Well, it seems its now "transition time".
What the heck does that mean?
Hopefully for you it means several things. Here is what it means to me: I see transition time as that brief time between archery and gun season, when I pull out the old "smoke pole" to continue my whitetail season. It's always fun looking forward to a little travel back in time, when muzzle loaders provided for our ancestors. While it's not quite the same today (inline front loaders, scopes, "hot" caps, powderpellets, etc., etc., etc.), it's still exciting to know that, at least for me, I only have one shot and my distance is somewhat limited. It's also a great time to "fine tune" the steps you take to remove scent from your hunts, practice some of your calls, remove the squeaks from your stands, and focus on the new signs that show up in the woods.
There are other "transitions" that occur this time of the year.
a. Days get shorter and evenings come earlier. Great hunters take the time and sunlight changes into account to ensure they have enough time to get in and out ofstands without spooking the quarry.
b. Deer feeding patterns change. Deer typically move from browse to fall mast crops and may begin to hit those food plots you've worked so hard on over the summer and early fall.
c. Bachelor groups break up. The rut is around the corner, and the company bucks kept with one another change dramatically. The friendly, band together behavior very common during the summer months move to individual movement and preparations for the competition looming over hot does. It's truly amazing to see bucks that you caught together on your game cameras suddenly go from "best bud" to "bitter enemies".
d. Weather patterns transition. The last vestiges of summer are gone and thefirst taste of winter began to appear. Mornings are cool, humidity drops, and in many areas, rain becomes more abundant. Wind patterns change from the warm southerly breezes to a cooler and sometimes chilly north northwest direction.
e. The woods transition begins. Fall and cooler temperatures brings a changing of the leaves. Fall storms and higher winds bring the leaf drop. Woods that were impenetrable in the summer suddenly open and distances increase. With the leaf drop also comes the need to be more careful and cautious in your movements. Just as you can see further, so can the deer. Practice keeping movements to a minimum and don't "find" ways to give yourself up to your quarry.
f. Deer attraction changes. I used to use fawn bleats and acorn scents in the early season. While acorn scents may still work, I've found that by mid-October most of the acorns are gone. Fawn bleats also don't work as well and may do more to scare away deer than draw them in. Guess the maternal instincts are beginning to transition as well. I've found buck scent and young buck grunts tend to work best, or I don't either use scent or calls during this period. I can save my best for the upcoming, and most exciting time to deer hunt; the rut. Mid to late October is a transition period, and the time to plan for what is to come. Check your gear, visit Academy Sports or your local store and stock up for those November days, when the weather turns colder and the bucks turn hotter.