Chris was able to stock with in 23 yards of this 181 inch mule deer buck as it lay bedded beneath a cliff in the shade. He then waited until the deer got up to stretch before sending an arrow through both lungs. He had scouted this buck 2 months prior.
An early season bow hunting tip is to glass these areas and look for a rack protruding out of the vegetation. Once found, this creates an ideal situation to put on a spot and stalk if the conditions are right. In this case, wind is your best friend. If you play it right, the wind will carry your scent away from the deer and will also cover up any noise you make. It is best to approach the deer from behind, but sometimes they are facing the wrong direction. The main thing is to keep the wind blowing your scent away from the deer. It is possible to approach the deer head on if this is your only option, but will require a lot of belly crawling.
Once you get to within range of your target buck, it is best to wait until the deer stands up on its own. Then you will be able to take a shot with your bow on a relaxed deer. If the wind begins to swirl and you are scared you may get winded soon, then it may be necessary to coax the deer to his feet. You can do this be making grunt sounds, or if there is a rock around, you can throw it to get the deer focused on a different location other than yours own.
Another good scenario for early season bow hunting, especially with mule deer, is when a buck beds down below a cliff in the shade. In this case it is possible to sneak right over the top of the buck without them ever knowing you are there. Again, it is best to be patient and wait for them to stand on their own, but aggressive action may be taken if the situation warrants it.
An early season bow hunting tip for spot and stalk hunting is to wait to stock until the conditions are right. This means usually waiting for the wind to pick up and get steady, or change direction all together. Light winds do not do much to cover up noise and they typically blow in variable directions. As the day warms up, the wind will typically increase. That is why it is best to just watch the deer and wait for conditions to improve
One benefit of early season bow hunting is the mild temperatures. The downfall is it can get hot. Even when temperatures are normal, in the early season it is very easy to sweat, and sweat stinks more to the nose of a deer or elk.
There are ways to minimize your scent even in warm temperatures, which brings us to another early season bow hunting tip. Bow hunting means getting close to your prey undetected. Due to the fact that you cannot stop you body from perspiring, it is extremely beneficial to wear scent prevention clothing. Of course most scent prevention clothing is very warm due to the nature of the clothing. Lucky for us early season bow hunter, there is some scent prevention gear for warm weather. We will talk more about it in the following section about equipment.
If you elect not to purchase early season bow hunting clothing, you at least need to have camo that blends you into the surroundings, which we talk more about next as well. But even more important than camo is the fact that you need to play the wind regardless of the gear you wear. As long as you keep your scent blowing away from the animal, you will be fine. One scent molecule reaches their nose though, and the deer will typically go from lying down to up and running before you can even draw back. Scent has undoubtedly spoiled more stalks and stands than any other factor.
Early Season Bow Hunting Equipment Tips