Hot Weather Deer Hunting Tips
Bob McNally 08.31.15
Deer don’t travel a great deal during the early bow season because the weather is still very warm. They generally stick to river bottoms, creek draws, and drainage ditches. And they seldom travel far from shady, cool thickets with plenty of leaf canopy. It’s wise to locate those places, setting stands near deer food close to cool, water-source adjacent bedding areas.
In some agricultural areas there are deep ditches and canopied draws that separate field crops. Such places can be good for bowhunting deer anytime, but during the early season they’re outstanding spots to set stands, especially if they contain water or have thick, lush browse and cover. Deer love such places because they can bed in the draws where it’s cool and the cover thick, then only have to move a short distance to fields to feed.
A lot of early-season deer move around only at night because it’s so hot and dry during the day. Sometimes, when it’s really hot, heavy bucks or even old, seasoned does just stand up in their bedding thickets and move just a few yards to feed. They never really come out of the thickets into the open sun. This isn’t to avoid hunting pressure, because the animals have no experience with it that early in the year. Rather, deer don’t want to leave cool shade in thickets.
You’ve got to be on your toes hunting such thick places because deer can be right under your stand and walk by open shooting lanes before you realize they’re there.
You must make certain you’ve got good open places to shoot an arrow when hunting those types of early-season spots. Careful trimming of shooting lanes with pruning shears is a big asset. And when you’re in your stand make a mental picture of where a deer should move along a trail and where it will offer a shot. It’s important to note small limbs and branches near an early-season, grown-over shooting lane because when light fades you can’t see even full-foliage branches that easily can deflect an arrow.