As always, my expectations were high going into this first weekend of the 2017 deer season, but the Tennessee heat had other plans. With a high temperature of 92 on Saturday and 98% humidity, scent control became pretty much impossible. As a matter of fact, by the time I got my blind set up and I got ready to hunt, I had to strip down to my underwear. (no joke.. lol) I tried to spray myself, along with my clothes with scent killer, but I can only ask that stuff to do so much. With this scent control issue in mind, I set up on a hardwood flat on top of a hill, with the small amount of wind there was, in my face. The acorns were dropping so heavy that it sounded like hail stones raining down. There was sign that the deer have been using this area heavy for food, but I wasn’t sure how much daylight activity was taking place. Because of this area being public land, I use my trail cameras very sparingly in season for fear of them getting stolen.
Plan for Week 1
For my first sit of the year, I decided to pass up on hunting the morning. I have been reading a lot of information about the disadvantages of hunting the mornings in the early season, so I decided to get to the woods by 1 pm and pack my pop up blind into the area I wanted to hunt and get set up. I put my blind at the location marked in the center of the map above. It is about 40 yards from an open pasture that has cows and horses grazing and the deer tend to stay out of the open field, so I keep that field to my back and watch the oak/ hickory flat with an eye on the pinch point to the east that is about 150 yards across and gets really thick towards the eastern most point of the public land, where Cedar Branch Creek cuts through. This is where I believe the deer are bedding. When the hunters come in from the road (the solid red line that looks like a “J”), it pushes the deer back to the thick stuff on that point. From there they can go either direction into an open field and run as fast as they can away from any danger. So with the North- East wind this weekend, I tried to catch them coming out to feed before dark, but the heat kept them in their beds until the sun went down and I didn’t see a single deer. Next weekend, the forecast is for a cold from to come through on Saturday and if the winds stay the same direction, I might be able to catch them before dark.
Keep an eye out for my weekly blog posts during this year’s deer season to follow along on my public land quest for a mature buck.