Rainy Monday made the squirrel forest almost perfect.
Walking through the woods after a rain provides the hunter with an almost silent stalk. The humidity also drops leaves and nuts as it falls, improving visibility and increasing squirrel activity. Early in the season, it is possible to walk directly over a squirrel foraging on the ground, which will offer a quick shot.
Knowing a forest intimately will allow a hunter to take advantage of the wet conditions. Working from one section of mature nut-producing trees to the next allows for the best chances of finding squirrels. With that said, food is plentiful and the squirrels will be feeding on a wide variety of crops for weeks to come.
In lush, green forests, a squirrel can quickly disappear, leaving little or no chance to shoot. Be patient. Staying in the encounter area will often offer a chance at redemption.
Hot weather is not conducive to foraging activity and a hunter should avoid midday hours.
Exploring a new or familiar forest for squirrels this September will also allow the opportunity to look for signs of big game and furriers.
With archery season just around the corner, time for preparation is running out. While modern equipment has made accuracy remarkable, an archer must practice with his equipment. Familiarity with his team and shooting moves can make all the difference when it comes to filling the freezer.
These last practice sessions should be done with an emphasis on hunting rather than shooting. Maintaining the maximum draw is something I work on with my compound bow. Often, just when you decide to shoot, a deer will move, forcing the hunter to stand still. When fully drawn, one must support the weight of the bow hoping the deer will offer another shot or lower the shot.
Even those who use a crossbow should practice aiming to develop arm strength. Many use a break to fire crossbows, but there are times and situations where the single shot is unexpected. Knowing that you can make the shot is huge mentally and the more you shoot, the greater your confidence.
Regardless of your accuracy or equipment, 20 yards is an ideal shot for a whitetail deer with an arrow. Practicing further with your bow this month will make desirable close shots easier and more accurate.
The weather in early October is usually less than ideal for processing a deer. Hunters should consider their schedule and the forecast before letting an arrow fly. Nighttime temperatures in the low 40s are ideal for cooling rooms, but are rare early in the season. Large coolers and ice or a refrigerator can be used to hold the venison until it can be deboned, processed, and frozen.
Having clean coolers, sharp knives, and packing material in advance will make killing a deer in hot weather faster. Making your own ice to keep on hand for cooling can save money and also find the space needed for a deer.
Venison processors offer the convenience of simply dropping off your venison at your facility and paying the bill when you’re done. In recent years, some butchers have stopped skinning deer and only accept boneless venison.
Deer are abundant when the season opens. Vegetation can allow a hunter to get close to a deer, making for a higher percentage shot.
With the possibility of having several deer tags this season, filling out one early helps the habitat and the herd.