m a HUGE believer in the moon and its effect on mature bucks, I won’t go a season without ordering my copy of the Deer Hunter’s Moon Guide from This fall, there will be a few periods that you should have marked on your calender, days that will be the best for catching big bucks on their feet during daylight, especially during the October Lull! If your lucky enough to be able to hunt in September, the week of the 20th through the 24th should be excellent. In October, the weeks of the 4th-10th and the 18th – 24th should be the best bet, with the latter being by far my favorite time for giant bucks! Last year, we had 3 major moon periods in October, the first few days, the middle of the month, and the very end. I was lucky enough to capitalize on 2 of the three periods, taking a great buck in Wyoming during the first period, then 2 great bucks in Illinois and Kansas, 3 days apart during the second period ( right smack dab in the middle of the lull, but unfortunately I missed my opportunity during Halloween in the Alberta bow zone, still one of my best Octobers yet! I can’t express to you enough how important the moon is and how much of an effect it has on mature deer when they are on a strict feeding pattern!

I’m still hoping that a giant shows himself in the next couple weeks here at home before I hit the road, but if not, I have a backup plan! Always have a plan B, maybe even a plan C! I will begin my fall road trip early this year, heading to Illinois on August 15th to hang some cameras and a few tree stands. From there, its off to Wollaston Lake Lodge for a remote bear hunt in northern Saskatchewan, I don’t know what I’m looking forward to more, the bear hunting or the Pike and Walleye fishing! Western Montana is next, with an early Elk and Mule Deer combo over waterholes, then to the Solitude Ranch in Wyoming for my Whitetail hunt with the rest of the team from Intrepid Outdoors. This 4500 mile round trip should wind up the last weekend in September, heading home for the opener here in Ohio on September 29th.  If by this time I haven’t had something really good show up on my cameras back home, you can bet I’ll be stopping in Illinois for their opener and checking my cameras there! Hopefully, I’ll be able to locate the big 8 point that dropped the giant shed I found in March!

If I have learned anything over the last 30 years of bow hunting and chasing big bucks, its that nothing is ever definite, expect the unexpected and don’t put all your eggs in one basket!  Maybe my early season plans will come together, maybe they wont. If things don’t work out they way we plan, it’s not over and its no reason to get discouraged, that’s part of hunting! Enjoy your season this fall and be thankful for the opportunity that we have, no matter what the outcome! I will be back at American-Hunter in Mid October for the results of my trip and good luck to everybody until then!

Kansas 2011, also killed during the October Lull!

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One Response to “Monster Bucks and early season”

  1. scott ward says:

    wow!!! Octobers moon really shinned down on adams success . I had the chance to hunt with adam and boy he puts his work in and really understands big buck movement. Just because you think the deer are not moving is not always the case . Most the time your just in the wrong spot at the wrong time . Lessons learned in the whitetail woods:
    ” Sometimes the Good decisions don’t always feel Good and the Right decisions don’t always feel Right!”

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