Deer & Deer Hunting

OVERCOMING EARLY-SEASON STRATEGIES

It was early evening a couple days before the opening of the South Dakota archery season. My good friend and full-time videographer, Matt Tande, and I were slowly cruising a gravel back road that snakes through the large ranch where we’d be hunting. Just as we were cresting a small hill, a half-dozen deer bolted from a thick shelterbelt to our right and ran across the road directly in front of my truck. As we quickly discovered, their destination was a large and very lush hay field located just across the road from the shelterbelt.

Rather than continue our “ride around,” Matt and I decided to drive down the road a quarter-mile, park the truck and then watch to see what else came out of the shelterbelt. It proved to be a very wise move, as we ended up seeing dozens of deer, including several shooter-size bucks.

Midmorning the next day found us back near the shelterbelt, attempting to get a better handle on things. From what we were able to determine, the deer were coming out of some thick river bottom cover and crossing a large, open pasture before entering the shelterbelt. They’d then hang out in the shelterbelt for a while before continuing on, eventually crossing the gravel road and

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