John's Journal...

Bow Bucks When the Weather Sizzles

Day 5: Casey Blum Hunts Warm-Weather Bucks Away from Feeding and Bedding Areas

Editor’s Note: When temperatures range from 60 to 90 degrees, bagging a buck presents problems for most bowhunters. As we hear and read more about global warming, hunters throughout the nation will continue to face the problem of how to hunt bucks in very-warm weather. Let’s talk with some of the nation’s bowhunters, and learn the tactics they use to take bucks when the weather sizzles.

Click for Larger ViewCasey Blum, a Primos Game Calls pro-staffer, has hunted deer for more than two decades in his home state of Wisconsin. When you hear the words, hot-weather bucks, you probably never expect Wisconsin bowmen to sweat when they hunt white-tailed deer. However, Blum explains that, “When our archery season begins, we still may have 70- and 80-degree days. I’ve found our early, warm-weather season one of the most-productive times to bag a trophy buck with my bow.” To find and take that trophy buck, Blum begins his long-range scouting program in August. In the summer, the deer haven’t seen a hunter for many months. The deer, not as cautious or as wary as during the season, generally show-up in alfalfa fields or other openings in the woods well before dark during the summer months. “I use my binoculars and drive-around and locate trophy bucks in the summer,” Blum explains. “Once I see a deer I want to take, I watch that deer for several days. I find the trails the deer use to come-in and leave the field. But when I sit on the edge of a field and attempt to bag bucks, they always seem to come-out of the fields 50- to 60-yards from where I’ve anticipated – no matter where I’ve put my stands. Click for Larger ViewOften I’ll go back to that same field late in the morning after the deer already have left it. I’ll follow the trail of the buck back into the woods to the first place where that trail intersects with another trail. I look for a stand site at this intersection. Although I don’t know which of the two trails the buck will come down, by waiting where the trails cross, I’ll have a good position to get a shot at a buck. When I scout and set-up my stand, I wear knee-high rubber boots, stay-off the trail and don’t walk anywhere I think the deer may walk and smell me.”

Blum believes that his best opportunity for taking a trophy buck with a bow comes the first time he hunts the trails leading to the food each season. Blum also has found that if you don’t get a shot or spook the deer the first time you hunt a trail, you can adjust your stand site to possibly move closer to where you think the deer will appear. According to Blum, “The farther you hunt from the field where the deer feed, the less likely you are to spook the animals.” If Blum hunts on a warm-weather morning, he usually hunts a bedding area well-away from the field. He likes to hunt close to a bedding region, because the bucks generally are less wary when they leave the openness of their beds going to their bedding sites. But to reach those bedding sites, Blum often makes long treks through the woods before daylight. Blum does mention a problem associated with hunting a bedding area in the morning in his home state. “Wisconsin law requires you have your bow in a case or unstrung,” Blum reports. “To adhere to this rule, most hunters won’t leave their vehicles until 30 minutes before daylight. Then most of the time they spook the bucks they want to take. Click for Larger ViewBut, I go in early, often 1 to 2 hours before daylight, and carry my bow in a cloth, roll-up case through the woods. When I reach my stand, I’ll pull my case and bow up into the tree. Thirty minutes before daylight, I uncase my bow and get in the best place to bag a buck. To effectively take a deer when he comes away from his food source, I need to have let stillness settle over the woods at least 1/2- to 1-hour before daylight.”

To bag a nice-sized buck with your bow during warm weather this season, follow these tips from these master bowhunters.
* Control your odor by carefully planning what you’ll wear and using an odor neutralizer.
* Determine the wind’s direction.
* Hunt high to keep your odor from reaching the deer.
Click for Larger View* Wear rubber boots, and don’t touch foliage with your clothes to eliminate leaving odor.
* Take a stand above the water, or approach your stands on shore from the water.
* Scout intensively before the season to learn the deer’s patterns.
* Hunt trail intersections.
* Find the deer’s bedding area and hunt there at daylight.
* Hunt food sources.

To learn more about bowhunting deer, see John E. Phillips’ book “The Master’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” at

Check back each day this week for more about "Bow Bucks When the Weather Sizzles "

Day 1: Former Major League Baseball Player Travis Fryman Hunts around Water in Hot-Weather Conditions
Day 2: Former Major League Baseball Player Travis Fryman Confronts Mosquitoes and Snakes While Deer Hunting
Day 3: Archery Champion Anna Reaves Explains the Importance of Odor Control when Deer Hunting
Day 4: Archery Champion Anna Reaves Knows the Importance of Tree Stand Placement and Wind Conditions when Deer Hunting
Day 5: Casey Blum Hunts Warm-Weather Bucks Away from Feeding and Bedding Areas

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 630, Day 5