October is prime month for bow hunting whitetails

Now that we have survived the boring, warm weather of September we move into the best period of the fall for bow hunting for whitetail deer.

Standing corn is gold when it comes to bow hunting in October. Submitted photo
Standing corn is gold when it comes to bow hunting in October. Submitted photo

I relish this fall period because September is always a struggle as the deer just have not been moving at all and basically remained bedded and non-active.

The rut is also right around the corner which always spurs more action and movement.

Here are some thoughts to increase your odds as we head into the best month of the fall:

Standing corn locations

I tagged my buck last week in Wisconsin by having a stand located very close to standing corn and keying in on the special little areas the deer preferred to feed.

By scouting standing corn you will find there are certain areas they prefer that are close to standing woods and trees or have an access to the field that is away from the roads. You can tell the chosen feeding areas by the devastated and knocked down rows which means the deer are feeding heavily in the area.

If you can find an edge of the corn that butts up to oak trees you are in business.

Standing corn gets even more valuable as October wears on as most crops are being harvested and the deer are running out of options.

Standing corn is gold in October.

Deer calls

Using deer calls such as bleats and grunts are also much more viable this month because of the onset of the rut period.

We have a window of about four weeks where deer calls are valuable.

Another option is a set of rattling horns that also work well with the onset of the rut.

Deer become much more vocal and active when the days get shorter and the run period begins. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various calls and see which ones produce. The same goes for your favorite rattling horns. Believe me, these items are not created equal.

Through experimentation you will find which calls and which rattling antlers work best by the results.

Morning vs. evening

I have never been a fan of morning hunts basically because I believe we tend to disrupt our hunting areas by our presence in the pre-dawn morning hours. No matter how quiet you think you are entering the area, these deer know when an intruder is in the area. When you disrupt the area in the morning it always dampens your chances for the same day hunt the same evening. The only time I will hunt mornings is about a six days period when the rut is in full swing.

At this time the bucks are moving and the chaos of the rut supersedes the stealth requirement.

Steve Carney is a contributing writer to the Outdoors page.