Filling your tag during the early season is an exciting accomplishment. According to the Minnesota DNR, hunters in Minnesota are allowed anywhere from two to five deer per hunting season, depending on the area. So if you’re lucky enough to fill some of those tags early, you’ll have venison in your freezer for winter and will have the advantage of beating the hunting pressure. Below are five tips that can help you fill your tag during the early season.
1. Take Notes
Take some time to pattern the deer herd’s behavior before you jump into action. Review the data you’ve collected during the summer from your trail cameras and find the patterns. If you didn’t set up a trail camera during the summer, resist the urge to put one up now and check it every day to make up for the lost time. Checking your trail cameras too often, especially once hunting season has already started, will only startle the deer and they’ll begin to pattern you, not the other way around. You can still set up a trail camera, but check it very sparingly and make sure your scent is covered every time you check it. If you have data to review, the time of day you’re seeing the deer is one of the most important things to observe.
2. Choose the Right Time
You will likely catch the deer on their way to their bedding area in the morning or heading to a food source in the evening. Because the bucks aren’t feeling the effects of rut season yet, they won’t be as active in the early morning. During these early months, it might be a safer bet to hunt at night, when the bucks are heading out for their evening meal.
3. Choose the Right Place
Whether hunting food sources or bedding areas, you don’t want to hunt too close to either one. Hunting too close to these areas will disrupt the herd and could cause them to scatter, so try to stay on the path to the bedding area rather than right next to it. You don’t want to impose hunting pressure too early in the season. The more active you are, the less active they’ll be, so try to stay under the radar.
4. Use What You Practiced
If you’ve practiced hunting from your elevated Stump blind, start out the hunting season using what you’ve practiced. If you practiced all summer, the tactics will still be fresh in your mind and you’ll be able to recall what you need to do quickly in the moment. If you don’t have success, you’ll have given yourself even more practice to prepare you for the late season. Our Steel Tower System will help you elevate your Stump blind so you can have a vantage point on the deer.
5. Keep Your Feeder Stocked
Make sure you’re keeping your Feedbank Gravity Deer Feeder stocked even after hunting season begins. If you abruptly stop feeding the deer during the early season, they could decide to find food elsewhere and stop coming to the property. This will affect not only your early season but the rest of the hunting season as well, because if they find reliable food somewhere else, they likely won’t be back. So, make sure you’re feeding them during the early season.
Filling your tags early will help keep your freezer stocked with venison all winter. If you research the herd and make smart decisions, you could be enjoying venison during the entire holiday season.
Have you ever filled an early season tag? Let us know in the comments below!