Staff: Ben Statly, Nexus Outdoors Marketplace Specialist
Hunt: Southeast Michigan Whitetail Archery
Date: October 30, 2021
Conditions: Full rut, temps in the thirties, overcast
I grew up hunting a small property in Southeastern Michigan where I quickly learned the added challenges of hunting pressured whitetails. The property forms a small connection between two large blocks of timber that bucks use as a funnel to check bedding areas during the rut. I may only see two or three shooter bucks throughout a season, so I need to be able to capitalize when an opportunity comes.
The rut was just starting to heat up and bucks were cruising. Like so many of my hunts during the rut, I was planning to sit all day. It was one of the first colder days of the season; temperatures were in the low thirties, but it was supposed to warm up a bit in the afternoon. I chose the ScentLok BE:1 Voyage Jacket and Pant for these conditions because the tailored, single-layer system has an ideal warmth-to-weight ratio.
That means I can stay warm without wearing a lot of bulk, which allows me to maintain a full range of motion for drawing back my bow. I paired it with the BE:1 Trek Base Top and Bottom underneath and knew I’d stay warm but not get so hot that I’d need to shed any layers. I was also wearing the ScentLok Lightweight Shooter Gloves and the ScentLok BE:1 Midweight Headcover to complete my scent-control system.
Controlling scent and remaining quiet are keys to success on any hunt, but especially so when hunting pressured deer. The BE:1 Voyage garments excel in both those categories, and they’ve become my go-to outerwear for hunts starting in early October and extending well into the rut. If I know it’s going to be colder, I’ll simply add a ScentLok BE:1 Reactor Heated Vest Plus between Voyage and my base layers. This makes Voyage an incredibly versatile choice for comfort on most archery hunts in most areas, and its Carbon AlloyTM technology and soft, quiet fabrics help me capitalize on any opportunity I’m given.
A nice 8-pointer came in silently, nose to the ground, directly downwind from me at around 10:00 am. Most of the leaves were still on the trees, so I only caught a glimpse of him and didn’t have much time to prepare. He quickly passed through my scent cone, and a shot presented itself a few seconds later as he stood at 20 yards quartered away. I was able to connect my arrow with one of his lungs, and he wheeled around and ran about 60 yards back in the direction from which he’d come before expiring.
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