We all know that weather affects the way wildlife feeds, travels and breeds. No matter whether they're above or below the water, fly or walk, weather has an impact on wildlife.
How the weather is going to impact the first couple weeks of archery season is anybody's guess, but I believe that deer will continue their early fall patterns. With area farmers just now beginning to cut their crops, which is a couple of weeks later than usual, hunting field edges may not be your best bet, at least until the crops are down.
The good news is that once the fields are cut they will be a magnet for deer. Fresh-cut fields are always your best bet for early season archery action.
But the key is getting between where the deer are bedded and the trail they are using to get to the field. Throw in wind direction, the right tree and thermo clines and then playing leap frog with deer is a game we all play.
I am going to share something that has worked for many archers across the country and the region - hunting from the ground. Now this may seem like we are taking a step back in time.
When I first started hunting, the only way we hunted was from the ground. That was before we had discovered that hunting from elevated platforms was the way to go.
Now I am not saying that we should sell all of our treestands and hunt from the ground, but ground blinds have their place in particular situations and areas.
Today's portable ground blinds are very different than the ones we used to make out of sticks and brush.
Between Double Bull and AmeriStep, those two companies have re-invented the portable blind. Today we can change locations as easy as putting up a portable blind. While it's not as easy as picking any old spot and setting up a portable blind, it is much more effective than spending time setting up a treestand.
Setting up a portable blind can be very effective if one uses all the knowledge he would had in treestand placement, but use it on the ground.
The biggest mistake I see hunters make in setting up a portable ground blind is not "brushing" them in the area they are hunting. This can be as easy as setting the blind back in a edge row or by placing some brush on the blind. But the biggest mistake I see is having all the windows in a blind open. Keeping the windows closed, except the ones you're going to need to see or shoot from, will keep your movement hidden in the blind.
When using a blind, be creative. While hunting from the ground isn't as cut and dried as just setting up a portable ground blind, it's a tool that can be used.
Having the opportunity to hunt with folks from different sections of the country has given me the chance to watch how they do things, whether it's using a portable blind for filming an archery hunt to using the same setup for a cameraman to get another angle for a treestand hunt.
When choosing a portable blind, make sure you pick one that has a camo pattern that's close to where and how you're going to hunt. Again, blending into your surroundings is key to setup. An easy way to help you and your blind blending into the area is by "brushing" the blind in. This can be easily done by taking brush and branches that are laying around and place them up against the blind.
Using a portable blind shouldn't be your sole hunting technique, but can be used as a part of your bag of tricks.
When you can't find the perfect tree, using a portable blind can be an option.