By Alex Comstock
October's first cold front has come and gone. For me, it was relatively a quiet one. I saw decent deer numbers, but still not the mature bucks that I want to shoot. I was able to accomplish a few good things though, and will take that information with me going forward.
Hunting: The cold front that swept through the majority of the Midwest hit me on Thursday when temps plummeted into the 40's. Thursday night I sat where me and Tyler had an encounter with a shooter a few weeks ago, but the night was a slow one. I only saw doe's and one young buck. The wind was gusting upwards of 30 mph, and that might have had an effect on the slowed movement.
Intel: Friday brought more of the same. Cold temperatures, and crazy wind. After going to class in the morning, I went out during the day and moved seven trail cameras over scrapes and mock scrapes. I did a bit of on the ground scouting in the area where my number one buck "Shaq" lives, and a lot of the cameras I moved are in hopes of trying to re-find him. Every time I think I have an idea of what he is doing, I go weeks without getting a picture of him. A couple of the areas I scouted are in great locations and I think we could have a run in with him cruising for that first doe in the next couple weeks.
Back At It: Friday night, I decided to switch it up a bit, and sit a spot we call Trips Wide, in reference to Tyler's buck he shot last year. I hadn't been there in weeks, and we know of at least five mature bucks in the area, but don't really have a pattern on any of them. I figured with the cold temperatures, it would be a good day to sit there and just see what happens. The night was a doefest as I saw somewhere between 15-20 doe's and again, only one young buck. It's always fun seeing those deer numbers, but once again not seeing a mature buck was a bummer.
Saturday morning, I went back to "Shaq's" area, sitting in a stand we call the hole. It was a frigid morning, with the temps being in the low 30's. I don't hunt many mornings during the early season, but with it being the coldest day of the season, I figured it would be a good time to give it a try. Yet again, no mature bucks, and I only saw 2 doe's.
More Scouting: After Saturday mornings slow sit, I went to a new piece of property I just obtained permission on and did a quick scout. I found a really good looking area with multiple rubs and scrapes, threw up a cam, and then went to hang a new set back in "Shaq's" area. I had created a mock scrape near where I was hanging this stand the day before, and noticed it had already been worked over since the night before. After hanging the stand, I swapped SD cards, and was pleasantly surprised to see three different bucks (two of which are potential shooters) work the scrape in the short amount of time it had been there. The weekend ended there though, as I was not able to hunt Saturday night, or at all Sunday.
Conclusion: October cold fronts can be some of the years best hunting. I have no doubt there were mature bucks on their feet in daylight this past weekend, I just wasn't in the right spot. I'll keep hunting smart the next couple of weeks, and before you know it that magical time of the year will be here, the rut.