By Jenna Taylor
Photos by Hunter Forbes
Alabama saw abnormally high temperatures throughout fall and early winter. When whitetails are wearing their winter coats and temperatures are 10-plus degrees higher than average, they simply won’t move as much. For the hunter, this can definitely interfere with the hunt.
With that being said, it is imperative that you plan to hunt hard early season when the bucks are still able to be patterned. That’s how Hunter and I overcame the Alabama heat this fall.
Starting in August, we spent a lot of time in the woods learning about the deer in the area. Among other things, this includes locating bedding areas, finding where they feed and setting up trail cameras. We located the areas where there was an abundant amount of acorns, pinch points and areas near a water source. Needless to say, we put our due time in the woods months prior to the season opener and, thankfully, all the hours paid off for us.
The much-anticipated opening day of bow season came on October 15. That week would go down in our own history books. That week, Hunter arrowed two bucks that he had been chasing and I, one.
Fast forward to January. We no longer had our bucks patterned, it was still abnormally hot and it didn’t look like we would have much luck until the rut came around. January 12, we were proved wrong. The lease that we were part of had a few food plots throughout the property, so we decided to sit one afternoon on one that looked pretty worn down.
Because of the hot weather and lack of rain, the plot itself wasn’t doing too well. But we could tell by the tracks and eaten down areas that they were making their way through it pretty consistently. He came out around 4:30 that afternoon and stood broadside long enough to give me a great shot. After a huge hug and a high five, we waited about 30 minutes until heading out to look for him. We found the big eight within 60 yards from the field.
Preparing for deer season in the hot summer months of August and September are crucial for a successful season. You certainly cannot control the weather, but you can put in the hours scouting, cutting limbs, clearing lanes and patterning deer to ensure your success as much as possible.
That feeling, knowing that what you’ve worked so hard for has finally paid off. Providing for your friends and family…there’s nothing else like it,