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Early Season

It’s very important to put as little pressure on big bucks during this time of the year as possible on your South Carolina hunting land.  High pressure will cause the big bucks to go nocturnal.  Low impact is the key.  The best low-impact thing you can do is set up your Reconyx trail cameras in the right places.  This will help you see where the big bucks are and where they aren’t so you don’t waste your time in the woods this fall.  Trail cameras allow you to monitor and study bucks and their habits without scaring them or leaving your scent around his living areas.

Once you learn a buck’s habits and patterns, you should be able to hang a tree stand one afternoon.  If you know approximately when a big buck is frequenting specific food sources, you may be able to slip in and out unnoticed.

Position your stand in a place where you’ll be able to observe the most deer without being seen.  You’ll also want to pay attention to the wind direction when placing your stand.  Hunting a crosswind is ideal so your scent is blown away from the buck’s approach and towards an area you don’t expect to see deer.

It’s a good idea to have multiple stand locations on your South Carolina hunting land.  It’s a good idea to alternate between stands every few days and don’t go back for a few days to each stand to give it rest.  This keeps your presence to a minimum.  Also, morning stands should be in different areas than evening stands.

During the season, rattling and grunting can be an excellent way to lure big bucks.  However, during the early season, it’s more effective not to draw attention to your location.  Even though bucks do a lot of sparring during this time, it’s not worth the risk of them spotting you.

Make sure you keep your stand and route to your stand away from bedding areas.  When you’re actually mid-season, you’ll want to hunt near bedding areas, but it’s best to hunt closer to food sources at first.  You don’t want to risk getting caught in a big buck’s bedding area when he’ll probably get to his food source before dark and return the next morning.

Your best chances of harvesting a big buck are if you keep the times deer catch you in the early season to an absolute minimum.  Many times, hunters use the early season to scout and prepare for the rut.  However, it can be an excellent time to tag a big buck since they haven’t been hunted since last season and you’ll likely be catching them off guard.