How to Take Hot-Weather Buck Deer
Day 1: Look for Soft-Mast Foods and Pea Patches for Deer with Nationally-Known Hunter Eddie Salter
Editor’s Note: Bow season opens in mid-October in many states, and in the South, the weather still can be hot and humid then. Hot-weather deer hunting calls for different tactics than when you’re cold-weather hunting. The deer are eating different foods and moving at various times. If you’re hunting in the South, especially if you decide to take advantage of North Carolina’s mid-September bow season, or the August hunting available in South Carolina on private lands, you need to know how best to hunt hot-weather bucks. You can bag bucks with your bow in hot weather. As winter seems to last only a short time today in many parts of the nation, more archers will have to learn how to bowhunt hot-weather bucks. The sportsmen we’ve interviewed this week live and hunt deer primarily in the Deep South for three to four months under hot-weather conditions each year and consistently bag their bucks every season.
Biologists know the old adage that bucks don't move in hot weather isn't true. Bucks have to feed, bed and water, regardless of the temperature. Bucks just move very little in hot weather. In my home state of Alabama on one bowhunt in early October, the temperature hovered around 90 degrees. Although the deer moved very little, the men I hunted with, Eddie Salter of Hunter’s Specialties and Tom McMillan in Brewton, Alabama, had hunted in this type weather all their lives. "If you understand how to hunt the soft mast like the honey locust, you can take deer during hot weather," Salter says. "During the first of bow season, the deer often will feed on persimmons, one of their favorite food sources. But you'll have more success if you'll hunt the persimmon trees at the most-productive times." Salter suggests hunting over persimmons the morning after a heavy rain or a heavy wind at night for the most success.
Watch the Pea Patches:
In many areas of the country, peas continue to grow until cold weather. Often black-eyed peas, crowder peas, purple-hulls and a wide variety of other peas will grow in agricultural fields and small gardens in rural areas. Southerners have difficulty keeping bucks out of pea patches. Deer love to eat peas because of their delicious taste and high protein content. Some landowners even plant cow peas for the deer. To hunt the peas, find a trail that leads from the deep woods to the pea patch. Take a stand well away from that pea patch early in the morning to bag a buck with your bow as he moves down the trail from the feeding site to his bedding area. Or, late in the evening, move closer to the pea patch, and take a stand on the trail 50- to 100-yards away from the pea patch to bag a nice buck in the hot weather. "The deer have learned that wind and rain will knock the persimmons off the tree, and they'll find the most persimmons then," Salter explains.
Tomorrow: Hunt the Birds and the Squirrels to Take Hot-Weather Bucks with The Shed’s Larry Norton