Preparing For Your Whitetail Season: July 2022

July 2, 2022

Preparing for Whitetail season has transitioned from being a chore to now being an enjoyable part of my routine throughout the year. As outdoorsmen, we can get trapped with becoming complacent because of a multitude of factors, but the proper preparation can create a higher rate of success. As hunters that is the ultimate goal. Let’s take a look at what items you should be focusing on in July to be the best hunter you can be this fall.

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self- Reliance

Trail Cameras

What is the best part about checking your trail cameras? Seeing that old brute of a buck still hanging around your food plot. Making sure your trail cameras are properly working is going to give you that opportunity to see the 10-point Whitetail buck you have been chasing for a couple of years. Below are some items to consider when checking your trail cameras this month.

  • Swapping SD cards to ensure you don’t run out of space to take pictures
  • Make sure your trail camera is properly secured to a solid object (Tree, post, etc.)
  • Clear out any overgrown brush or trees in the picture frame
  • Replace the batteries (There is nothing worse than realizing your trail camera is dead and you could have missed some opportunities for great pictures)

Whitetail Buck

November 6th, 2021

Northern Missouri

Food Plots

If you have not planted your food plot, it’s not too late! You still have plenty of time to get out there, get the ground tilled up, fertilize the soil, and get some seeds in the ground. There is a wide range of options that Whitetail deer prefer and can be planted amid the summer heat. Some of my favorite species include Crimson Clover, Kale, Radishes, and Turnips.

If you already have an established food plot, some basic upkeep includes reseeding the area if weeds and grass are covering more area than the desired species, fertilization, and applying some kind of herbicide to kill weeds if that is a priority for you. I tend to lean away from spraying my food plots with any sprays. I don’t think Whitetail deer care too much about weeds and I like to try and keep things as natural as possible in my food plots.

Below is a link to the Missouri Department of Conservation for additional resources on establishing food plots.

Weapon Maintenance

Ensuring that your weapon of choice is properly functioning, safe, and effective is the top priority for hunters. This month we will start with preparation for the compound bow as it is a little more difficult and time-consuming than your traditional rifle. Target practice at various ranges is crucial with the inherent difficulty of being consistent with a bow. If lethality and quick death is a priority for your hunt (as they should be) then the repetition of arrows in your target is going to improve your success this year for Whitetail season. I set a goal to shoot three or four days a week. Each week there is noticeable progress in my groupings, comfortability at full draw, and attention to the small details that could impact my shot (stance, level bow, etc.)

Now, outside of shot maintenance, we have the physical maintenance of your bow and arrows. Ensuring your bowstring is properly waxed is going to prevent fraying and helps provide extra protection from water seeping into the strings. While you are waxing your bow, spend the time to trace your bowstring with your hands and eyes to determine whether it’s beginning to fray. Next, we want to make sure all nuts, bolts, and screws are tight. Some screws or bolts may adjust your sight, draw length, etc., so be careful when you are working on your bow.

Arrow maintenance starts with slightly bending your arrows to see if there are any cracks. Cracks in your arrows will affect the flight of your arrow, similarly if your arrow was bent. While you are looking at the shaft of your arrow, inspect your fletching for any damage. Lastly, ensure your arrow tip is fitted properly and tight to the end of your arrow. Arrow maintenance is typically something I do unconsciously every time I shoot.

Preparation for the hunting Whitetail does not have to be an undesirable task. Trail cameras, food plots, and weapon maintenance are tasks we should all be looking into for July. Completing these items is vital to success in the fall and will become routine for you as a lifelong hunter.

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Photos provided by Drake Pollard and Kurtis Willimetz