Early Season Deer Hunting Tips

Something about early deer hunting season leaves every hunter perched on the spot smiling with anxiety. It is a particular time that provides a favorable weather and environment for hunting. The temperatures are warm, and tree leaves just begin a colorful transformation. Everything is quiet, and there is no pressure of hunting as opposed to when the firearm period begins or when rut ramps up. 

What Time Does Early Season Start?

Early seasons for deer hunting often vary according to the states. However, most deer patterns and movements transition towards the end of the month of October. This period is mostly the bow season, and the temperatures are warm. With the previous Deer season long gone, this is another perfect time to maximize your chances of taking down a deer. 

Best Time Of Day To Hunt

Everybody has their preferred time of hunting, but there are specific hours of the day that makes your deer hunting success. Because during this period the temperatures are high, deer need to stay cool and will choose to move freely during morning hours. During this period, hunting isn’t as rampant as it would get later on in the year allowing the deer move freely with confidence. The morning hours mostly see deer walking back to their nests from the feeding grounds. Therefore, mornings makes one of the best time of the day to hunt, since you can sneak into a hiding spot without giving away your position.  Afternoons are other fun times to kill, but for this case, you will need to stay out late; for if you leave your hunting spot and they see you, you will scare them away. 

Best Hunting Tactics

Using tactics will increase your chances of catching bucks. Instead of engaging the deer in a frantic and futile chase, try the following tips. 

Start Scouting Before Season

The good thing about the deer is that they are very predictable. They operate as if they follow a fixed schedule. Every year, they follow the same pattern and stick to it, unless of course, if there is an agricultural shift, which influences their feeding and bedding grounds. Should this be the case, early scouting and setting up of trail cameras on their entry and exit points on the field will come in handy during the hunting process. 

Note Travel Routes Around The Food and Water Source

The change in the food source, as well as the water source, will affect the pathways that the deer take. It is important to focus on the food source rather than where it will bed. As they go out to the fields to graze, they follow a particular path which will do you good to hang stands. You should also do the same for the routes they take when they go for a drink. Luckily, they are always near the food source, so it won’t be hard to notice the pattern. 

Call A Deer During Early Season

The early season for deer hunting also makes for the best time to try the calling technique. As these animals often communicate, owning several calls will increase your chances of catching one as well as having options when one doesn’t work. Some of the deer calls you should have included the grunt call, the doe call, and the foe call. Some of the calls mimic a buck in distress, which will attract a deer to your position.  The grunt call is the most versatile and a hunter can use to make sounds like those of does or bucks when communicating with other deer. With it, you can exploit their position and lure them into your range. 

Attractants And Lures: Early Season Deer Scents

It is the early season, and the weather is conducive for hunting. You shouldn’t, therefore, not be successful in hunting when you can effectively lure a deer using attractants and scents. With a broad range of them, some that you can use include doe, dominant-buck, doe-in-estrus urine as well as a couple of curiosity scents. The doe and the dominant buck urine entices a deer to come and investigate a competition or to find mates giving you a perfect opportunity to catch them. Around your stand, you can set up a few scent bombs or pull drag rags with buck urine traversing their trails.  Deer are attracted to apple flavors and mixing it with doesn’t urine is highly effective a way of luring them to your stand or hunting range. 

Using Deer Decoys

Animals have a sense of community, and the deer are no exception. One can exploit this nature by setting up a fake family to catch them. One can place a couple of ‘feeding deer’ against a fence row of timber. These deer models should be collapsible as one can fit all of them in a pack. The decoys will attract a deer, and it will walk towards it via your stand. This will give you enough room to kill it. 

Range Your Shot

Taking shots blindly without an ideal range highly reduces your chances of catching a deer. Once you miss on the first shot, rest assured that the second will not hit the target for it will have sprung up and left you wondering what just happened. Out in the field, to save time and hunting resources, it is appropriate to use a laser guided tool that will ensure you hit the deer where it counts. Establishing the range will also help you deal with the difficulty of trying to figure out how far your target is. 


Deer hunting during the easy season is an ideal period where your chances of success are high. Instead of waiting for the rut when the deer are very aware that they are being hunted, you can seize the opportunity and set up your traps by following the above tactics. You can effectively scout the area, take note of the feeding ground, inspect their nests and set up stands and other traps on their routes to ensure you don’t go back home empty handed. Again, utilizing this moment will ensure that you avoid the hassle of many hunters competing for the constantly elusive bucks they are trying to catch. Did I mention that the hunting times during the early season gives you an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the rising and the setting sun?



Andrey is manager of OutdoorNinjas online journal, working on creating compelling content about outddor activities, such as hunting, fishing, camping and others

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