Pre-Season Efforts for August

Nutrition:

Food: We planted our fall plots not to far into August and they’ve come in great. The plot contained a lot of turnips, a good amount of oats, and a small amount of clover and drawf essex rape. I planted one small food plot a bit later and the rain hasn’t quite been strong enough to get much germination in some of the seeds. This plot contains clover, forage oats, turnips, and a small amount of chicory.

Fall Turnip and Oats Plot
Fall Turnip and Oats Plot

Plot Preparation: With September here time is running out to get food plots ready. Here are the steps we took to get our plots ready: we did a soil test early in the year. At this point we’ve sprayed all of our plots, some multiple times. We’ve also mowed them to knock down all of the dead vegetation. Then we proceed with tilling. After tilling it’s time to plant. When we go to seeding we’re spreading the fertilizer and the seed. After that we roll (cultipaking even better) the plot to ensure for good seed to soil contact. Then it’s time to let Mother Nature do her thing; do your best to plant not long before a storm if possible.

Minerals: I’ve refreshed a couple of mineral sites during this month, but spent a lot more time staying out and letting the cameras take pictures over the minerals. The results have been great. I’ve obtained a number of good pictures over our minerals. I’m a firm believer in allowing mineral sites to sit for a month or even 2-3 months at a time before checking cameras.

Dagger - 9 Point Buck over Minerals
Dagger – 9 Point Buck over Minerals

Water: My water holes have been so dry in the month of August. Thankfully one of them has held a tiny bit of water, but it certainly has been a dry month. The pictures on this area have started to become very good since it is near a corn field and the deer are likely hitting that corn now.

Bachelor Group at Water Hole
Bachelor Group at Water Hole

Trail Cameras:  The cameras I have over minerals are getting lots of activity. The water hole has also started to produce some great pictures as well. Just recently I’ve transitioned one of my cameras back to a scrape. The one that’s been over a scrape for months took some decent pictures as well.

Mock Scrapes/Rubs: All of my mock scrapes are pretty much old deer scrapes that I make sure to freshen up and add scent to. Most of them are getting pretty good deer activity. This is an effective way to get deer to stop where you want them too. All of these locations are just off of or directly on deer trails. If the deer are using the scrape well I don’t even touch the scrape in an attempt to keep human scent away from the scrape.

Food Source Scouting: I’ve continued my scouting over food sources (beans/alfalfa) throughout most of August. The scouting continued to be much more effective then I expected it to be. Usually the last two weeks in July are the best, but August proved to offer great scouting opportunities. I not only continued to monitor some of my best bucks during this month, but I also located a few other bucks that I hadn’t seen much or maybe not even at all during July.

Stand Scouting and Preparation: We recently hung two stands that should be great stand locations. I did everything possible to do it in conjunction with rain to wash our scent away. Thankfully it rained the following day. Both of these stand locations are in thick cover and should offer some interesting hunting opportunities. Due to the thickness of the cover around them they should be good all season long.

Shooting Practice: I’ve done everything possible to ramp up my bow shooting in the recent days. After a few minor adjustments to my bow at the bow shop I’ve gotten my bow dialed in and ready for the season. Now the key is to maintain my practice level so that I am ready for the season.

Continual Learning: Avid whitetail hunters are always advancing their ideas about how to be a more effective hunter. Here a few ideas that challenged and enhanced the way I think. First is an article from Wired to Hunt about Sanctuaries. I will continue to use sanctuaries myself, but this is an interesting article challenging those idea. The 2nd article is more of a product review. This a product review of something I can’t wait to get my hands on. Bowhunting.com produced this article.

Most of us are counting down the days. Season may have opened if you’re lucky enough to have an early September start, or it may be starting around the 15th. For most of us the countdown until Oct. 1 begins. To those traveling west to hunt Muley’s or Elk best of luck to you.

 

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