The woods is just starting to wake up. I am seated on a seat cushion against a tree. I have a hill road below me that leads up to a field. I hear movement and see a flash, as quickly as it appeared it was gone… Was that going to be my only chance?
I continue to hear movement below me. I am having a hard time pin pointing where the noise is coming from. I peer down to the hill road and there he is, right in front of me. I raise my gun up, find him in my scope, Bang!
He drops. I stand up frantic, walk towards him, he is still alive. I shoot at him again from 20 yards, miss. I shoot one more time, that one does it.
“Dad, I got one!”
Ah, the first deer story will never get old. My dad was only 60-70 yards away from me and within shouting distance. I would imagine it was a pretty proud moment for him as well. A small 1.5 year old basket rack 6 pointer gave me the same adrenaline rush I get today.
My Dad had taken me to that area the week before and we had “scouted”. I actually selected the spot half way up a hill over looking a ditch with a hill road running along the base of it. There was an incredible amount of sign on the little spine ridge that is still one of my favorite spots.
I know now that a giant buck (scored over 220) was living in that area and he had called that little spine home. My dad and I jumped him that next day across the road, he ran 20 yards right past me. Unfortunately, I was peeing and my gun was not in hand.
The highs and lows of hunting right?
With gun seasons all over the country kicking off this weekend we will be in our home state of WI.
I look at the WI gun season as one of the most impressive traditions that I am aware of. It is truly a special time in this state and I continue to look forward to it every year. I want to go over some tips that I have learned over the years but first I want to cover a very important topic.
I have a favor if that is okay?
Don’t project any negativity you feel towards gun season towards a youth hunter.
Look, I get it…
It can be a hard pill to swallow when you spend a full year preparing and hunting carefully only to have a 9 day chaotic war scene blow up most everything you worked to preserve.
It is still the number one way to get a kid into hunting. And we need our youth to be involved with hunting. I truly believe the more hunters we have the better, there is not another group of people who love our land as much as us.
So, swallow your pride and spend time with your family and friends and try to help a kid get into this amazing sport!
I have to listen to my own advice a lot. I tend to get worked up when it comes to this gun season and the actions of few that are beyond my control.
I am separating myself from the main farm I hunt and heading down to our lease with my longest hunting buddy Joe. We haven’t been down there much and I look forward to a couple days of no pressure hunting and the camaraderie that I love so much with this 9 day gun season.
Drink some beers, tell some stories and enjoy deer camp.
The weather is going to be fantastic!!
Saturday morning will be a frosty one and I would predict there will be a lot of giant bucks shot just on natural movement. We are on the tail end of the rut and you might get lucky and see some rutting activity if you are in the wheel house of a mature buck with a doe.
Highs up into the 40s and sunny, couldn’t ask for a better weekend.
Now lets get down to tactics!
I throw a lot of the main tactics out the window here. I don’t think deer are moving naturally much past sunrise on opening day. I treat how I set in stands a lot of how I hunt the rut.
Setup on travel corridors that you can see a long ways. I really like big ditch systems that have multiple crossings. If your farm is low pressure setup on some of those big food sources and take advantage with that rifle in your hand.
Here is a big one.
Consider where your neighbors pressure is coming from.
I consider how my neighbors enter the woods and I setup on the downwind side of their properties. Big bucks have hiding spots, try to catch them before they get into them!
Here is an example on our lease.
I will setup with a SW wind on the W side of the ditch. I would assume there will be a lot of deer feeding in the ag fields to the west. If those neighbors plan on gun hunting they have to access through those fields. Deer and big bucks especially will run quartered to the wind and try to get downwind of where their presumed danger is.
We are entering from the bottom and getting up on those points and will be waiting for them to come back into that timber to their safety downwind of their danger.
I would not let your wind blow into known bedding areas but I also relax quite a bit. I am willing to setup in valleys and not the perfect wind for good sight range and expected movement.
The most important thing is to have fun! Be safe! And be smart!
Send us your big buck pictures!
About The Author
Taylor is the Owner and founder of 1080 Outdoors. He founded the company from his drive and passion of the Outdoors. He thoroughly enjoys Turkey and Deer Hunting in midwest. He runs a digital marketing company after he recently left the Law Enforcement profession. Follow along on Taylor’s hunting journey this year.