5 Benefits to Early-Season Deer Hunting
By: Bob Humphrey
Most hunters think of the rut as the best time to kill a big buck, but there are valid reasons why early season can also be good – and sometimes the earlier the better
It didn’t feel much like deer hunting weather – temps in the 70s, muggy and buggy – yet there I was, perched in a ladder stand 80 yards from a persimmon patch roughly the size of a house. It being so warm, I didn’t expect much action until the waning moments of daylight. So it was somewhat unexpected when a doe and fawn showed up with two full hours of daylight remaining. That turned out to be the tip of the iceberg.
It wasn’t long before a young buck showed up, followed by another, and another. As the afternoon wore on, the number and age of bucks arriving to feed on newly dropped nectar of the gods grew. I stopped counting individual rack bucks at 10, though I know there were more. None quite made my personal minimum, but the experience of seeing that many adult bucks in one place at one time was reward enough.
The assembly was somewhat unexpected, though it should have been. It was early muzzleloader season in Kansas, a state that has a lot of bucks, at a time when those bucks tend to be at their most visible and potentially vulnerable period. While most deer hunters favor cooler temps and the hot action of the rut, early season offers some alternatives that rival and may even exceed the rut if your goal is to bag a big buck.
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