The beauty of all-day hunting lies in the fact that anyone can do it!
Furthermore — done properly — it can lift your success rate on mature bucks by a healthy measure. Over the years, 25- to 30 percent of the mature bucks I’ve harvested were taken during midday times. Is there anything that you can buy, or anything else you can do, that will up your odds of success much better than this?
For all day bowhunts, get comfortable — your success rate will soar!
Another added benefit to remaining on stand all day is to simply enjoy God’s great Creation. In the hustle-bustle world we live in every day, we should treasure every moment afield we can get — and, the more, the better! Time away from the rat race is invaluable — a commodity worth far more than even the largest set of antlers.
If we can sit on a stand all day with this perspective, the entire experience will become much easier. And when sitting in a treestand all day becomes easier and more fun, amazingly, the reward of more and larger trophies will fall right into place — two birds killed with one stone!
All Day, My Way
There are no rigid rules when it comes to the art of bowhunting from daylight till dark. Here are few of the things I do to make my all-day vigils more productive, fun, and comfortable.
Start with spacious and comfortable treestands and/or ground blinds — I’m talking the “big boys” of comfort here! Try to find places to locate these stands that qualify as “rutting, big-buck travel corridors.” Place your stands in the early season, and do all the preparatory work then. Determine desired wind directions, and entrance and exit routes. Make notes of all this information in your hunting journal, which is with you on all trips afield.
Good gear will make all-day hunts do-able. Time and experience with this type of hunting will refine your equipment selection.
Try to have at least one week to dedicate to all-day hunting efforts — two, or three weeks are much better. Make plans for this effort to occur sometime between the dates of November 5 and November 25. Work all year long to clear your platter of all distractions so that you can dedicate all your time and attention to this effort. And, oh yeah — be sure this effort takes place in an area that has a healthy deer herd!
Load Your Backpack
Get a good, mid-sized backpack and stock it with all the trinkets, gadgets, and gear that helps make an all-day’er productive — a timepiece, toilet paper, camera, hunting diary, water, food, knife, paperback book, extra clothes, rattling antlers and grunt call, etc. Make sure you’re “drive’en nails” with your archery gear, and get mentally prepared to use it effectively on a trophy buck.
Try to stay on stand all day. I’ve killed big’un’s at sunrise, noon, and sunset. During the peak of the rut, no one time of the day is that much better than any other. If you get dangerously tired during midday times, climb down and take a quick nap at the base of your tree — don’t compromise personal safety for big bone. If weather conditions are unbearable — howling wind, driving rain or unbearable cold — don’t push yourself beyond common sense. These types of conditions might be a good time to take a break from all-day hunting so that you can start again the next day, refreshed.
The day I harvested this buck, my day-long vigil was cut short when this brute showed up at 1 p.m.
Set rules, and try to live by them — come early and leave late; stay hooked. Realize that this effort is short-lived and is a once-a-year opportunity. Look at the rewards — don’t look at the negatives. Keep a positive mental perspective and make the most of this narrow window of maximum opportunity for trophy harvest. Be willing to “look’em over,” don’t shoot the first decent buck you see. If you’re making a good effort — in the right place, at the right time — you’ll be enjoying quite a show; be patient.
Try It, You’ll Like It!
It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that a sensible approach to bowhunting all day long adds up. As to whether or not it’s for you, there’s only one way to find out. It’s all about priorities and perspective. To you, it will either be “worth it,” or not — to each, his own. One thing is positively certain — it’s inevitable that you’ll have more deer encounters. If to you, this kind of a reward is worth the sacrifice necessary to get it, then there’s a November “noon’er” waiting out there for you this season. If not — stay on the porch — don’t dance because that’s all the better for me!
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Eddie Claypool provides tips on bowhunting, with an emphasis on whitetails. Over the past 20 years, Eddie has harvested 50-plus Pope & Young animals. Most of these animals were taken on public ground, though some came from private ground that was accessed through hard work & a handshake. He has not been on guided hunts, nor has he hunted on “managed” properties. Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope & Whitetails are his favorite species.