October Whitetail Mobile Strategy - #2 “Calculated Killer” Ft. Clint Casper

October 21, 2022 5 min read

October Whitetail Mobile Strategy - #2 “Calculated Killer” Ft. Clint Casper

My Go-To October Whitetail Mobile Strategy

By: Clint Casper 

When it comes to October and Whitetails, I immediately think of daily travel patterns and preferred wind directions! Basically, I’m jumping back into my notes that I’ve kept all summer and diving into what my scouting and trail cameras have shown me…and for good reason!

 Daily Routines

 October is one of my absolute favorite times to kill a mature buck and for many reasons! In October, a buck has a very distinct bed to feed and feed to bed system. He is typically still on his summer feeding pattern and even after stripping velvet, unless bumped off by human intrusion, this buck should still be in the general area that he frequented all summer.

The BIGGEST key factor to all of this is figuring out which wind direction this buck prefers and WHY! The “why” portion to this question will unlock a ton of knowledge on this buck and his haunts that he calls home. This gives a bowhunter in the early season an absolutely HUGE advantage.

 Hunting a Wind That’s Good for HIM

 As mentioned previously, a mature buck will ALWAYS have a preferred direction of travel based off of his nose! With that being said, it’s beyond important to pin down what winds a specific buck likes on specific pieces of property that you hunt. For myself, I want to hunt a wind that is perfect for the buck, not myself! Now you’re probably wondering why I would tell you guys to go hunt a wind that’s bad for you? What I mean by this statement is that too many times I’ve hunted a wind that was “good” for me, but not the buck! This way of thinking had to change because a buck will always use the wind to his advantage, so as bowhunters, we need to do the same! I now will figure out what wind, or possibly two wind directions that my target buck likes and then figure out how to make those winds work for myself! This is where being mobile with my whitetail setup really pays off!

 

Once I’ve established the preferred winds that this buck likes, I will then figure out how to hunt this buck on those winds, but still keep myself out of harm’s way…aka their nose. To do this, I usually have to quarter the wind and really pay close attention to the thermals. Typical, quartering the wind is referring to having a directional wind blowing in a certain direction and the hunter will hunt off one side of that area, opposite of where the buck will hopefully be coming through. This keeps the wind in the bucks favor and in theory, quartering away from him enough to where it works in the hunters favor enough to slip an arrow into his chest! For an example let’s say the buck likes a south wind and comes from the North. We would want to set up due East or west of his preferred trail, depending on the thermals and time of day, which allows that south wind to play to our advantage, yet we are quartering away enough to where the buck doesn’t smell us as he approaches.

 Staying Mobile is the Key

The main ingredient to my whole October season strategy is the wind, like stated and being able to move with the wind patterns and what I feel like is the best move for me, on any given day. I’m a firm believer on evening hunts during the early season because I feel like I can get in and out, undetected and unannounced. My whole plan is to slip into his bedding, or close to it and kill him as he walks by, heading to feed, or to a staging area!

 

During this time of the year food is everywhere! Crops are coming off, acorns and apples are dropping etc there is never a time when a whitetail has more food available to him! BUT, this is also a time when he is losing bedding areas as well! Corn is coming down, leaves are falling and thick thickets are becoming less thick! This is a time when scouting on the fly AND staying mobile are so crucial to keeping up with a buck and finding success once you’re back on him! Your buck will change what he’s doing in October, now it’s YOUR turn to go find him, so let’s dive into my strategy!

New Strategy

At this point we have now looked at potential reasons why our buck has changed up his strategies and routines. We have also went back through our intel and figured out his preferences when it comes to the wind and also where he was bedding and feeding. Now it’s time to use all of our clues to come up with our new plan to put us back on the buck!

 What I like to do at this point is put boots on the ground and immediately go look at the potential spots that hold the current, hottest food source. What I’m looking for here is ultra-fresh tracks, scat, rubs and scrapes etc. near or on the food source, which tells me that this food source and area are currently hot! This could definitely be where my target buck is now feeding and spending a lot of his time! Once I’ve located a few of these new, hot food sources in person I then want to go to my maps and immediately look at all of the surrounding bedding. It is important to note that when looking at bedding, during the season, I choose to never look on foot! I would rather use my maps, or Google earth and be less intrusive and make educated guesses, than to go blow into the bedding and spook a bunch of bedded deer.

Now that I’ve located potentially new food and bedding my next step is to now go back to what preferred wind I know this buck has liked and try to find the food AND bedding feature that allows this buck to use this preferred wind direction to his advantage! The BIG key here is that I’m looking for a food source and bedding that lets this buck use the wind to HIS advantage! I’m not looking for a spot that’s good for myself, as a hunter, but I’m thinking like a buck and using his previous intel on the wind to now pick a new area that allows him to use the wind in his favor. History repeats itself and so do mature deer! Chances are your buck has changed up his patterns on where he feeds and even sleeps, BUT has not changed up his preferred wind that he likes on this piece of land. A buck lives and dies by that nose and wind, so figure out how to connect these new dots and buckle up!!! Your buck will be showing himself soon.

 

ABOUT: Clint Casper is a calculated straight up big buck killer, host of the CC Hunt Files with Working Class Bowhunters, and long term outdoor/hunting writer. He just recently added this Mobile Venatic column to his long resume!



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