Hunting Spots for Bow Hunters | Early Season Bow Hunting Tree Stand Locations
Early season bow hunting is when our life starts, at least that is what it feels like after a long off season and summer. Bow season is when our anticipation is at its highest point during deer season. It’s a new and fresh start to a 4 month long quest to find success. While we are still in summer, now is the time to plan and prepare for the start of this quest in deer season. The first month or two of the season, from September – October is considered the early season. Really a deer hunter defines the early season as bow hunting before the rut and firearms season begins. In order to find success your time starts now to identify and prepare your early season bow hunting tree stand locations.
When it comes to early season bow hunting tree stand locations, it helps to break down the season into four phases. Understanding these phases ultimately can help you determine exactly where your early season bow hunting tree stand locations should be.
Phase 1: September 15- 24th
Drury Outdoors THIRTEEN | Phase 1 A New Beginning
(Video) – The first phase of deer season is one of the toughest. It’s one of the hardest times for a bow hunter. Your anticipation is high, but daylight movement is low. You have to key in on you early season bow hunting tree stand locations, being cautious to put them between green food sources and bedding areas, but without bumping deer!
The first phase of deer season characterizes a great chance for bow hunters. This is the new beginnings phase, it is the start of deer season. If you are lucky enough to hunt in a state such as Kentucky, with a first weekend of September opener, you can score big, but it takes work!
The key for success in the first weeks of deer season is proper planning and preparation. The main thing this comes down to is velvet buck scouting and where you put your tree stands to intercept them. Early season bow hunting tree stand locations depend heavily on summer buck patterns and bachelor group movement. Bucks hit two areas, the bedding area and the food source. This usually means a secluded patch of hardwoods for the bedding area adjacent to the food source, which is usually alfalfa and clover fields, or soybeans.
Glassing and trail camera scouting during the final summer months leading up to deer season can reveal the movements of bucks. Careful planning around the pattern can help you select the perfect tree for interception. This will usually be a staging area before the food source between the bedding area and the food source or a tree on the edge of the food source within bow range of where the bucks will enter the field. One thing to remember during this time frame is access routes. You need to have an absolute bust proof tree stand access route in order to kill a bachelor group buck on a summer pattern.
When you pick the right early season bow hunting tree stand locations, success can happen within the first days of the season. Check out the hunt below to what success looks like in the first phase of deer season.
Velvet Buck Double in September!
(Video) – 2 Kentucky bluegrass velvet bucks are taken with bows, from the same stand, literally 5 minutes apart from each other! When it comes to getting early season bow hunting tree stand locations right, these guys were spot on!
Phase 2: September 25th– October 12th
Drury Outdoors THIRTEEN | Phase 2 Greener Pastures
(Video)- The second phase is all about 2 things, changing food sources and weather conditions. Soybeans are turning yellow, but food plots are just hitting the peak. A change in weather or a cold front could mean success when bow hunting.
The second phase of the early bow season is a time when a lot of hunters can find success. Soybeans and large crop fields especially in the Midwest are turning, and deer are moving to different food sources. The turning beans, harvesting of Ag crops, and date and temperature changes mean more daylight movement.
This phase can really be taken advantage of if you have a key resource, a green food plot! Once the Ag crops are vacated from the landscape, whitetails will start pouring into green food sources. But this is often times short lived opportunity, as the next phase can swoop in fast and disintegrate any chances of success.
Booner Buck In Early Bow Season!
(Video) – Brandon Jennings punches his Missouri archery tag on opening day with a giant buck! This early season bow hunting tree stand location turned out to be exactly where Brandon needed to be!
Phase 3: October 13-24th
Drury Outdoors THIRTEEN | Phase 3 The October Lull
(Video) – Once deer finally start moving more during the greener pastures period, it suddenly shuts down. Summer home ranges have switched to fall home ranges and bucks are very active on scrapes and rubs but during the night. Food sources such as acorns are everywhere, meaning deer do not have to move very far! To find success you have to have a great early season bow hunting tree stand locations, and a cold front to get deer on their feet.
When the October lull rolls around deer movement and sightings seem to stop! This can be one of the most frustrating times for a bow hunter. While your early season bow hunting tree stand locations were proving to be in the right spots for the first weeks of the season, movement has now stopped. During this part of the early season, whitetails bed more, move less, and feed on a plentiful acorn crop.
During this part of the season it’s important to take advantage of anything you can. During the October lull this means cold fronts and scrapes! While the majority of scrape action has been shown to happen at night, when you have a major cold front move through, deer will be on their feet!
The best early season bow hunting tree stand locations for this period is in large white oak flats, and transition areas around bedding areas and food sources where bucks will be visible in daylight hours.
Phase 4: October 25th – November 1st
Drury Outdoors THIRTEEN | Phase 4 Pre-Lock
(Video) This is the phase before firearms season opens, and bow hunters live for. Early season bow hunting tree stand locations should focus around doe hotspots. These include the food plots, bedding areas, and transition areas. Big deer are on their feet and it’s a bow hunter’s paradise.
The last phase of early archery season is the pre-lock or pre-rut period. This is what bow hunters live for. It is the period before the full out rut and chase phase kicks in, but still contains a lot of deer movement before firearms season comes into play.
Does are not in yet, but are close, unfortunately for bucks they have one thing on their mind making them vulnerable to a well-placed hunter in a tree stand and a well-placed arrow. The social hotspots, like food sources will be hotspots for doe and buck activity. Home ranges expand, posturing and sparring ensue, and your time in the stand will pan out to many encounters!
Early season bow hunting tree stand locations during this phase should focus on funnels, doe trails, outskirts of bedding areas and key food sources. Fortunately these will all be great tree stand locations for the upcoming phases of the mid-season and rut.
The early season and first months of deer season is when bow hunters should capitalize. Before firearms season and the rut ramps up, take advantage of these 4 phases by placing your early season bow hunting tree stand locations in the suggested spots. A well placed tree stand, and well placed arrow is all it takes to find success during the early season!