October Hunting Tactics?

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Sligh1, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    What is your tactics and tips for early season? What has worked for you in past & what are mistakes?
    I think about when I was a “young hunter” & the younger hunters reading this. At same time- I will admit- I was not a “proficient october hunter” until about 5-6 years ago. I still find it hard but many seasons of learning through trial & error have made it a real doable chance.

    I was trained that no mature bucks moved in daylight after spending years & years hunting high pressured ground with little success or sightings. I overpressured it myself, burnt stands out, hunted days & locations I shouldn’t. But - I sure missed the mark on a lot of other things too. Learned from a lot of mistakes & though it’s still incredibly hard- lot of things to do for successful Oct hunts. I won’t mess the post up with my own thoughts though. :)

    What u all do right or wrong (lessons learned of past) or thoughts on how to approach October strategically?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  3. MarkF

    MarkF Member

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    Put out a thousand pounds of corn and sit over after the sun sets. Works like a charm every time.;)
     
  4. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    NO!!! Get night vision & a rifle .... sit all night long!!!
     
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  5. OOBoneCollector

    OOBoneCollector Member

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    Cold Fronts & Clover. That has been the ticket for me seeing good bucks in October.

    I try to set up on clover plots I have clean access too and aren't intrusive. However, if there is a great cold front and cams or past year history is showing that a target buck is hitting a tucked away plot, I get very aggressive. The way I see it, October is the only true time you can PATTERN and kill a big Iowa buck with a bow. If you know a big one is there and you think you have a chance at him, get in the stand. You never know how early he will get will a doe and be 5 miles away. The rut is more or less luck, who knows where the deer will be.

    We had a buck that last year hit a clover plot, in daylight, a couple times between the 10th & 16th of October last year. This year, you can bet I am going to be getting aggressive and if the wind and conditions are right, get right in there.

    Using last year's pictures to dictate where to hunt this year is the way I approach hunting October because generally speaking, they will probably be doing the same thing.

    If the weather is at or above average, I typically wouldn't hunt unless I was limited on time. You could kill a big one, but the likelihood goes WAY down. So staying out those nights and getting aggressive around the cold fronts is the key I believe. I don't step foot in the timber though, even though that may be where all the deer are eating acorns. Just too risky IMO.

    Great post! Interested to hear what others have to say.
     
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  6. Tim Hull

    Tim Hull PMA Member

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    I think the last week of October this year will be awesome. It is always a good time and the moon will be right this year for awesome sits. But I will be working afternoons, so I will be hunting in the mornings that week.
     
  7. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    Early—Greens/clover/alfalfa
    Late—October shot a buck in MN last fall by hunting the edge of oak trees/swamp—travel corridor—he was searching for does.
     
  8. StrungOutOutdoors

    StrungOutOutdoors New Member

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    Its still warm here in October. But last season, I was seeing rutting activity mid Oct. Will be prepared this year, with a little more reach!
     
  9. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 Active Member

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    I personally dont get to hunt much in October.(Its DEERE season). So i dont have alot of intrusion on my farms but when i get back to check cams I always find there are a few days early on where deer are killable and then anytime a cold front hits(especially with a strong north wind) and like bonecollector mentioned a good place to start is over clover! I think there alot of misconceptions out there about Oct. for several reasons.
    A. People tend to over hunt! I mean why wouldnt we? We have been waiting to get out there for 9 months!!
    B. People hunt the wrong areas! We get way too intrusive. I believe in hunting the edges this time of year. If you have a deer on camera in your plot anywhere close to sunset then he is bedded close. Stay away and let him come to you!
    C. People hunt the acorn crop. This kind of ties in with reason above but guys find these huge Oak flats just littered with acorns and although they may be able to get into them for an evening hunt there is no way you can get out of them without bumping deer.
    D. I also think people dont have the correct intel this time of year. Cams are set up on scrapes, you get pics of deer, BUT all at night! OR no pics of deer get discouraged, when deer are just hiding in timber eating those wonderful acorns.

    So my advice from someone who just monitors cams in Oct for the most part. Stay out of the good stuff, hunt the edges of green food sources(with acorn producing oaks around perimeter) on a cold front with a strong north wind!

    *****DISCLAIMER****
    I am solely speaking of killing a mature buck!!! If you want a 2,5yr old or some does then heck just get out there and at some point youll get your chance!
     
  10. hesseu

    hesseu Member

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    Pretty simple for me. Until Oct 25th or so, I stay out of bedding areas and hunt field edges / food. Also, I wait for a cold front to move in. When a cold front comes in, I try to get out and sit that evening because I have always seen good movement or the right kind of movement. Last year though, I did have a cold front come in with an easterly wind so I was able to get up on a ridge that I normally leave alone until November. I had a nice 3 year old under my stand that evening.

    I know there are many folks who will hunt / harvest good bucks before this time, but I also want to make sure that from Oct 25th to Nov 25th or so that I am also mentally rested as well. For me, sitting in a stand early-mid october when it is 80-85 degree's isn't high on my priority list. I've also got a wife and kiddos at home that I want to make sure I spend as much time with prior to the "Chasing November" time period.
     
  11. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Similar to what others have said...October cold fronts can be very productive. I don't hunt very many mornings in Oct, but will jump at a chance to sit for the evening when the NW wind is strong. We have had many very good sits in these conditions through the last several years.
     
  12. sep0667

    sep0667 Land of the Whitetail

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    I've had some good hunts on field edges within a couple days after a corn or bean field is harvested in October. A freshly harvested field can get deer on their feet in the evenings.
     
  13. LYON

    LYON PMA Member

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    I know I've screwed myself up in the past by hunting my prime spots in october. I'm working hard at changing that. It's just so dang tough to NOT hunt where you want to once season opens... My routine, in my prime spots, will be to check my cams right before season opens. If any of the main bucks are daylighting, I'll likely hunt there to see if one will make a mistake. Otherwise, I'll stay out until a cold front or late October. I have a few other random areas that I'll hit early-mid october that can at least take the edge off while I'm waiting for the time to be right.
     
  14. 203ntyp

    203ntyp PMA Member

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    Like Sligh, I used to burn myself out by the time it gets good.

    I've taken a couple early October hunting about 100 yards from a bedding areas but the past few years I only hunt evenings near field edges or fence rows, they wise up real quick. Seeing mature buck in early till about the 3rd week in October is rare for me.

    I love the last week of October, see more mature buck after the 20th on their feet and have seen them locked down with does before Halloween already. That week I start hunting mornings and evenings every day if given the chance for the remainder of the season. Mornings I hunt funnels between feeding and bedding areas and field edges in the evenings.
     
  15. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

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    I love October. My 3 biggest bowkills were on Oct 5th, Oct 5th, and Oct. 18th. Cold fronts. Kill'm before it turns into a needle and haystack
     
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  16. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    I always try to target does the first couple weeks and try to avoid messing up my better spots. I won't hesitate to get aggressive if a cold front makes it's way through though. Last year during an October cold front I passed a dandy 4 year old that was working a scrape line. This year he's a definite SHOOTER and I'm hoping he resumes a similar pattern; I already trimmed lanes and prepped a tree to ambush him on an October cold front. I also plan on trying some new spots and testing the wind and entrance/exit strategies.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  17. jkratz5

    jkratz5 Super Moderator

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    Cold fronts, high pressure (barometric) and food early. On the farms we have clover plots on the first two week are usually really good on those plots. Anywhere I can get in without really applying the pressure until last week of October.

    If we do get a nice cold front the third week I will move in on some white oaks and have seen several nice bucks that time of year hunting over that candy.
     
  18. BJohnson

    BJohnson Well-Known Member

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    One of the most active days on cams last year (on my farm anyway) was 10/10 - 10/12. Directly tied to a cold front that passed through around those days. Best hunts were on Oct 27-28th, two very good days of bucks searching for does. Like others have stated, the last week in Oct is a prime opportunity to catch a mature buck looking for a doe (when most does are not yet ready to be bred). Horny bucks + low % of does in heat = good daylight buck movement.
     
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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    I'll take the kids out for Youth season in September and I will hunt a cold snap in October if / when it rolls through, but have learned not to invest much time into October whitetail hunting until the last week of the month. It's too buggy, hot and muggy for my liking, and I usually don't see many mature bucks in the daylight hours. The ROI just isn't there for me to take chances of burning out my hunting properties in the first 3/4 of October. Then there's the personal burnout factor too. Previous experience with hunting hard all of October has lead to early personal burnout, well before the season has closed.
    I do like to slip out to SD or NE to chase mulies around in October, when possible. Then I come back just in time for the kickoff of Iowa's whitetail rut. It lets me get plenty of walking in early in the season and gives me more patience to sit longer in my stands when I get back. I'm about to turn 43 and I still have a tough time sitting still for very long.
     
  20. Wapsi Tree

    Wapsi Tree PMA Member

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    Like some others, I have to be careful not overhunt or burn out early. Just got to have your head in the game when things get good. So early October I will be solely focused on one bedding area...mine!
     
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  21. kelcher

    kelcher Active Member

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    I will be trying to get the boy on his first bowkill. Might hurt my chances at a nice one, but that isn't my priority this year.
     
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