Winds, doe calls lead to trophies
By ERNIE MARTIN
Hook & Trigger
Hunting in the panhandle can be frustrating due to weather conditions. Hot and wet, cold and wet, or just wet and wet are the best words to describe the first months of this hunting season’s conditions in our neck of the woods.
I have yet to harvest my first deer of the season and the frustration is mounting. Our hunting party has seen deer on our man drives and several buddies have filled doe tags. I have seen pictures of some nice bucks that have been harvested and the constant was cold weather.
It seems the brief cold snap around Christmas that was accompanied by a full moon put a charge in pre-rut activity by the bucks. We saw plenty of pre-rut signs and several people were fortunate to harvest some nice bucks. It is my opinion that the rut is still another full moon away and if the temperature will cool down then the rut will heat up!
HUNT THE HIGH WIND
I have learned a couple of new techniques to try out during this rut season. First is to hunt the high wind. A stiff breeze is the kiss of death for hunting on most days, but during the rut I am going to be in the woods.
Big bucks have been harvested during rut on blustery days. Why do the winds help during the rutting season? High winds during this time of year means a cold front is on the way. The cold front will give the deer and hunters alike a break from the heat.
The does that have been harrassed by bucks figure they can escape them more easily when the winds cover their movements and noise. When a buck catches a whiff of a doe on a windy day, he will begin running around trying to find the doe. The wind carries the scent all over the woods and makes it harder for the buck to pinpoint her location. Chaos ensues, and the buck makes a fatal mistake. He is now part of the Hook and Trigger Trophy Wall!
CALL OF THE WILD
Another technique is about calling bucks into shooting range. I know that grunt calls and snort/wheeze calls start flying off the shelves in September, but I am going to use a doe call this season exclusively.
I had a friend tell me that he has had a lot of success with the doe call during the rut. He also stated that he has yet to harvest a buck while using a grunt call. Now the doe call works but you will need to be well disguised and your scent should be eliminated so that you don’t get exposed by the doe.
The trick is this: a doe hears the bleat. The doe comes to the bleat to see what is going on. They will mill around but don’t see the doe and eventually move on. Time to use the call again. This time more does come into range and they are followed by a mature buck. Kapow!
Time to reflect on what just happened. This scenario has played out for my friend on several occasions and he offered this technique to me and now I share it with you. Let me know if this worked for you by submitting your pictures to the magazine’s office at http://bit.ly/2vcmSUI.
Until next time, God bless and safe hunting.