As November unfolds, hunters across the country gear up for what is often considered the pinnacle of deer hunting season. Sweet November, as some hunters refer to it, is when the highly anticipated whitetail rut creates the fire behind many hunters' passion for hunting, even if it takes sitting all day. I sought the expertise from Nate Hosie of Headhunters TV, who has been partnered with ScentLok for many years. I asked Hosie to help explore this crucial month's intricacies. In our conversation, Nate shared valuable insights on the significance of all-day sits, the role of game cameras, the strategic art of stand location, and how to combat the challenges of extended hours in the stand.
According to Nate, hunting all day in November goes beyond demonstrating endurance; it's a tactical decision rooted in the morning's success. As mid-morning deer activity increases, so does the likelihood of encountering bucks during the midday hours. Nate emphasizes the need to be strategic and responsive to the environment, highlighting that an all-day sit isn't a guarantee of success. Based on real-time observations and factors like wind direction, wise choices are crucial in a successful hunt.
During a hunting expedition in Missouri, Hosie fondly recounts an encounter with a familiar buck whose core area he was well acquainted with. His knowledge stemmed from insights gathered through game cameras and observations during previous hunts. After spotting the buck consecutively for two days, the decision was made to relocate the stand after the morning hunt, aiming to strategically narrow down the buck's potential movement area. Amidst a mid-day stand shift, a gentle rain provided a hushed atmosphere, enabling him to reposition without disturbing any deer. Around 3:00 p.m., Hosie, prompted by the sound of leaves crunching, glanced over his shoulder only to find a colossal buck standing a mere fifteen yards away. The dampened leaves had masked the buck's approach, catching him off guard. However, the buck swiftly bolted out of range upon realizing Nate's presence. Undeterred, two days later, Hosie successfully harvested the same buck. Despite utilizing different stands, he emphasizes the importance of committing to an entire day's sit to increase the chances of getting within close range of such mature bucks.
Hosie's account highlights the significance of remaining vigilant and open to adjustments. The decision to relocate the stand based on observed patterns and capitalize on a potential pinch point highlights the strategic insight required during the hunting season.
One of the factors that allowed Hosie to gain information that would result in moving a stand and feeling the need to hunt all day was data gathered by his game cameras. Game cameras, especially the cellular variety, have become indispensable in the contemporary hunting landscape. These devices offer a window into deer movement patterns, aiding hunters in determining the optimal time for extended hunts. Nate recommends using cellular cameras to monitor midday buck activity, helping hunters make informed decisions about committing to an all-day sit and enhancing the likelihood of a successful hunt. The question of whether hunters should relocate their tree stands throughout the day is contingent on the morning's success, according to Nate. Adapting and moving stands becomes a viable strategy if deer movement is sluggish. Nate leans on his cellular game cameras' insights to make well-informed decisions about stand adjustments, ensuring he stays ahead of changing hunting conditions.
Acknowledging the challenge of enduring long sits, Nate suggests leveraging modern technology to stay engaged. With an array of entertainment options, cell phones can be valuable companions in the stand. From playing games and watching hunting videos to listening to podcasts, these devices can help alleviate boredom during extended hunts. However, Nate cautions against becoming too distracted and emphasizes the importance of staying focused on the hunt. While indulging in modern conveniences, Nate shares a personal tradition from his time hunting in his home state of Pennsylvania – enjoying a Tasty Cake cream pie on opening day. This tradition, rooted in his experiences with his grandfather, adds nostalgia to the hunt. Nate also emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated to help ensure that hunters maintain their energy levels throughout an all-day pursuit.
Incorporating such insights into one's approach to November hunting enhances the overall experience and increases the likelihood of a successful harvest. As hunters navigate the intricacies of the month, they can draw inspiration from Hosie's experiences, finding a good balance between patience, strategic thinking, and adaptability to make the most of their time in the field.