Throughout the year people ask me where is the best place to hunt? Well, my favorite place in early season, is near a nice white oak tree or in a acorn flat as far out in a remote section of woods as I have access to on my hunting tracts. For deer numbers and deer activity that is the most relaxed and natural, the farther out in the isolated woods I can get to, the better I like it.
I have taken more deer in the early season, bow season and the pre-rut gun season by hunting in the woods from a tree stand or even a ground blind. A few years ago, I sat in a folding camoflage chair placed in the brush top created by an oak tree “blow-down”. The leaves were still on the tree and the tree had fallen toward a wet spot on the edge of a swampy track that was on the back side of our lease and disallowed anyone from the adjoining lease of easy access.
The water was more than 500 yards across before the property grade rose back up to another large section of swamp near the Tombigbee river. I had to walk close to half a mile from the nearest logging road to get to the spot I had found while scounting in September. I had planned to go back and place a trail camera to see if any big bucks were in the area but so much got in the way, I never walked back there until opening morning.
Anyway, the deer trail around the end of the “blow down” had been so massive when I was there in September, I figured it woulld be a winner or that I cound knock out a doe or two so as to get some freezer meat and a couple of backstraps for “camp-meat” We were camping for the weekend in nearby Epps Alabama and planned on grilling some back straps. 30 minutes after daylight I was still slogging my way to the location since I had gotten mis-directed trying to slip out to the blow-down before daylight. Once I finally concluded there was no way that I was going to do that. I just stopped and watched the daybreak in the gorgeous Tombigbee River swamp bottom I found my self looking across.
A flash of movement caught my eye and I started counting the deer headed my way. More than twenty does and yearlings came down the trail about 35 yards from my hiding spot and I was watching intently for the bucks I hopped were following them. However, after fifteen minutes nothing else moved so I decided to make my way on to the blow down. Daylight had progessed enough that I got my “bearings” and in another twenty minutes I was sitting in the top of the blow-down in my cheap canvas chair with my face mask down and I was so well hidden and “stink-free” that I enjoyed a steady stream of deer passing by me for several hours that morning. The mix of deer included several nice rack bucks of the eight to ten point variety just not any old “stooges” like I was hunting for.
However, it again demonstrated to me that for an enjoyable early season hunt, the hardwoods in secluded areas, where deer are relaxed and can move in their natural patterns, feeding on the acorns and other browse of the hardwoods is a very special place to be in early gun season.
Find you a spot or two “out there” in the woods, especailly if you have some good hardwoods where acorns can be found. There, you will likely find some deer !!
Enjoy the upcoming Thanksgving with your family and get out to the woods!