It’s no secret that deer are the most active during rut season, but that doesn’t mean they hibernate until then. You can still see plenty of deer activity early in the season. While hunting the rut season is exciting, you’ll have the added benefit of observation, management, and less pressure if you hunt the early season.
Ration Your Tags Appropriately
Hunting early in season helps you manage your tags and allows you to distribute them properly throughout the season. If you start out cautiously, filling your tags very sparingly, you can extend your hunt until the very last day of the season because you’ll have the tags left over to do so. If you run out of tags in the first month, then your fun is cut-off early. Alternatively, if you stockpile all of your tags and save them for the end of the season, you’ll be pressured to fill all of your tags in a short amount of time and could potentially end the season incomplete if you still have tags left over. Starting early gives you the option to ration your tags.
Get Venison on Your Table Immediately
By starting early, you can have venison on your table immediately. If you have a particularly good day early in the season, you can stock up on weeks’ worth of meat and rest easy knowing you don’t have to bag a deer for a while. The peace of mind knowing you don’t have to bag a buck for food will make the next hunting trip more relaxed and care-free. You can be picky and wait for that monster buck if you’d like.
Monitor Trends Before the Rut
Hunting during the early season also allows you to monitor deer trends first-hand. You’ll have been observing them for months by the time the rut comes around. This will help you predict what’s likely to happen and any trends that might occur during the rut. You’ll learn what kind of calls work the best, which areas have high traffic, and what the buck-to-doe ratio is. This will all be incredibly helpful when it’s time for the rut.
Beat the Hunting Pressure
Deer are sensitive to hunting pressure and are easily driven from heavily hunted areas. By hunting during the early season, you’re catching the deer while they’re still unaware, before they’ve become wary of hunters. The deeper into the season it gets, there’s a higher chance of hunting pressure. It may become harder and harder to find infrequently trafficked areas as the season goes on. Begin hunting now and be the one blazing the trails.
While hunting the frenzy of rut season can be exciting, there is plenty of merit to hunting early in the season. You’ll have the added advantage of observation going into rut season and will already know what kind of buck-to-doe ratio you’re dealing with and how to handle it. You can also fill your tags at your own pace. If you wait too long to fill them, you’ll feel rushed and may take hasty shots just to fill the tag. Give yourself the luxury of having the entire season ahead of you and start hunting now.
Do you hunt during the early season or do you wait for rut? Let us know if you’ve already started your season in the comments below.